Context Morocco is home to a rich multicultural mosaic of languages, ethnicities and religions; both geographically and culturally, the Kingdom sits at a crossroads between Africa and Europe.
HAF endeavors to promote dialogue and unity while increasing awareness of Morocco’s rich history of collaboration between diverse groups.
Together, HAF and local communities are taking immediate action to preserve Morocco’s multicultural past and record the memories of peaceful coexistence and intertwined history among its Muslim majority together with minority Christian and Jewish communities.
These groups have lived and worked side by side for centuries - a rare narrative of peaceful cooperation in a region marked by inter-religious turmoil. HAF and local partners intend to promote this history, particularly among Moroccan youth, in the hope of reframing discussions of interfaith relationships in North Africa and the Middle East.
Promoting Multiculturalism and Dialogue
The HAF celebrates Moroccan multiculturalism through its participatory approach, in which community members identify development priorities for a sustainable impact. Together with community partners, HAF has undertaken interfaith projects in education, restoration, and agriculture. These projects create a symbol - on local, national and global levels level - of collaboration among different social groups.
Impact and the Future:
The HAF has preserved three cemeteries in Essaouira - one Muslim, one Christian and one Jewish - including clearing, planting and restoration activities. By offering educational presentations and cemetery visits, HAF has increased the awareness of Moroccan history of unity and diversity among 450 local youth. One hundred and twenty members of civil society organizations participated in capacity building during the cemetery restoration project.
In Essaouira, HAF and local partners have developed proposals to restore the Portuguese church and the Slat El Kahal Synagogue in order for them to serve as space for local civil associations to meet and work. Partners have also identified various mosques, madrasas and zawiyas for renovation. We have also developed proposals for intercultural dialogue. Please contact HAF for more information.
The Moroccan Jewish Community of Marrakech has also lent five parcels of arable land to HAF in order to build community tree nurseries. One nursery of 50,000 saplings was planted in the village of Akraich (Al Haouz province), and HAF is seeking partners to build the remaining four nurseries.