By Zoubida Senoussi
Rabat – Berlin’s colorful life-size Buddy Bears have been on tour around the world, as Germany’s ambassadors of goodwill since 2002.
These bears are meant to promote tolerance and peace amongst the world’s many different religions and cultural groups. The original Buddy Bears are posed standing with both arms up in the air as a symbol of kindness and optimism. Finally, Berlin has offered one Buddy to Morocco.
The first Morocco Buddy Bear was been presented on March 1, at the Villa Verte Oujda. Cultural Administrator of the German Embassy in Rabat, Joerg Grotjohann, the artist who painted the Buddy Bear, Salima Abdelhak, and the project managers Ute Kiefer and Kristin Peukert were all in attendance.
Through her painting, Abdelhak represented both German and Moroccan cultures. Her draft design, which features blue and yellow for the sky, desert, sea, and sand of her home country, shows the silhouettes of Moroccan and German landmarks.
“I tried to combine both Moroccan and German historical monuments. I also tried mixing some Moroccan patterns with German colors to showcase the friendship between countries,” the artist said to the Moroccan television station 2M.
The project managers Ute Kiefer and Kristin Peukert have highlighted the importance of the Buddy Bears through a short movie called “The Art of Friendship: A Buddy Bear of Friendship,” presented during the same ceremony in the northern city Oujda.
In this short poetic movie, produced by Mohamed Dabani and supported by the German Embassy, Moroccan children and artists come together in some exciting creative workshops to paint Buddy Bears as a big celebration for the unveiling of the Morocco Buddy Bear.
The Moroccan-German celebration also marked the delivery of the Buddy Bear to the German Embassy in Rabat, where it was received by the German cultural attaché Jörg Grothjohannbear, and will make its home from now on.