Category Archives: Morocco and Moroccans

The berber jewish culture in Morocco

  Click Here!      Since Jewish traders settled in the Land of the Berbers more than 2,000 years ago, Moroccan Jewry has had a unique culture, mingling Jewish and North African influences. It also constitutes one of the most successful models of political and religious coexistence in the Islamic world. But with the upheavals of the twentieth century, the question is whether Moroccan Jewry will retain its character and identity into the twenty-first century.

Routes of Exile: A Moroccan Jewish Odyssey

Routes of Exile traces the history of this branch of Jewry – from the first “Berber Jews” to the vast migration and new tensions set off by the creation of the State of Israel. The film takes a particularly probing look at the most recent stage of the journey – social and political changes in Israel, the struggle for identity in France and Canada, and the increasing isolation of the remnant that remains behind in Morocco.

Moroccan-Jewish culture on display

Exchanging cultures
“Especially with today’s tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims this exhibition is of utmost importance,” Janrense Boonstra, director of the Biblical Museum said. “I expect a lot of Moroccan visitors to come and I think the exhibition will be a surprise for them.”

The vast majority of Dutch Moroccans are Muslims and have a Berber-background. What the Dutch Muslims usually don’t know is that Jews and Berbers were living peacefully together in Morocco. There was even an important mutualcultural exchange for centuries before the arrival of Arabic culture and with the Arab conquest during the 8th century.

“For many centuries the Jewish community formed the most important minority in Morocco,” Boonstra said. “Based on their culture, this community can be divided into two separate groups. The first one is the native group, the toshavim in Hebrew, who have been living in rural areas for ages.”

The second group is the dispelled group, the Megorashim, who mainly lived in the cities. The Megorashim, expelled from Spain and Portugal in the fifteenth century where rich and literate.

“The difference between these two can be clearly seen in the exhibition,” he said.

The exhibition was set up among others with the help of the Dutch-Moroccan Jew Sami Kaspi. Rabat-born Kaspi created the Foundation Maimon seven years ago to promote Moroccan-Jewish culture and to foster the good ties between different religions.

It was Kaspi that brought the Biblical Museum into contact with Paul Dahan from Brussels. Most of the objects used in this exhibition are from the private collection of Dahan, who owns one of the largest collections of its kind in Europe.

‘Eternal bond’

“Most Moroccan Jews, like Kaspi, have a very strong, eternal bond with their tradition and heritage which is completely intertwined with the history of Morocco and the Moroccan-monarchy. That’s what we want to show,” Boonstra said. “Compare them with the Russian Jews for instance. They wouldn’t think about returning to the former Sovjet Union. Moroccan Jews though return often from Israel or France to visit the graves of famous rabbis for instance.”

There are many of them in Morocco. More than 120 graves of righteous Jews are alsoworshipped by Muslims.

“That makes this shared history so special,” he said.

Although Morocco’s monarchs, including the current king, have traditionally sworn to protect the country’s Jews, the community has fallen from 350,000 to 3,500 in half a century. Most young Jews have emigrated either to Europe or to Israel, where some 700,000 people claim Moroccan origin.
Morocco held local elections last Friday, in which the country’s main legal Islamic party, the Justice and Development party, made modest gains, despite a campaign against it by Moroccan authorities and the pro-government press, which have accused it of “moral responsibility” for the May 16 attacks.
Jews claim to have been present in the Maghreb since the synagogue at Djerba, Tunisia, was founded around 586BC. Their numbers were multiplied many times over when Spanish Jews were expelled from their country in 1492.
The Jewish community in Tunisia, reduced from 100,000 to 2,000 in 50 years, has also been attacked. The Djerba synagogue was attacked by a suicide bomber who killed 21 people in April 2002.

Berber Jewellery: The Culture beyond the Glitter

    Berber jewellery serves a much wider purpose than simple adornment. The jewellery a woman wears identifies her as a member of a clan or tribe, it is a sign of her wealth, it reflects cultural traditions and it has power beyond the visual, to protect her from the evil eye.A woman will receive jewellery from her mother until she marries. For her marriage, her future husband will commission his mother or sister to provide jewellery for her and these will be kept by her as dowry and added to throughout her life.
This jewellery will always be made of silver, as gold is considered evil. Necklaces are important, the traditional assemblage in the southern oasis valleys sometimes featuring talismans of silver, pink coral, amazonite, amber,Czech glass and West African ebony beads. A woman will also have bracelets, fibulas (elaborate brooches, often triangular, used for fastening garments), anklets, earrings and headdresses. Some pieces will be worn every day, others – the finest – will be saved for occasions such as festivals, pilgrimages and funerals.The protective, medicinal and magical properties of jewellery are extremely important. The necklaces contain charms bought from magicians or holy men, whichoffer protection against the evil eye, disease, accidents and difficulties in childbirth. Silver is believed to cure rheumatism; coral symbolizes fertility and is thought to have curative powers; amber is worn as a symbol of wealth and to protect against sorcery (it’s also considered an aphrodisiac and a cure for colds); amazonite and carnelian stones are used in divining fortunes; and shells traded from East Africa symbolize fertility.

