Marhaba ! Introducing HuffPost Morocco

I'm very excited to announce that the journey we started over a year ago in Tunisia and continued this May in Algeria has now added the final missing part -- HuffPost Morocco -- to create the full ensemble of The Huffington Post Maghreb! At HuffPost Morocco we'll be telling the stories that matter most and -- just as important -- helping people throughout Morocco tell their stories themselves, in words, in pictures and in video. We'll be covering topics including corruption, political tensions between Morocco and Algeria, social and religious questions like abortion and public health issues. HuffPost Morocco will also be a place to discuss and celebrate Morocco's unique traditions and culture -- everything from sports and entertainment to technology and parenting.
10/27/2014 09:59 pm ET Updated Dec 27, 2014

I'm very excited to announce that the journey we started over a year ago in Tunisia and continued this May in Algeria has now added the final missing part -- HuffPost Morocco -- to create the full ensemble of The Huffington Post Maghreb!

This launch comes at an incredible time, not only for HuffPost -- a journalism outlet and blogging platform with 11 editions around the world, with Greece, India and our Arabic editions coming next -- but specifically for the Maghreb, a region that is undergoing amazing transformations -- socially, politically and economically. In Morocco today we are witnessing a golden age of online collaboration and engagement that is both local and global -- in particular among Moroccan youth. There's no better time to start the conversation.

At HuffPost Morocco we'll be telling the stories that matter most and -- just as important -- helping people throughout Morocco tell their stories themselves, in words, in pictures and in video. We'll be covering topics including corruption, political tensions between Morocco and Algeria, social and religious questions like abortion and public health issues like the threat of Ebola. HuffPost Morocco will also be a place to discuss and celebrate Morocco's unique traditions and culture -- everything from sports and entertainment to technology and parenting.

While HuffPost Morocco will function as an individual edition, it is also a part of our larger regional edition HuffPost Maghreb, led by the incredibly talented Alix Etournaud and Fares Mabrouk, both with deep personal and professional roots in the region. Their mission of telling the Maghreb's most important stories and, at the same time, inviting the people of the Maghreb to tell their own stories has been a huge success in Algeria and Tunisia and will now also come to Morocco.

Leading HuffPost Morocco are editor-in-chief Hassan Hamdani and editorial director Youssef Ziraoui. Youssef, in nearly a decade in journalism, has served as the editor-in-chief and manager of TelQuel's multimedia division. In 2008 he was awarded the Lorenzo Natali Prize of the European Union, which honors journalism that uncovers corruption, abuse and violence in developing countries.

Before this endeavor Hassan had a long tenure at TelQuel magazine, where he was the culture editor, news editor and then editor-in-chief, and he has also worked at Femmes du Maroc and La Vie économique. In 2010, with Aïcha Akalay, Hassan was granted the award for best investigative reporting by Reporters Without Borders, RFI and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie for "The Temptation of Christ," a report about the persecution of Moroccans who convert to Christianity.

The expansion from the east Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast of Africa was carried by the wonderul Samia Cherif, HuffPost Maghreb's head of management, and Houeida Anouar, who's in charge of coordinating its editorial teams.

To kick off HuffPost Morocco, we are featuring a range of bloggers. There's journalist and photographer Leïla Ghandi on the need for gender equality in Morocco and for more women in leadership positions; Morocco's leading anti-corruption official, Abdesselam Aboudrar, on the necessity and challenges of fighting corruption; and Chafik Chraibi, the president of the Moroccan Association for the Fight Against Clandestine Abortion, on the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions. We also have contributions from Laila Ouachi, a former advisor to Morocco's prime minister; Laïla Marrakchi, one of the country's most successful filmmakers; psychologist and TV host Aboubakr Harakat; Hit Radio CEO Younes Boumehdi; and Faouzi Skali, a co-founder of the Festival of Sacred Music.

To Moroccan readers and those around the world who are interested in Morocco and its rich culture, please email editor-in-chief Hassan Hamdani at hassan.hamdani@huffingtonpost.com and join the conversation. So Marhaba, Morocco, and welcome to the HuffPost family!