By Bill Jackson
Rabat – On Saturday, May 20th, the Moroccan American Community held a cultural day entitled “Your Gateway to the Kingdom of Morocco.” in Revere, Massachusetts. There were more than 50 booths displaying a different picture of the various regions and cities of the country and the culture of each. It is amazing how different each region is, from the cities to the mountains to the desert. Many of the booths were displays from businesses of all kinds in Revere owned by Moroccan Americans.
This Moroccan American Cultural Day was a rousing success and the number of people attending was estimated to be more than a thousand. This was a festival which promoted not only the Moroccan American Community in the U.S. but also the rising awareness of the beauty of their culture. The organizer of the event, Rachid Moukhabir, said “we are not only promoting Morocco in the city of Revere but we are also promoting Revere in Morocco because a lot of the people back home have been following our activities here in Revere through social media. In fact, Revere has become one of the most famous American cities throughout Morocco”.
The cultural day featured four aisles with tables displaying art, cuisine, traditional handicraft, and tourism. It was no surprise that the cuisine tables were the busiest, especially the pastry tables. We thank the Casablanca House of Pastry for providing the Moroccan sweets and suggest that you visit this pastry shop.
The children were not left out of the cultural day. In fact, they had a wonderful time and brought a spirit to the affair. A clown played by BouchaibHaougot the attention of the youngest children, whom I might add, seemed to have more fun than anyone else. Young people enjoyed the D.J., Hicham, who played Arab music all afternoon. A raffle was held and conducted by Mohamed Ziani. This was provided so that the children of all ages could participate. Many of them won prizes, some as high as $100 dollars. The raffle prizes were donated by Moroccan businesses in Revere. Many of the adults seemed to have as much fun as the young people. It was such a special day seeing everyone have a great time.
Later in the day the master of ceremonies, WissalRachad, a 7th. grade student at the Garfield Middle School, took to the podium. She was very well prepared and professional. In the future we should not be surprised if she becomes a television personality or even a politician elected to a position in Revere. The first person she introduced was the Mayor of Revere, Brian Arrigo. Mayor Arrigo has been very close to the Moroccan American people in Revere, attending many events throughout the year. He gave a great speech praising the Moroccan Americans for their many contributions to Revere. He said that this community is an integral part of our city and thanked them for all they have done to bring diversity and respect to our city. The audience gave the mayor a well-deserved ovation when he completed his remarks. Wissal also introduced other city officials who were in the audience including the city councilors and members of the school committee.
The final part of the day was the presentation of the grand prize which is acting as the Moroccan Ambassador to Revere for 2017. Bill Jackson was the judge assisted by Hassan Gliel. Bill said it was an extremely difficult task because there were so many excellent exhibits. The grand prize winner was AbdelaatiAitAhad, a great artist whose paintings showing many scenes of Morocco from the cities to the mountains to the desert were stunning.
There are many people to thank including the volunteers and the exhibitors and also Police Chief Cafarelli for providing a police detail and thanks to the officers also. Wissal then told the audience” God Bless all of you. God Bless the City of Revere. But most of all God Bless the greatest country in the world, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!”
See you all at the Moroccan Cultural Day next year.