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Casablanca celebrates twelve centuries of Moroccan history

By Hassan Benmehdi for Magharebia in Casablanca – 04/06/08

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Over a hundred Amazigh and Arab musicians came together last Thursday (May 28th) in the large and spectacular gardens of Méchouar to celebrate Morocco’s 1200 years of existence.

Organisers regard the on-stage fusion between two thousand-year-old musical traditions-- namely the Arab –Andalusian style of Al Alla and Amazigh--as a first in the history of Morocco. The effort required long months of rehearsal and work.

"These festivities represent a celebration for the whole population of a Morocco which is building its future and consolidating its position in the modern world, while still remaining proud of its past and its culture in all its many facts,…Amazigh, Arab-Andalusian, African, Mediterranean, Muslim and of course Jewish," Morocco 1200th Foundation executive director Ahmed Benseddik told Magharebia.

The Casablanca event is part of a series celebrating "Twelve centuries in the life of a Kingdom", and taking place throughout the country and around the world. Celebrations kicked off in Fez and will move to Marrakech next.

Casablanca called on more than 120 Amazigh and Arab musicians with well-established artistic careers, including Mohamed Briouel, Abderrahim Souiri, Idriss Bennis, Larbi Gharnati, Ahmed Ghazi, Khalid El Masmoudi, Outaleb Lmazoudi, Ali Aït Bella, Lhoucine Oubihi and Haj Aarab Itiki. Celebrated Amazigh artist Omar Amehrir co-ordinated the group.

Conductor Mohamed Briouel said that great efforts were made to meet the challenge of fusing two ancestral musical genres that are still very much alive.

"Fusing Arab-Andalusian and Amazigh music in fact symbolises Morocco, which is pluralist and enriched by its cultural diversity," said Mouad Jamaï, Secretary General of the Wilaya of Casablanca, describing the two genres as illustrations through music of two pillars of Moroccan civilisation.

The evening saw various musical tableaux as well as photo and video projections. At the end of the show, a giant human mosaic featuring 12 craftsmen was projected onto the Méchouar building.

"This evening, we have discovered a Moroccan harmony which is full symbolism and meaning," said Ibrahim, who was one of 1,000 guests in attendance.

"The artists and craftsmen have recalled our rich cultural memory, which we must safeguard at all costs," Sophia told Magharebia.

Organisers said Morocco is working, through these events, to bring the Kingdom’s historic, civilisational and cultural legacy alive for the public and tourists alike.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    adil 2010-5-3

    I agree with brother Said. For how long will this farce last? It's a shame to reduce the history of Morocco to 12 centuries. Nations are proud of their history and we are ashamed of it! Hasn’t the time come to extract these parasites by their roots, which sponge on the history of Morocco? I call upon anyone concerned about the history of Morocco to correct these historical fallacies, especially historians who've preferred to keep quiet instead of contributing to drafting the history of Morocco according to strict scientific methods. Cover all of the history of Morocco and not just focus one field, give consideration to all national symbols who contributed to building the history of Morocco.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Nekodeathkitty 2009-12-7

    when was Morocco founded? I want to know D:


  3. Anonymous thumb

    سعيد 2009-12-2

    For how long will this farce persist? Is it not a shame to reduce the history of Morocco to 12 centuries, given that nations are proud of their history and we are ashamed of it? Hasn't the time come to extract these parasites, which drain the history of Morocco from its roots? I call everyone who is concerned about the history of Morocco to contribute to correcting these historical fallacies, especially the historians who preferred to keep silent instead of writing the history of Morocco using solid scientific methods, and to focus the history of Morocco in its totality and not be limited to one field, and to try to rehabilitate all of the national symbols that contributed to building the history of Morocco.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    mohamed 2008-12-21

    By God, history will be a witness to the greatness of the history of Morocco. From Idrisside, Al Moravides, Marinides, Ouatassides, Saadis and Alaouis, this is clear evidence that Morocco has a powerful civilization heritage. Long live Morocco.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    عمر لغريب 2008-12-15

    I love my country a limitless love.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    hatim 2008-12-13

    I am a Moroccan. I would like to correct a large fault etched in our minds: the Kingdom was not built over 12 centuries; it is 12 centuries that Islam has been in the Kingdom. Please, do away with this mistake in your minds and correct yourselves. It is not your fault; it is the fault of whoever is writing these stupid things. They think that Moroccans are idiots. No, we are geniuses! We are geniuses!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    rim 2008-12-3

    thanks for this texte becquse i love and thank you all morrocans celebreting this moment 12CENTURIES OF MOROCAN HISTORY


  8. Anonymous thumb

    rim 2008-12-3

    I really liked this article. I printed out some copies here.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    سلمى 2008-11-30

    Salam. I thank you for this help and ask God to grant success.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    مهدي 2008-11-29

    Thank you for this great topic.


  11. Anonymous thumb

    مهدي 2008-11-27

    I am very happy for the elapse of 12 centuries.


  12. Anonymous thumb

    sana 2008-11-26

    Morocco is a nice country, courtesy of his majesty the king.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    خولة 2008-11-26

    Our grandfathers have protected this land so that we live in peace in order to complete what they began, develop it and build it.


  14. Anonymous thumb

    ياسين الرامي 2008-11-26

    I congratulate Morocco from the town of Taza.


  15. Anonymous thumb

    fati 2008-11-25

    Long live King Mohamed VI, long live the kingdom of Morocco!


  16. Anonymous thumb

    هند 2008-11-25

    I am a Moroccan woman but I don’t know when Morocco was founded. I want to know when Morocco was founded. What are the names of dynasties which succeeded in its rule?


  17. Anonymous thumb

    marouane m'channa 2008-11-25

    iloveyou mon blade


  18. Anonymous thumb

    mehdi 2008-11-25

    This celebration is very great. We have lived 12 centuries since the foundation of the city of Fès. It is a wonderful miracle.


  19. Anonymous thumb

    mehdi 2008-11-25

    You need to show Boujeloud square, all the city of Fès, artists and film directors who were in attendance.


  20. Anonymous thumb

    najlaà 2008-11-24

    This article is very great.


  21. Anonymous thumb

    imane 2008-11-23

    Morocco is a beautiful country.


  22. Anonymous thumb

    فرفورة 2008-11-23

    I want information about the history of Morocco since its foundation.


  23. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2008-11-19

    Morocco is an organized and nice country. We thank his majesty the king Mohamed VI, may God assist him.


  24. Anonymous thumb

    hala 2008-8-28

    I love my country!


  25. Anonymous thumb

    Hicham 2008-6-13

    It is sometimes comical that we celebrate "douze siècles d'histoire marocaine" (or twelve centuries of history) even though Morocco existed well before the creation of Fez. My suggestion to our historians is to research Moroccan history beyond the "12 centuries".


  26. Anonymous thumb

    andalusi 2008-6-7

    Long live Morocco with it long great history and heritage!


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