As the end of the year draws near, we look back on some painful memories of 2018.
Rabat – In 2018, Morocco said goodbye to a host of exceptional people, from artists, intellectuals, to footballers. There are those who left the world young, and who left the country their artistic heritage to look back on. This is a list of Moroccan celebrities who died in 2018.
A football champion left us early this year. Hamid Hazzaz, former Moroccan goalkeeper, died at 72, on January 13 in his home-city, Fez.
Hazzaz was a high-caliber goalkeeper who participated in the 1970’s World Cup with Morocco in Mexico and made history with his premier club, Maghreb de Fez (MAS).
The football legend was part of the Moroccan national team that won African Cup of Nations in 1976, the only African trophy in Morocco’s history.
Hazzaz’ death saddened his fans who will long remember his achievements with clubs and national team.
The early death of Moroccan talk-show presenter, singer, and actress Wiam Dahmani shocked Moroccans.
Dahmani died of a heart attack at the age of 34 on April 22 in Dubai.
Born in Rabat, the artist appeared in several Pakistani movies, including Ishq Khuda, Hotal, and Hijrat. Dahmani was living in Dubai and working as a broadcaster for Dubai TV when death knocked on her young door.
Morocco lost another football legend, Mohammed Jarir better known as “Houmane.” Houmane died on May 19 in the US at the age of 74.
Houmane is most known for his exceptional scoring skills. He played as a forward for the Moroccan national football team, the Atlas Lion, scoring the only goal against Germany at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
Due to a knee injury, Houmane was not able to pursue his career as a footballer and became a coach at Raja Casablanca club in 1975.
On June 5, the world of football mourned the death of a young, ambitious footballer, Lahcen Akhmiss at the age of 30.
The midfielder who played at the RSB Berkane club died in a road accident as he was driving from Berkane to Al Hoceima to sign with the local club of the city, Chabab Rif Al Hoceima (CRA).
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On 19 September, a successful Moroccan businessman and politician ldied at the age of 99, after a life full of achievements.
Mohamed Karim Lamrani who had never stepped a foot in school was a three-times head of government: from August 6, 1971 to November 2, 1972; from November 30, 1983, to September 30, 1986; and from August 11, 1992, to May 25,1994.
Born in 1919 in Fez, Lamrani became a wealthy businessman in Morocco and served as an economic advisor to the Moroccan government.
In 1967, Lamrani was appointed general director of Morocco’s OCP Group, one of the world’s largest phosphate producers and exporters.
Renowned actress Khadija Jamal died at the age of 83 in Algeria after a long battle with diabetes.
Born in 1935 in Casablanca, the actress best known for her role in early 2000s sitcom Lalla Fatima, appeared in dozens of Moroccan theatres.
Two other renowned celebrities passed away in the same month.
Coach Mustapha Madih died on November 4 at the age of 62 after a long struggle with illness.
Madih, former coach of Morocco’s national under-17 football team, also served as a coach for a number of Moroccan football teams, including Olympique Khouribga (2006-2007), AS FAR (2007), and Hassania Agadir (2011).
The football icon had a fulfilled career. He won several titles, including Throne Cup and Moroccan football championships.
Mimoun El Oujdi, known by his stage name “Cheb Mimoun,” died on November 3 at the age of 68.
Born in the city of Oujda, northeast of Morocco, near the Algerian border, El Oujdi was one of the pioneers of Rai, an Algerian folk music genre that dates back to the 1920s.
El Oujdi released 18 albums between 1982 and 2012. Some of his famous songs include Soulouh, Barman (1985), Sawlouh (2008).
Many Moroccans mourned the death of the artist, sharing his photos and songs on social media.
The iconic Moroccan singer Hamid Zahir, 81, died on December 10 in Marrakech, his birthplace after suffering a stroke and battling with renal insufficiency.
Zahir discovered his love for music at a young age and began to perform in Marrakech’s famous square, Jemaa El Fna, between 1947 and 1951.
Zahir met and became friends with legendary Egyptian singers Umm Kulthum and Abdel Halim Hafez. The artist also held several musical parties at the royal palace.
Zahir’s songs “Lalla Fatima” and “Lalla Souad” are among the best-known classical Moroccan songs.