The new Hauts-de-France Peace Gardens will pay tribute to the countless Moroccan soldiers who died on World War I battlefields in France.
By Mohamed Bella
Rabat- On the edge of the historic Second Battle of the Aisne, near Reims in northeast France, the Art and Gardens Association of the Hauts-de-France region and the World War I Centennial Commission decided to create a garden to commemorate the war dead.
The valley once ravaged by war was this year turned into an awe-inspiring garden to remember the Moroccan soldiers that died in France during World War I.
Moroccan Karim El Achak of the Marrakech National School of Architects designed the garden in collaboration with Belgian Bernard Depoorter of BDP Concept Agency in Lyon and Marrakech.
The “piece of Morocco” on French soil is inspired by the Garden of the Hesperides. Hesperides was a mythical garden that once grew the golden apples of wisdom east of the Canary Islands and south of the Iberian peninsula. Many people believe it is located on a small hill between the town of Larache and Tangier.
The new garden in France is punctuated by a simple metal basin set on a colorful mosaic platform. It evokes the Arab-Muslim garden design with a fountain in the center.
The Peace Gardens project settled 14 gardens of remembrance along with the Moroccan garden to commemorate the soldiers from all the nations affected by the war. The gardens are the work of artists and designers from the countries that once fought in Hauts-de-France, a region in northeast France.
The Peace Gardens are created in the same places of conflict that witnessed bombings and killings throughout the course of the war.
People from all ages and nationalities came together on Armistice Day, November 11, in Hauts-de-France to mourn and celebrate at the same time the sacrifices of those who served in World War I.