Marrakech – Prominent Jewish Moroccan community leaders and academics gathered on Sunday at the Synagogue Slat Lazama in Marrakech to discuss the city’s mellah in a symposium entitled “Mellah of Marrakech: History, Memory, Architecture, and Human Development.”
After King Mohammed VI’s visit to Marrakech’s mellah in December to aid the preservation of Moroccan Jewish heritage, the Mimouna Association, in collaboration with the city’s Jewish community and the publishing house Afak, organized the event to share this wealth of heritage to a national and international audience.
First, the history of the mellah was animated by renowned speakers, such as director of the magazine Hesperis-Tamuda and professor at the Mohammed V University of Rabat, Khalid Ben Srhir, and the historian Samir Oumghar.
The symposium’s second section was devoted to the memory of the Mellah, presented by Jacky Kadoch, President of the Jewish Community of Marrakesh, and Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, a researcher, artist, and author.
The third part, devoted to the architectural study of the Mellah, was presented by the Director of the National School of Architecture Marrakech (ENAM), Tayyibi Abdelghani, and Viviane Cohen, an independent architect living in Marrakech.
The fourth section was devoted to human development in the Mellah, led by Peter Geffen, director of KIVUNIM and Yossef Ben Meir, the president of the High Atlas Foundation.
For the symposium, the Mimouna Association inaugurated an interactive educational pavilion in the synagogue. This interactive space includes touch screens that allows visitors to discover and visit the Jewish sites of Morocco in 3D, accompanied by an explanatory text on the history of the place viewed.
This space will also include interactive music to allow visitors to the synagogue to listen to pieces of Judeo-Moroccan music while reading the biography of the singer.
The Mimouna Association hopes that this Pavilion will help spread Moroccan history to young people from all walks of life and make the synagogue a cultural center contributing to the revitalization of the neighborhood of the Mellah.