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Wells, Water, and Planting Trees in Adar

Jamal Maghiouzi HAF Field Coordinator, Dakira The HAF Team holding a participatory community meeting. Photo by: Fatima Mrini/HAF On Tuesday 4, January 2022, I went with Youssef Tahiri, HAF Project Manager for the Youth Conservation Corps program, to see the khettara, or irrigation system, in Tifrka village, Adar commune. Mr. Hassan Ouakzin and Mr. Mohamed

M’Suud and Mohammed: A Tale of Two Friends

M’Suud And Mohammed: A Tale Of Two Friends, Scoop world. Arabic: Beirut times, 07 January 2022. By Youssef Enouiti | Marrakech, Morocco Overlooking the Green River Valley and village cluster of Oulad Amer, Larbi Soukab makes his daily trek on donkey-back with bamboo cane in hand to check on the growth of his land. Photo:

Tikkun Olam: Preserving the Planet through Cultural Celebrations

Arabic version Saplings grow at a community-based fruit tree nursery supported by the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) in Morocco. (Photo: HAF, 2021) It is common that each religion has its own new year celebrations that mark events or simply cherish the divine orders of days and months. These festivities usually mark the end or beginnings

Our Culture Is Our Wealth

By Bouchra Zine, HAF Field Officer I have always believed that training is an important and interesting way to meet people who you might not normally connect with: people from different age groups, ethnicities, or social groups. It is like some kind of magic that allows you to meet a wide variety of people from

A Seed of Hope for Interfaith Cooperation

By Catrin Waters What is universal about the human experience? And what does it have to do with planting trees? Let’s start at the beginning. An amorphous concept of where we came from and why seems to be at the center of each religion, philosophical group, and to some extent academic discipline. Why are we

Contemporary Sufism in Morocco: Pathways to Coexistence

By Soukaina Kherdioui On Thursday, December 16, I had the chance to attend a Conference-debate organized by Al Mowafaqa Institute during which Dr. Amina Mesgguid, doctoral researcher in Social Anthropology at the Center for Global Studies (CGS), provided interesting insights on contemporary Sufism and its evolution in Morocco. Her research focuses on “Contemporary expressions of

Morocco and Israel First Anniversary of Renewed Diplomatic Ties: A Commemoration of a Shared Past, Present and Future

By Amal Mansouri and Soukaina Kherdioui, REMA Field Coordinators On Wednesday, December 22, 2021, the embassies of the United States and Israel in Morocco celebrated the first anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic ties between Morocco and Israel. The celebration was attended by several high-level profiles, including ambassadors, diplomats, religious leaders, and representatives of the

Multiculturalism in Sefrou

By Amal Mansouri, HAF Field Coordinator, REMA Pictures from different angles and neighborhoods of the old medina Morocco is renowned for its hospitality, diversity and multiculturalism. Out of all the places where you can sense the existence of these concepts, we find them most easily in the facades, ancient corners and long past laid bricks

Living Together: Religious Coexistence in Morocco

Living Together: Religious Coexistence In Morocco, Scoop. Arabic: Sot Aliraq, 11 December 2021.  By Mohamed El Kadiri, HAF Program Coordinator The fascinating site we came across is located in Erfoud, a small tranquil town in the southeast of Morocco, about 70 km from Errachidia. Our visit was initially aimed at monitoring fruit trees distributed to

Visiting the Jewish Past of Morocco

by Noah C. Kohlmayer – HAF Volunteer On Tuesday, December 7, my two fellow Austrian volunteers and I had the opportunity to join Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir for the last class he taught for the University of Virginia at the Jewish cemetery in the Mellah of Marrakech. Now, what is a Mellah?  In Marrakech, the Mellah

Cemeteries Waiting to Be Visited and Remembered

– Moroccan Cemeteries Waiting to be Visited and Remembered, San Diego Jewish World. By Yossef Ben-Meir Marrakech In early July, I set out with colleagues of the High Atlas Foundation—a U.S. and Moroccan non-for-profit organization—to meet with agricultural cooperatives in Morocco to understand their needs and goals and create action plans toward lasting development. Along

The Challenging Yet Beneficial Relationship between Human Rights and Development

Abigail Hall HAF-UVA Intern Although the intersection between human rights and development is clear, the two are often approached separately and have therefore evolved into two separate categories. It can be easy to focus on their distinctions and differences from one another rather than seeing the way that they actually mutually boost and aid each

Honoring Akrich: A Day of Multicultural Love

By Julian Stoiber, HAF Volunteer View from first High Atlas Foundation (HAF) House of Life interfaith fruit tree nursery in the village of Akrich. November 2021. Photo: Julian Stoiber/HAF The Akrich tree nursery, about half an hour outside of Marrakech, was the first among many nurseries that the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) brought into being.

Seeds of Memory: Celebrating the Heritage and Community of Akrich

By: Jennan Al-Hamdouni, Director of Engagement and Advocacy, REMA U.S. Consul General Lawrence Randolph and President of the Jewish Community in the Marrakech-Safi region Jacky Kadoch at the first High Atlas Foundation (HAF) House of Life interfaith nursery in Akrich. November 2021. Photo: HAF What brings people together in celebration of heritage, cultural identity, and

Preserving the memory of the “Argan city:” Morocco’s civil society at the crossroads of cultures

By Fatima Zahra Laaribi Program Manager, Women’s Empowerment HAF and Association Bayti meet with 13 local CSOs who are preserving local heritage in Essaouira. Many treasures are hidden within the coastal Mogador city, today known as Essaouira, which is characterized by its rich, multidimensional culture. This small city is a melting pot of Amazighen, Arab,

Visiting Essaouira’s Past and Present with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires David Greene

