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اطلب الأشجار GIVE TODAY

A Cup of Tea with the Taste of Identity

Version arabic By: Noureddine El-Bahri Memories from our lives come to us on the strings of new experiences, some of which let us indulge in reminiscences and relive the magic of past moments again. I went through this experience with the team of the High Atlas Foundation, which organized a new (at least for me)

HAF Announces New Chief of Party for the USAID Dakira Program

Dear colleagues, I am grateful to announce that Rim Baji is the new Chief of Party of the USAID Dakira program. An expert in communication, media, and youth initiatives, Rim has a proven track record of designing and implementing successful programs within the United Nations system and civil society sector. Appointed initially as Deputy Chief

Dakira: Forging Collaborative Pathways Toward Greater Social Solidarity

By Soukaina Kherdioui and Amal Mansouri Dakira Cultural Coordinators  Mohammed, from Ighram commune in the Taroudant province, poses with a sign that promotes interfaith solidarity, quoting: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” October 2022. Photo: HAF “I learned that, in the past, people lived together in harmony even though they had different religions. I also learned

A Year of Dakira – عام من برنامج ذاكرة

The USAID Dakira (Arabic for “memory”) program was officially launched in October 2021. In celebrating the completion of its first year, we are delighted to launch the first Dakira newsletter, which provides a general overview of the program, highlights milestones and activities so far, and calls on the Moroccan people and diaspora to reflect and share

Reviving the Toumliline Monastery

By Lamia Radi, President of Fondation Mémoires pour l’Avenir In Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains, near the town of Azrou, travelers come for hiking or to see the famed macaque apes in the cedar forest. Near Azrou, nestled high in the mountains and overlooking the green valleys below, the Toumliline Monastery was established by a group


By Hajiba Boumasmar, HAF Program Manager An Imagine empowerment workshop with Tighermine women’s cooperative in Ait Bougmez commune. Photo: HAF Fatima is a 60-year-old mother of a young man who she feels is not responsible, unfortunately, even for his children. He does not have defined goals to achieve or his own dream to realize. Fatima

Casablanca, the Spiritual Capital of Moroccan Judaism

By Omaima Khalil El Fanne, Dakira Cultural Coordinator Mrs. Suzanne Abittan (right), President of the Association Moroccans for Tolerance, with HAF team member Omaima Khalil (left) at the great synagogue Temple Beth-El. Photo: Synagogue Guardian/HAF. On July 14, 2022, in Casablanca, I had my first visit to synagogues and museums of Moroccan Judaism. It was

Heritage Education at an Elementary School

By Omaima Khalil Elfanne, Dakira Cultural Coordinator Elementary school in the Tiznit province discovers the cultural heritage of the city. Photo: HAF Culture refers to the knowledge, tools, and attitudes accumulated over generations that permeate the child’s immediate environment, including the cultural “practices” of nuclear family members and relatives, tangible and intangible heritage, traditions and

Sharing Across Languages: A Reflection of Dialogue between UCA and HAF

By Grace Gray, HAF-UVa student intern Rabia, Amit, Kaoutar, Grace. For the first few minutes of our conversation with law students from University Cadi Ayyad this June, these were the only words our group collectively understood: our names. I latched onto each one like an island amidst churning seas of less-understood Darija and English supplemented

Moroccan Doors: A History of Humility and Heritage

Lede: In Morocco, most doors shed light on the country’s past and present. By Sabine Stratmann, HAF-UVA volunteer A door in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo: Sabine Stratmann/HAF Gazing at doors in Morocco is like time-traveling into the depths of Moroccan history. In medinas as well as the newer areas of the cities, both modern and centuries-old

Intercultural Identity Mapping: Identity Workshop with the University of Cadi Ayyad and University of Virginia

