Wednesday, 24 April 2024 20:00

Mr Abdellah BOUSSOUF: the CCME publishes an encyclopedia to preserve Moroccan identity among younger generations

Saturday, 10 June 2023

On Friday 9 June 2023, Mr Abdellah BOUSSOUF, Secretary General of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME), gave a lecture at the Council's pavilion at the Rabat book fair, presenting the Encyclopedia "Moroccan Civilization, from Tangible to Intangible Heritage".

The encyclopedia of Moroccan civilization, which the CCME is preparing to publish, has been produced by a group of leading researchers and academics and is founded on several principles.

The concept of bringing together the elements of Moroccan culture in an encyclopedia arose out of the results of a survey carried out by the CCME over the last two years. "Out of a sample of 1,400 young people of Moroccan descent from 6 European countries, 96% claimed to return to Morocco every year, showing a strong sense of attachment, but more importantly they expressed a desire and a need to learn more about their culture of origin".

This scientific project's documented narratives are a response to this need, by highlighting how Morocco is a link between cultures, with universal values that have been renewed as the world changes.

"At a time when many countries are experiencing tensions over identity and a sense of division and individualism, Morocco has shown its values of compassion and solidarity during the Covid crisis in many ways, the most telling being the financial transfers from Moroccans worldwide to their home countries, which have experienced an unexpected rebound : an increase of 5% in 2021 and 20% in 2022, despite the difficulties".

In all modesty, we have "a culture that brings with it elements of solution and peace that are inherent in our history, but which we do not show to their true value", explained Mr Boussouf. "To deal with the crises of identity malaise that lead to a number of social ills, including terrorism, for example, we cannot be content with the security approach; we need cultural inspiration to build peace in people's minds".

In terms of peace and coexistence, Morocco "is undoubtedly unique in the world". Throughout history, "Jews and Muslims in Morocco have had a special relationship, which has evolved from a simple dialogue to a respectful and interactive neighbourhood". As far as their community is concerned, "the Jews of Morocco stand out worldwide for their indelible attachment to their country of origin thanks to a value that is once again inherent in our culture, that of the golden mean". The golden mean "is a Moroccan spirit that can be found in all aspects of Moroccan culture, including religion", said Mr Boussouf.

Even more than this cultural singularity, Morocco's history has also been characterized by its women's actions. In fact, one volume of the encyclopedia has been dedicated to the work of women. They include "Fatima Al Fihria, who built the first mosque in Morocco, and her sister who built the Mosque of Andalusia in Fez".

The Encyclopedia of Moroccan Civilisation highlights the freedom of thought and coexistence in Morocco, stemming from a spirit of tolerance and openness which extends to the political sphere. "We all know that Morocco is the first country to have recognized the independence of the United States of America of the British Empire, but we omit to recognize that it was a position against the largest empire of the time. A Kingdom which recognizes the independence of a Republic from another Kingdom is a sign of its respect for different political orientations".

Mr Boussouf concluded by reminding the audience that the family is the main vector for transmitting all these values through history. "Morocco's World Cup participation has shown the world, as well as the footballing performance of the Moroccan national team, the importance of the family values and the special bond that each individual has with the mother, this pillar of our education, a position that new generations continue to cherish".

"All these values and many more should now, more than ever, constitute the ideological foundation that unites us in our socio-economic progress," concluded Mr Boussouf.


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