By Manon McGuigan
By Manon McGuigan
Chicago – Yesterday, March 19, Chicago Mayor and former Chief of Staff for President Obama Rahm Emanuel received a visit from Moroccan Ambassador Rachad Bouhlal.
Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to continued collaboration on projects ranging from water infrastructure improvement to strengthening Chicago-Moroccan business relationships.
Chicago is the sister city of Casablanca, a relationship that has been and will continue to be extremely fruitful for all parties involved.
According to Mayor Emanuel, “Since 1982, Chicago and Morocco have had one of the more active Sister City relationships in the world, working together to strengthen the bonds between the two cities through cultural, educational, humanitarian and economic projects.”
Mayor Emanuel and Ambassador Bouhlal also discussed concrete steps to improve this relationship, including a student exchange program between young residents of Chicago and Casablanca.
Chicago is home to the Center for Arabic Language and Culture, an organization that seeks to promote Arabic learning in Chicago Public Schools. It currently oversees the largest K-12 Arabic program in the United States. The center’s success is reflected in the phenomenal success of its Arabic debate team, whose members will be travelling to Qatar this week to compete against native Arabic speakers in debating regional issues.
Ambassador Bouhlal’s visit also highlighted the strong economic relationship between the United States and Morocco.
The Ambassador visited representatives of culture and industry ranging from the MacArthur foundation to the digital start-up hub 1871. Total trade between the two countries in 2013 totaled over $3 billion.
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