By Addie Simkin, HAF-UVa student intern On Monday morning, June 6, the High Atlas Foundation’s office was crowded with young people. Law students from the University Cadi Ayyad who work with the HAF’s legal aid clinic arrived to participate in an identity mapping workshop with the UVA interns. HAF’s Ikbale Bouziane facilitated our dialogue and

Finding Common Ground in Multicultural Conversations

by Zoe Costello, HAF-UVA student intern How can you sum up a topic as broad as gender or race in 15 minutes? Is it possible to have such discussions with a large language barrier and between two cultures that have widely different understandings of the concepts? These are questions I pondered after completing a workshop

A Vision for the Future: Tiznit’s Agricultural and Spiritual Cultivation

Ryan Winegardner, UVA/HAF student-intern The road to Tiznit from Marrakech runs through the mountains, a landscape that floats and rises and arcs like the mezzanines and cantilevers and walkways of what could only be a heavenly architecture. Over the red and rocky landscape, the mountains truly seemed to be the spires of fairy-tale castles, and

Development as an Anagram

By Sabine Stratmann HAF-UVA Intern Three interns sitting across from me sparked a game to play. One girl suggested that the people around her should shout out random words, and that she would attempt to make a short story out of those randomly chosen phrases. The boy and girl next to her agreed to attempt

Coring a Community

By Addie Simkin   When geologists drill core samples, they’re making historic records in the form of cylinders of ice that contain the climate conditions of hundreds of thousands of years ago. The scientists can select a point on a field of ice, drill into the earth to collect it, and from that sample understand the

Finding Zen in Cemeteries

By Ryan Winegardner, UVa-HAF Student Intern Keely Fitzsimmons/HAF In the fog at the third school we visited outside Tiznit, I stood on the rocks on the hill and wondered what lay beyond. I could see only a few meters out because of the fog, which hung like a great white curtain separating me from the

كأس شاي بطعم الهوية

Version english بقلم: نور الدين البحري تأتينا الذكريات من حياتنا على أوتار التجارب الجديدة، بعضها يسحبنا إليها لأجل العودة لتخيل سحرها مرة أخرى والتنقل بين لحظاتها الفريدة والمميزة ، لا شبيه لها ، لا في تفاصيل كبيرة ولا صغيرة ، يسهل تمييزها وفرزها من بين الذكريات. هذه تجربة أمُرُّ بها مع فريق مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير

Experience Dakira: Diversity and Home in ‘Little Jerusalem’

By Sabine Stratmann, UVa student/HAF volunteer What is an example of ‘home’? This question was asked numerous times during the Experience Dakira conference held from June 8, 2022 to June 10, 2022. With visitors from France, Africa, America, and other places of the world, each person attending Experience Dakira traveled to Marrakech to learn of

“Experience Dakira” Conference gathers civil society and community stakeholders from around Morocco for the preservation and transmission of the Kingdom’s diverse cultural heritage

Français | العربية PRESS RELEASE “Experience Dakira” Conference gathers civil society and community stakeholders from around Morocco for the preservation and transmission of the Kingdom’s diverse cultural heritage Marrakech (June 10, 2022) – The USAID Dakira program, implemented by the High Atlas Foundation, successfully hosted its first conference, called “Experience Dakira,” at the Palm Plaza Hotel in

Coming Together for Cultural Preservation and Celebration

By Zoe Costello, HAF Intern and University of Virginia Student Zoe Costello with HAF team at the Experience Dakira Conference, June 2022. Photo: HAF “We want the youth to acquire the city and all the values it embodies.” This quote, stated by a participant in the Experience Dakira Conference, embodies a huge component of the

Creating Cross-Cultural Connections

By Kelsey Cashman, UVA Student/HAF Volunteer Photo by Kaoutar Ait Lahaj, HAF Program Coordinator From June 8-10, the High Atlas Foundation organized “Experience Dakira,” a conference of multiple organizations dedicated to enhancing religious and cultural preservation, learning, and social cohesion in Morocco as part of the USAID Dakira program. Immediately upon walking into the Palm

