Moroccan Jewish community celebrates Mimouna in Essaouira

The Jewish community of Essaouira celebrated Mimouna in a ceremony symbolising conviviality, fraternity and coexistence between Jews and Muslims.

The ceremony, a joint initiative of the Mimouna Association, the American Sephardi Federation, the Essaouira-Mogador Association and the Zaouia El Kadiria of Essaouira, with the support of USAID, took place in a festive and warm atmosphere, and in the presence of the President of the Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities, serge Berdugo

Richard Ohayon, an organiser of the event, explained that this ceremony, organised in the emblematic space of Bayt Dakira, which tells the memory and history of Essaouira in all its diversity, marks the end of the Pesach celebration.

“This evening was also an opportunity for Jews and Muslims in Essaouira to share food and moments of brotherhood in a festive atmosphere, he continued, stressing that this purely Jewish and Moroccan holiday, bearing the values of belief, eloquently testifies that tolerance, rapprochement of peoples and living together are possible.”

“This ceremony is there to show it. Whether you are a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian, in Morocco you are here to give the example to the whole world that brotherhood and tolerance exist between peoples and communities and that we do live together,” he stressed.

The secretary general of the Mimouna Association, Abdellah Ninou, stressed the importance of the festival, a Moroccan Jewish tradition taking place every year after Pesach, explaining that this initiative is part of the association’s activities aimed at preserving the diversity of the Jewish-Moroccan heritage and identity.

He added that through this kind of action, “we are all working to preserve and revive this important heritage” and to celebrate a holiday that has been alive since the 1950s and 1960s in Morocco.

For his part, Hicham Dinar, Moqadem of the Zaouia Kadiriya in Essaouira, said that this activity reflects the spirit of universal values of tolerance and coexistence between the different components of Moroccan society and the monotheistic religions.

In addition to this evening, the programme for the celebration of this holiday also included a guided tour of Jewish sites in the old medina as well as a collective Iftar at Zaouia, as this year Pesach and Ramadan coincide.

The Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities is Morocco’s EJC affiliate.

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