Tag Archives: history

Medieval Morocco Exhibition in Rabat

Medieval Morocco Exhibition in Rabat 2015

Photo: Musée Mohammed VI d’Art Moderne et Contemporain

After a critically-acclaimed run in Paris, the Medieval Morocco exhibition, which was part of the Parisian Moroccan Autumn, comes to Rabat. The exhibition features work spanning 5 centuries from when the Moorish influence was at its greatest. The artefacts have been assembled from the Iberian Peninsula as well as North and West Africa.

The exhibition is now on and runs until 1 June. If you are in Morocco over the next months, it’s not to be missed! Read my review here.

Marrakech: The Story of Lalla Zohra

Koutoubia mosque MarrakechThe Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most famous landmarks of Marrakech. Close by is the white-washed dome of the tomb of Lalla Zohra. Who was Lalla Zohra? And why do Marrakchi women visit her tomb? Find out the answers and more in my post for Travel Exploration here.

The Berber Silver Jewellery of Morocco

Morocco Berber Silver JewelleryThe origins of Morocco’s traditions in jewellery and silversmithing are a reflection of the country’s position along the routes of the camel trains and its historical cultural diversity. To learn about the Berber silver jewellery of Morocco, the wedding jewellery traditions, the significance of the fibula or the ancient craft of Jewish artisans passed through the generations, read my article for Travel Exploration here.

Morocco: Berber Silver Jewellery

Morocco’s Jewish Berber History

Muslims and Jews of Mogador pray together for rain

Muslims and Jews of Mogador pray together for rain

Many visitors to Morocco are surprised to learn of the country’s cultural diversity. Although today a majority Arab Muslim country, Morocco has a significant Jewish past (and present) as well as indigenous Amazigh (also known as Berber) population who pre-date the Arab immigration. A fascinating aspect of Morocco’s history is where Berber and Jewish history and culture intertwine.

Read the article I wrote for Journey Beyond Travel on this interesting part of Morocco’s diverse history here. (Unfortunately the article is not visible to internet users in Morocco).

It was re-published by Morocco World News and is visible to all internet users here.

Cet article est disponible en français ici.

Unearthing the Secrets of Essaouira’s Jewish Cemeteries

the 'new' Jewish cemetery in Essaouira
the ‘new’ Jewish cemetery in Essaouira

Essaouira-Mogador occupies a unique place in the history of Morocco. This is largely based on the exceptional unity of social, philosophical and cultural relations between communities of diverse religious faiths. The High Atlas Foundation and its many local partners have initiated a preservation and maintenance program for the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish cemeteries in Essaouira, which stand as present-day reminders of the peaceful and prosperous coexistence of the past.

Essaouira has two Jewish cemeteries: the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. The photograph (left) shows Malika, the caretaker of both, in the new cemetery. I was very privileged to visit both cemeteries with Asher Knafo, who is a poet, writer, and researcher of the history of Jewish Mogador. Several members of his family are buried in the new cemetery. An article I wrote about my day with Asher was published by Scoop in New Zealand. Read it here.

Working with Moroccan communities: the High Atlas Foundation

Essaouira Mogador Jews and Muslims pray for rain

Jews and Muslims pray for rain

Since leaving up my work in the UK civil service to move to Morocco, I have been very fortunate to find work as Project and Development Manager at the High Atlas Foundation. HAF is a Moroccan association and US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to participatory development through local, national, and international partnerships. The HAF philosophy is to create an inclusive process for community development that relies on the participation of all local stakeholders, and especially the most marginalized groups.

I have been working for HAF since February 2013 and recently wrote a guest post for Drops of Elixir about an inter-cultural heritage project I manage in Essaouira, Morocco. Read my guest post here.

Tinghir-Jerusalem: les échoes du Mellah

source - www.bozar.be

source – www.bozar.be

In the week where hostilities in between Israel and Palestine are in the news once again, a film about halcyon days of Muslim-Jewish coexistence was all the more poignant. And the film had all the more impact because it was made – not by a nostalgic Jew, but by a young historian and film-maker of many identities, none of which was Jewish or Israeli.

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