By Rachid Khouya
By Rachid Khouya
Morocco World News
Smara, Morocco, June 27, 2013
They screamed and cried when they met a citizen of their native village. The tears fell from their eyes and the pain talked stories of deep injuries and wounds and a flowing feeling nostalgia to the homeland, to the houses of the parents, to the friends of childhood, to the neighbors, to their parent’s markets and shops.
They carried with them the names of their friends, the songs of mothers and the tales of grandmothers. They still bear inside the languages of the ancestors. They hang on their walls musical instrument of the mountains and they sing and dance songs of love and nostalgia to the days when the people of the same village, both Muslims and Jews, lived side by side and danced in ceremonies side by side and when people of both religions stood as a strong soldier to defend the villages and their people from the attacks of enemies and neighboring tribes.
Despite decades of living in Israel, despite the difficulty of integration, they still cry for cutting the roots of their family trees and putting them in a foreign land.
The happiness of meeting Kamal Hachkar, the producer of the documentary, Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah,” and overflowing of emotions, joy and love have made me cry as I understood how hard it is to be away from your homeland and far from the country you loved and the soil that gave you birth and life.
The questions they asked are the same questions that I am asking up to now. Why they were pushed to leave their villages and native homeland and leave in an exile of loneliness, violence and instability. Questions that historians avoid to write about and that our books of history marginalize.
Yes, I cried when I heard their stories and how they still ask about the names of their friends and neighbors In Tinghir who are now inhabitants of cemeteries and tombs.
But their stories and histories, names and spaces, maps of the villages and the shops are still pictured and visualized inside their memories and minds as if they were just yesterday.
Unfortunately, we are destined to ignore rich and vital chapters of the history of our kingdom and beloved country because there are certain people who want us to live without memory and without our plural history as a nation united by its religions , cultural and historical symbols and roots.
I would like to thank these young teacher and historian, Mr Kamal Hachkar for his courage to take his camera and dig in the secret chapter of our national history and to shed the light of camera on a black corner that is neglected , for unknown reasons by politicians, and letting us see one aspect of our national identity.
Personally, as a Moroccan who is Amazigh, Muslim and who speaks Tamazight,and Arabic and who has grown up in the Sahara, I am so proud of these diversity which allowed me to drink from different cultural springs and sources (Amazigh, Arabic, Sahara, Muslim and AfricanI consider this a special Moroccan gift that makes our cultural and national richness and unity.
I would applaud for this documentary and I would like to see more documentaries about other minorities in a attempt to strengthen our national unity through being aware and conscious of our cultural, religious and linguistic minorities and to spread the culture of peace, love, cooperation and co-existence between people, nations, cultures and religions locally, nationally and globally.
“Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah” is a dream and a possibility because as our ancestors lived together inside the same village sharing their values and differences, I believe that if we forget our , selfishness, ignorance, we can still live and build a world , like Tinghir, where everyone has a room and liberty to live side by side and worship the same God in peace and love. It might seem impossible, but that can still take place if we want.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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