Talismans feature stylized motifs of animals, sun, moon and stars, all of which are believed to have supernatural powers. A common symbol to ward off the evil eye is the hand of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. Any depiction of the hand (which represents human creative power and dominance) or of the number five is believed to have the same effect as metaphorically poking fingers into the evil eye with the words khamsa fi ainek (five in your eye).


An exceptional melding of flavors from the Berber,Arabic, French, Spanish and Jewish cultures that left their mark on the country, Moroccan cuisine is rich in color, spice and texture. Not only is it tasty fare (a given), but it’s beautifully presented and created to have alluring scents. Interestingly, the best food is said to be found in people’s homes, not restaurants; Moroccans serve guests bountiful meals, as it’s considered a disgrace if you let your guests leave a meal while they’re still hungry .
Lunch is the main meal and, like most, is served on low tables surrounded by cushions. You eat Moroccan food from a communal bowl with the first three fingers of your right hand (not the left, which is reserved for the toilet!). You may also scoop up the food with any bread that is served. While there are innumerable Moroccan dishes, of course, three of the most typical meals are couscous, tagine and harira. Couscous is a grain often cooked with spices, veggies, nuts and raisins; meat may also be added. It can be eaten as a side dish or main meal. Tagine is a spicy stew cooked in an earthenware vessel also called a tagine, from which the stew gets its name. Harira is considered Morocco’s national soup, although it’s more like a thick paste. Like couscous and tagine, it has many variations, but traditionally consists of bouillon, beef or mutton, onions, saffron and walnuts.
As Morocco is bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, fish is a popular entrée. Lamb and chicken are also widely available; beef is rare. Some common spices used are cumin, coriander, saffron, chilies, dried ginger, cinnamon and paprika. Nuts are prevalent in Moroccans’ diets, as is fruit, which is often served as dessert. Figs and dates are especially popular. When confections are on the menu, they’re often treats made from almonds, cinnamon and fruits rolled in phyllo dough, then soaked in honey .
Moroccans always serve mint tea at the end of meals. But don’t look for any alcohol, as imbibing is against the rules of Islam. Speaking of which, as Muslims, Moroccans must fast from dawn until dusk during the 30 days of Ramadan, so restaurants are closed during the day. Most families prepare harira to eat as soon as the sun goes down, followed by a larger meal later in the evening . Religion influences other aspects of Moroccan culture as well, particularly when it comes to what people wear.couscous marocaincouscous

Sunday, January 1, 2012Discrimination of Amazigh Music in Studio 2M

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Discrimination of Amazigh Music in Studio 2M

2M, a Moroccan channel, remains a racist channel. Even if the decision makers always say that Tamazight will have its full rights in the media, the facts are proving the opposite. Abdellah BOUZANDAG, the singer of Tafsut Band was recently a victim of this discrimination by 2M channel. In a competition program called Studio 2M, the participation of Bouzandag was not accepted in the 3 stage of the competition in Agadir (South of Morocco) just because he sings in his mother tongue Tamazight. Moreover, the application form to be filled by participants indicates that the candidate has just two choices not more: Arab Songs and Occidental songs, they excluded Amazigh music even if more than the half of the population speak Tamazight. Tafsut is a band created in 2004 by some Amazigh activists in Agadir (Morocco) since then TAFSUT participated in many festivals and concerts transmitting its noble messages of peace freedom, justice, human rights.
 NB: This incident goes back to 2007 and still remains the same issue wuth this tv and still nowadays all amazigh singers were  not invited to participate in saturdays shows..

Big soccer game coming Sunday 03-27-2011.

 Morocco soccer Team( The Atlas Lions) VS




SV   Algeria soccer Team( The Fenics)

Every moment there is a big SOCCER  game between the Two neighbours, It is  going to be great game and a alot of challenge. The two countries speak almost the same languages Tamazight( Berber) and local arabic which is almost the same. Almost the same traditions and Rituals.

   This is A soocer game hope it s going to be  a fair play between the two great teams.

Morocco soccer

      The soccer team of Morocco consists of players of high caliber. These players are trained and coached by efficient people in this field. The players are given ample of opportunities before being absorbed in the national soccer team.

They have to play consistently well in various lower division matches. Plenty of football grounds are found here and these are equipped with all sorts of arrangements to accommodate a considerable number of football lovers. Long hours of practice, dedication and passion for this game contributed a lot in the progress of the players.

The players are always kept updated about the modern techniques so that they can effectively and efficiently improve their performance. Moreover, the Morocco soccer team plays a pivotal role in representing the country in the international football arena. This apart, the Morocco soccer is also trying hard in upgrading its Marouane Chamakh    standard to match the international status.

The popularity of Morocco Soccer in the present time is attracting many young and promising players to join the national soccer team. Soccer in Morocco also helps in establishing the name of the country among other prominent soccer teams.