U.S. and Morocco Launch Partnership to Preserve the Kingdom's Diverse Cultural Heritage

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Greene joined H.E. André Azoulay, Senior Advisor to H.M. King Mohamed VI, at Bayt Dakira inEssaouira to launch a three-year USAID program aimed at recording and sharing hundreds of stories that capture the Kingdom’s rich multicultural history.

US Embassy in Morocco

This $3 million program, called the Religious and Ethnic Minorities Activity (REMA), will involve multiple communities in five cities, namely Fes,Azrou, Marrakech, Essaouira, and Tangier.

“Religious tolerance is a hallmark of Morocco’s history — from its welcoming of refugees fleeing theIberian Peninsulaat the end ofthe15thcentury tolate KingMohammed V’s efforts to protect Jews during World War II. It is also a critical part of the U.S.-Morocco partnership, built and nurtured over two hundred years,”Chargé Greene said.“We learn from each other, including best practices on how to celebrate and preservetheheritage of peaceful coexistence.”

Also participating in the launch were Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, President of the High Atlas Foundation, which is implementing the REMA program; Mr. Tarik Ottmani, the newly elected Mayor of Essaouira and President of Association Essaouira Mogador; H.E. Lamia Radi, Ambassador of Morocco to Norway and Iceland and President of the Foundation Memories for the Future; Mr. El Mehdi Boudra, President of Association Mimouna; and Ms. Cherifa Lalla Badr Alaoui, President of Association Miftah Essaâd pour la Préservation du Patrimoine Marocain.

“Morocco’s stories of its multicultural history are rich and unique,” expressed Dr. Ben-Meir. “The REMA program’s dedication to recording, preserving, and sharing those stories with the world are invaluable for both our generation and those to come.”

The High Atlas Foundation will work closely with 70 civil society organizations in select communities, helping them record their oral histories and ensuring that those stories can be shared with future generations through unique educational programs. The program will allow these communities to build broader relationships across the Kingdom and connect to the tourism industry, creating new economic opportunities. The program engages local communities to capture, preserve, and transmit their collective experience and narratives, allowing them to preserve their collective memories.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of US Embassy in Morocco.

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