Rome, March 21, 2012 (MAP)
Rome, March 21, 2012 (MAP)
“Morocco remains the country of all possibilities when it comes to modernity, otherness and openness, and when it comes to telling others that we can be both an Arab country, a Muslim country, a country which places all its solidarity in the Middle East space and, simultaneously, be a country that knows how to recognize the Other,” said Andre Azoulay, adviser to HM the King and President of the Anna Lindh Foundation.
In a statement to MAP news agency on the sidelines of a ceremony held Tuesday night in Rome during which he received the 2012 Peace Prize of the Italian “Ducci” Foundation, Azoulay said he was proud to “give the ceremony a Moroccan signature.”
The adviser to HM the King, who received this award in recognition of efforts for promoting peace and dialogue between cultures, rejoiced that Morocco is here recognized and honored, adding that “in this referential space that the Kingdom proposes to the rest of the community of nations when it comes to the alliance of all our civilizations, in addition to all our histories and also all our spiritualties.”
Azoulay also underlined his determination to continue its efforts to “contribute to reconciliation, understanding and brotherhood between Islam and Judaism” and “to work to return dignity, justice and sovereignty for which the Palestinian people struggle for years.”
“I find in my Moroccanness the resource to not give up and continue working in a peace that, for now, unfortunately missed all opportunities that were given to it,” he said.
With regard to the comprehensive changes that the region is seeing, the adviser to HM the King stressed that “Morocco has managed to once again express its capacity to anticipate, to reform, to listen and to maintain the momentum of change and reform that has undertaken for years.”
He underlined, in this regard, HM the King’s “founding speech” of March 9 and the constitution adopted last July and which, he noted, summarizes in a perfect way the reality of Morocco, namely a Muslim state whose unity, forged by the convergence of its Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharan-Hassani components, was nourished and enriched by its African, Andalusian, Mediterranean and Hebrew tributaries.
Azoulay received the 2012 Peace Prize of the Italian “Ducci” Foundation, which is active in the field of promoting dialogue between different cultures, together with the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Mustafa Ceric, and President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Franco Impagliazzo.
The adviser to HM the King takes this occasion to pay tribute to Ceric, “a fellow traveler and a longtime friend whose voice has always been that of light and reason”, and the community of Sant’Egidio “which has always been at the forefront in helping to resolve the most acute conflicts.”
The award ceremony took place at a conference on “Christianity, Judaism and Islam: roots and common prospects,” hosted by the three winning figures, in the presence of Morocco’s ambassador to Italy, Hassan Abouyoub.
After regretting “the collective regression” that represents the deadly attack against a Jewish school in Toulouse (southern France), Azoulay traced, before an audience composed of prominent figures, his personal journey between Islam and Judaism and his own challenge to make a peaceful coexistence possible between an Israeli state and a Palestinian state, insisting that this peace and reconciliation is always possible as desired.
Each winning figure expressed, on this occasion, his pride to receive his award alongside “fellow travelers encountered on the path of peace and dialogue.”
They also focused on “the power of faith that leads inevitably to tolerance and brotherhood.”
In interview to Italian television “Rai News 24,” Azoulay also emphasized the uniqueness of Morocco as a country where there is “a culture of reform.”
The adviser to HM the King stressed, in this regard, that the Kingdom did not wait for the “Arab spring” to undertake reforms, but it had initiated them several years ago and it has taken, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, the road of “looking for the bes.”
Azoulay also highlighted the agreement and understanding that mark the relations between religions in Morocco and the importance of the institution of the Commandership of the Faithful in the Kingdom.
Asked about the attack which targeted a Jewish school in Toulouse, he expressed his sorrow following this despicable act, recalling that HM the King sent a message to President Nicolas Sarkozy in which the Sovereign expressed to him and to the families of victims His deepest condolences and sincere sentiments of His compassion.
Azoulay has already received numerous international awards, which were handed to him in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.