By Yossef Ben-Meir, Ph.D. President, High Atlas Foundation I had the opportunity, for which I am grateful, to visit together with Mr. David Greene, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, the Jewish and Christian cemeteries in the incredible city of Essaouira. The day prior, we had launched with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) its new

U.S. and Morocco launch partnership to preserve the Kingdom’s diverse cultural heritage

French version Arabic version Essaouira – U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Greene joined H.E. André Azoulay, Senior Advisor to H.M. King Mohamed VI, at Bayt Dakira in the Mellah of Essaouira to launch a three-year USAID program aimed at recording and sharing hundreds of stories that capture the Kingdom’s rich multicultural history. This $3 million

Building our Communities through Personal Identity

By Jennan Al-Hamdouni I first arrived in Morocco in December 2011 to serve in the US Peace Corps as a development volunteer. I lived in Agourai, a small town in the Middle Atlas Mountains until 2015, when I returned to the States to complete a master’s in humanitarian aid and conflict resolution. The nature of

Creating and Codifying the Right to Be Remembered

Creating and Codifying the Right to be Remembered, Global Research. • Arabic: Sot Al iraq, 21 September 2021. Yossef Ben-Meir, Emily Oksen, and Kristin O’Donoghue The Jewish cemetery in Tisfen – and its memory is fading – located in the Taroudant province of Morocco (High Atlas Foundation, 2021) It is human nature to wish to be remembered. We

The Significance of the New Signage at the Ouarzazate Tree Nursery in Morocco

– The Significance of the New Signage at the Ouarzazate Tree Nursery in Morocco, The Policy Times. By Yossef Ben-Meir Marrakech Twenty-seven years ago, I lived in a village called Amsouzerte in the Tifnoute Valley, the south side of the High Atlas Mountains, closeby to the burial location of the Moroccan-Hebrew saint David-Ou-Mouche. The Tifnoute

Sustainable Development through Mother Tongue and Multilingualism

Promote sustainable development through multilingualism – opinion, The Jerusalem Post. • Arabic: Nabd, 14 August 2021. • French: Liberte-Algerie, 25 August 2021. by Yossef Ben-Meir and Ellen Hernandez Human languages family tree, 2014. When community meetings are held to determine priority development projects in villages, in neighborhoods, in schools, in agricultural fields—wherever they may take place—we want

My Participation in “Preserving and Transmitting Memory to Anchor Otherness,” a Webinar Organized by Rabita Mohammedia des Oulémas

By Hajiba Boumasmar, HAF Program Coordinator Our country is full of history and cultures that connect between two communities, those of Moroccan Muslims and Moroccan Jews. We work together, constantly trying to preserve our culture so that it is not lost to new developments the world over. I want to share my experience at the

The Importance of Plants in Religious Art

The Importance of Plants in Religious Art, San Diego Jewish World. By Prof. Ellen Hernandez MARRAKECH, Morocco — What is the message conveyed by the representation of plants in religious text? What do the images that these references bring to our minds tell us about a people and a society? These are questions posed by

Updates on the Tadmamt and Akrich Fruit Tree Nurseries

By Said Bennani, HAF Project Manager and HAF Team HAF Project Manager Said Bennani, Driver Abdelghani Kastih, and volunteer Youssef Tahri, all visited the Tadmamt and Akrich nurseries on June 3, 2021, to start off an insightful visit and viewing of the communities. The first stop was in Tadmamt, where they met assistant nursery caretaker

The Role of Women in Mimouna: A Moroccan-Jewish Celebration of Creation and Cultural Diversity

Mimouna, Women, and Morocco’s Creative Cultural Diversity, Morocco World News, By Shivani Lakshman  HAF-UVA Intern. By Shivani Lakshman HAF-UVA Intern On Tuesday, April 6, the Mimouna Association hosted a virtual event titled “Celebrating Mimouna: From a Feminine Perspective.” The Mimouna Association is a non-profit founded in 2007 by Muslim students aiming to promote and preserve

The High Atlas Foundation and University Cadi Ayyad Sign a Partnership Agreement

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF President On Friday, March 26, 2021, Cadi Ayyad University (UCA) President Professor Moulay Lhassan Hbid and myself, HAF’s President Yossef Ben-Meir, signed a partnership agreement at the Wilaya of Marrakech-Safi. Also in attendance were Dr. Driss Ouaouicha, the Minister Delegate in charge of Higher Education in Morocco, and the Wali

Marrakech: Discovering the Akrich Nursery, at the Heart of a Jewish Cemetery

Written by Hajar Toufik, Journalist, in Arabic Translated into English by Kaoutar Ait Lahaj, HAF Program Coordinator The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) continues to develop its projects relating to the creation of organic tree nurseries by using the arable land belonging to the Moroccan Jewish community.  Nearly ten years ago, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF),

Fundraising in the Time of Covid-19, and After: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities

Written by Tahi Wiggins and derived from a presentation by Hudson Ferris, hosted by NCheng LLP With the massive economic trauma brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, one may expect that charitable giving would have taken a similar downturn. However, such was not the case. Although the beginning of the pandemic saw an 8% dip

The Power of Trees for a Sustainable Future

Bezawit Mesfin Bogale HAF-UVA Intern  Trees play a vital role in preserving the environment for generations. The environment is key for survival in terms of not only health but also association with one another in our community. It is known that trees give off oxygen, reduce the amount of stormwater, provide natural habitat, and contribute

Multiculturalism Enables, Reinvigorates Participatory Approach Development

Ian MacPherson HAF UVa Student Intern Nov 5, 2018—  High Atlas Foundation facilitates a women’s IMAGINE workshop adapted for Moroccan cultural and religious practices. Deep relationships maintained over time and a global scope at a local scale characterize the participatory approach to development. Methods grouped under the umbrella of participation vary widely, and are formed