By Ali Elaalaoui
By Ali Elaalaoui
Rabat – In a first such instance in Akka, Tata province (south-west of Marrakech) the Permanent Military Court of the Royal Armed Forces in Rabat issued summons to Mr Brahim Nouhi, an 80-year-old Moroccan who joined the armed resistance during the French occupation of Morocco, and the founder of Chaykh Omar museum (COM) in Akka downtown, for a verdict in the case of “unlawful possession of ammunition and guns” on Wednesday 20th June.
Chaykh Omar museum (COM) which Mr Brahim Nouhi (locally known as Ami Biih) founded at his own expense in 2001, contains a unique collection of archival and manuscript materials along with old and worn-out idler arms. Mr Nouhi, explained to the Military Court that he collected the seized arms during the period in which he was a member of the Moroccan Army of Liberation “jayshu-t-tahrir.”
The rational behind founding the museum, he added, is “to perpetuate the memory of the Moroccan resistance and to preserve its spirit and values.” Mr Nouhi made a statement to the press, in which he asserted that “guns on display in the museum have also been displayed in a number of exhibitions and cities in the kingdom since 1983, and have been visited by countless Moroccan and foreign researchers and some officials too.” He wonders “what is the secret behind this trial at this time?”
The museum has been mentioned in a number of PhD. dissertations and M.A. theses especially that it displays hundreds of unique documents, manuscripts and exclusive photos that spotlight a significant part of the Moroccan Jewish culture, which has been a part the country’s history for 2000 years. According to Aomar Boum, an assistant professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona “Chaykh Omar Museum (COM) in Akka and the Jewish Museum of Casablanca (JMC) are two such institutions – to my knowledge the only ones in the country- where Moroccan Jewish culture is foregrounded.”
It’s worth mentioning that many citizens and activists in Tata province, took part in a petition process aimed at gathering signatures and calling on Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane, Head of the Moroccan Government, to reconsider the charges it filed against the 80-year-old Moroccan member of the Army of Liberation “jayshu-t-tahr?r”, Amii Biih.