Saturday, 09 December 2023 11:57

"Moroccan immigration has highly enhanced the Netherlands" (HE Ms Désirée Bonis)

Wednesday, 05 April 2017
M. Abdellah Boussouf, Secrétaire général du Conseil de la communauté marocaine à l’étranger (CCME) et Son Excellence Mme Désirée Bonis, Ambassadeur des Pays-Bas au Maroc. M. Abdellah Boussouf, Secrétaire général du Conseil de la communauté marocaine à l’étranger (CCME) et Son Excellence Mme Désirée Bonis, Ambassadeur des Pays-Bas au Maroc.

The Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) payed tribute on 4 April 2017 to the first generations of Moroccans who settled in the Netherlands, at the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco (BNRM) in Rabat.

Her Excellency Ms. Désirée Bonis, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Morocco, Mr. Abdellah Boussouf, Secretary General of the Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad (CCME) and Mr. Abdellatif Maaroufi the author of the book and Mr, Hartog, the photographer inaugurated the activities.

In his opening speech Mr. Abdellah Boussouf said that the goal of the book and the exhibition « is to preserve the memory of Moroccan immigration, which is part of the national and human memory ".

He also explained that "the Moroccan immigration, principally the one from the Rif region,  has been able to learn the Dutch language and its ability to assimililate into European societies ».

Mr Boussouf said that the first generation of immigrants "perfectly  integrated in the host countries, unlike the new generations born in these countries".


The Secretary general added «  that the Dutch society has remained trusty to its values ​​of openness. The Netherlands has expressed its capacity to receive the other by rejecting the extreme right of Geert Wilders ».

Ms. Desiree Bonis, the Dutch ambassador in Morocco, congratulated the CCME for "its continued support to the Moroccans of the world" and said she  "highly appreciated" the invitation to attend both events this afternoon".


"Four hounded thousand of my fellow citizens are of Moroccan origin and I would like to say today that the Moroccan immigration has enormously enriched the Netherlands and the Dutch lifestyle," said the ambassador, adding how delighted she was "that this exhibition pays tribute to "400 years of bilateral relations and 50 years of sharing between Morocco and Holland".

Ms Désirée Bonis also named some Dutch personalities of Moroccan origin: "I quote Khadija Arib, President of the lower house, Hakim Ziyech, player of Ajax Amsterdam and selected to the national team Moroccan football, Ahmed Boutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam, voted personality of the year in the Netherlands in 2014 ... ".

For his part, the Photographer, Mr Robert de Hartog spoke on the "tragic events of 1972, when some Dutch people took advantage of the situation of newly arrived immigrants in Rotterdam by inflicting much more expensive rents to the newcomers" adding, "at that time, I knew some of them, who were of Moroccan origin, and I decided to solemnize these moments of sharing and friendship by taking  pictures ".He said "that at that time no one would have thought that one day a certain Ahmed Boutaleb would become mayor of their city".

Mr. Abdellatif Maaroufi,the author of  the book "History of Moroccans in the Netherlands: Presence and Memory", explained the historical steps described in this book.

The inauguration of the exhibition was followed by the screening of the documentary film "Anâaq! ", produced by the Hiwaar Association in the Netherlands and Sharpeye production with the film crew. The screening was followed by a debate on the history of immigration in Rif.


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