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Thanks for joining our community of folk who are interested, intrigued or have visited the Kasbah du Toubkal. We are committed to maintaining a successful sustainable environment in Imlil and the surrounds of the High Atlas and learning from the best sources on how to do this better. Any ideas, involvement or comments are always welcome.

In 2006 some 8,000 individuals have visited the Kasbah and learned about the Berber approach to life and hospitality. These occasional Newsletters are our attempt at engaging a wider audience. We hope to build a more interactive way sometime.

As always I hope you find these newsletters interesting and I thank you for your support.

Wishing you well

Mike McHugo and all at Kasbah du Toubkal and Discover Ltd

KASBAH DU TOUBKAL NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2007

  • Extending educational opportunities to Girls around Imlil Mike to run Marrakech Marathon to raise funds
  • Cycle trip Tangiers to Marrakech - a one-off event with full vehicle support don’t miss it
  • Kasbah du Toubkal’s new website
  • Kasbah du Toubkal builds 3 new deluxe rooms
  • Imlil Village Association update
  • Kasbah du Toubkal cover story of New York Times

EDUCATING GIRLS

Give Girls a Chance of College Education in Rural Morocco

School girls

Very few girls from the rural communities in Morocco get the opportunity of continuing their education after primary school. College is not accessible to them for a variety of reasons but the main two are:

  • Their parents cannot afford to pay for lodgings where the college is located, often many kilometres away from where they live
  • Their parents do not have the confidence to entrust their daughters to any existing accommodation in the area

To help address these issues, “Education for All”, a Moroccan Charity, is being formed. This is starting to build and run Girls’ Boarding Houses near the colleges of secondary education. Our new approach to run Boarding Houses will allow some girls from disadvantaged rural families to continue their education beyond the Primary level that they have achieved in their local village. The first of these will be built at Asni, 17km from the Kasbah on the way to Marrakech.

World Change Starts with Educated Children

“We may not individually be able to change the world but we can help to make a difference to a person’s life and, indirectly, many more.”

If, collectively, we could make this happen it would be a major accomplishment and a legacy that we could rightly be proud of. Your help is needed.

Mike to run Marrakech Marathon to raise money for this project

Mike foolishly decided last year whilst stuck in a traffic jam watching the Marrakech Marathon runners go by that he could do one more…well a year older and after not much training he is committed to running one more. He now fears he may have bitten off more than he can chew, so he needs real incentives and this is where you can truly help.

Please go to www.justgiving.com/morocco to donate or sponsor him and help encourage him to complete those 26 miles on 28th January 2007 and get this important project off to a good start.

CYCLE TRIP TANGIERS TO MARRAKECH

As another part of his continuous fund raising Mike is also planning in Spring 2007 to ride his bike from The Eagle’s Nest in Southern France to the Kasbah Du Toubkal. A distance of some 2,500km. He has decided to integrate into this trip an open cycle trip from Tangiers to Marrakech for people who wish to show support and join him.

A once in a life time chance, with full vehicle support (so you can cycle as much or as little as you want) will take place from 18th April to 27th April 2007.

Sponsored cycle event Tangiers to Marrakech

Sponsored cycle event Tangiers to Marrakech.  Come on an adventure, do something you never thought of doing, enjoy the company of similarly foolish people and raise money for a worthy cause. For further details, please visit the Sponsored Cycle Event page [archived page] or contact .

KASBAH DU TOUBKAL’S NEW WEB SITE

We have just completed a complete revision of our website. We hope it has a new fresh look and is even more comprehensive. It has many more photos so please visit the photo galleries. The new site is, we believe, compatible with almost all browsers so Apple users should be better served. We know you are few but you are important. We hope you like it and would value any feedback you can give us.

MORE ROOMS AT THE KASBAH

The utilisation at the Kasbah has been phenomenal and many potential visitors are disappointed as we have no room for them. It is imperative that the Kasbah does not loose its intimate charm nor flood the site with too much building. We have decided to build an additional 3 deluxe ensuite rooms (with baths and private terraces). These will be positioned looking east with spectacular views towards Jbel Oukaïmeden and down the Imlil valley. This will mean the Kasbah will then have 14 en suite rooms and 3 berber salons.

In Imlil village the Kasbah has taken on a new rural riad with 4 en suite rooms built in the style of the Kasbah – this building is called Dar Imlil. Whilst not at the Kasbah, it is an excellent location to experience village life. It has its own dining room but meals may be taken at the Kasbah.

IMLIL VILLAGE ASSOCIATION

The Village Association continues to provide important services for the local community: rubbish clearance, hammam, ambulance service:

Two major projects were completed in 2006. A flood protection scheme (2 metre thick wall) was carried out to protect the centre of Imlil. This should ensure that the Flood of ’95, should it occur again, will not create such havoc and destruction. A second and maybe even more important project has been the creation of a Trout Farm and Fish Café in the village. This will create economic opportunities for the area and provide fresh trout at the Kasbah.

COVER STORY IN NEW YORK TIMES

We were very pleased that The Kasbah du Toubkal and the new trekking lodge were the subject of the cover story in the travel section of the New York Times. The front page and the 2 centre pages, all in colour, were devoted to the Kasbah. We were particularly pleased that Rachel Donadio who in her own words is not impressed with “spin” found the responsible tourism aspects of the Kasbah very solid.

“The Kasbah calls itself a ‘Berber hospitality center’ not a hotel. In the brochure, I found this rhetoric self-important; once there, I realized it was entirely accurate. …I’m no sucker for eco-tourism boilerplate but I was impressed by the Kasbah’s approach.”

Our website saw a 5 fold increase from this article and the article was in the Top Ten in the New York Times online a very unusual event for a travel article.

So once again things move on. Please may I ask again for your support for our new Educational Programme by making a donation at www.justgiving.com/morocco

Thank you for your support.

Wishing you well.

Mike McHugo and All at Kasbah du Toubkal and Discover Ltd

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