Preview: Is Morocco’s ‘Evolution Not Revolution’ Working?

BY Talea Miller  December 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM EST


When a series of revolts known as the Arab Spring swept through northern Africa this year, taking down government after government, Morocco was not immune to the unrest.

Protesters filled the streets for weeks in February and March demanding change. But in an unexpected move, Morocco’s king responded swiftly, announcing in a televised speech on March 9 constitutional reforms, free parliamentary elections and his intention to strengthen judiciary independence.

The country held new elections in late November, so Ray Suarez and the NewsHour team traveled to Morocco to see where reform efforts stand. Has Morocco been successful at charting a more peaceful course to real change? Are the protesters who filled the streets satisfied with the direction of the country? Suarez spoke with government officials, political analysts and activists to find out.

As part of our Morocco series the NewsHour also looked at another progressive program ongoing in the country — a campaign to train imams to talk about HIV/AIDS in mosques. The disease is still taboo in the country, so getting imams to buy into the importance of HIV education is a key component of prevention efforts. Imams are also trained to teach their communities how to treat people who have HIV with compassion and dignity.

Watch a preview of these pieces above and tune into our series beginning Tuesday of next week. Visit our global health page for features all next week, including reporter’s notebooks from Ray Suarez, slideshows, and a profile of an education initiative combating unemployment by teaching students to become entrepreneurs.