Many Threads, One Fabric: Akrich and Moroccan Culture

Ryan Winegardner, UVa/HAF student-intern When the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) team took the University of Virginia interns to Akrich, it was the first time we had left the red walls and palm trees and cool avenues of Marrakech since arriving four days previously. Compared to Charlottesville, it was a landscape enveloped in the wind and

The One Hundredth Anniversary of Al Mansour Eddahbi Middle School

Ryan Winegardner, UVa/HAF student intern There was a holiday atmosphere at Al Mansour Eddahbi Middle School when the HAF team arrived on the 26th of May, 2022. Children were arranging display tables in the shade of the cloister; the eighth grade girls were just beginning to emerge from their dorms in multicolored kaftans; the schoolchildren’s

Meeting at the Jewish Synagogue in Gueliz, Marrakech

By Mohammed Chadli, Dakira Cultural Coordinator /p> Mr. Jacky Kadoch explains Hebrew symbols to HAF-Dakira Field Coordinators. Photo: Jamal Maghziou/HAF In May, I participated in a field visit in Marrakech with fellow Dakira teammates and colleagues from the American Society for Overseas Research (ASOR), a High Atlas Foundation partner who is also implementing a project

The Centenary Anniversary of Al Manssour Eddahbi School

By Mohammed Chadli, Dakira Field Coordinator Some Muslim and Jewish former students and students from the University of Virginia, HAF President Yossel Ben-Meir, and Dakira Field Coordinators Mohammed and Ikbale. Photo: Jamal Maghiouzi On Thursday, May 26, 2022, Al Manssour Eddahbi Secondary School in Marrakech celebrated the centenary of its establishment. The presence of the

The Jewish Days of Tangier

By Soukaina Kherdioui, Dakira Cultural Coordinator As part of the celebration for International Women’s Day, the Amis du Judaïsme Marocain Association (AAJM) and Lorin Foundation launched the first edition of the Jewish Days of Tangier. The event, which was held on March 10-12, was aimed at celebrating Tangier as a cosmopolitan city and the crossroads

Cemetery of Tiznit

By Omaima Khalil El Fanne, Dakira Cultural Coordinator Cemetery of Tiznit, Photo credit: Jamal Maghiouzi/HAF On Saturday, February 26, 2022, two Dakira Cultural Coordinators had the opportunity to visit the Jewish cemetery of Tiznit, which is located outside the Great Wall of Tiznit. This cemetery was restored in 2016 by Mrs. Georgette Moyale, a Jewish

Cultivating Stewards of Cultural and Environmental Heritage at Mohamed Elchaikh Primary Schools, Tisfane-Taroudant

Jamal Maghiouzi, Dakira Cultural Coordinator Early in March, I had the opportunity to co-lead, alongside Youssef Tahiri from HAF’s tree team, cultural, environmental, and social activities for the students of Mohamed Elchaikh primary schools in the villages of the Tisfane rural commune. The members of the Tisfane community and its civil society contributed to the

Ibn Khaldoun, the Memory of Ouijjane

By Omaima Khalil El Fanne, Dakira Cultural Coordinator Students of Ibn Khaldoun primary school are planting olive trees. Photo taken 28 February,2022 by Omaima Khalil ELFANNE. Ibn Khaldoun isan army base that was restored in 1953 as an agricultural school by Mrs. Morice and her husband, a French couple. They made a school there, rehabilitated

The Forum of Culture and Dialogue in its first edition was titled: “Moroccan Culture and The Radiance of Pluralistic Values”

By Ikbale Bouziane HAF-Dakira Cultural Coordinator Moroccan Jewish people’s material and moral conditions and cultural identity are important as a subject of study at this time given the significant role that Moroccan Jewish heritage plays in the tributaries that form the Moroccan identity. According to today’s successful cultural development options, the Jewish dimension in Morocco’s