Official launch of celebration of Marrakech as Culture Capital in Islamic World for 2024

Official launch of celebration of Marrakech as Culture Capital in Islamic World for 2024

The Celebration of Marrakech as Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2024, was officially kicked off, under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI, at a ceremony co-organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Rabat-based Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO).

The ceremony began with performing Morocco’s national anthem, followed by the screening of a video highlighting the characteristics and features of the historic and ancient city of Marrakech.

In an address during the ceremony, ICESCO Director General Salim M. AlMalik stated that Marrakech is genuinely worthy of bearing the Capital of Culture of the Islamic World for 2024 in view of its abundant natural and historical richness and geographical uniqueness. It is a city of life, spirit and harmony, he said.

Dr. AlMalik added that the Almoravids laid the building blocks of Marrakech only for the Almohads to elevate its purity and beauty, for the Saadians to overflow its streets with art and welfare and for the Alaouites to transcend it to the pinnacle of glory and prosperity.

Dr. AlMalik stated further that “the Seven Patrons” of Marrakech bestowed upon it the traits of piety, humility, generosity, dedication, and signs of good and that it is in honor of one of them that Cadi Ayyad University was named. The latter jointly coined with ICESCO the groundbreaking concept of “Civilisational Diplomacy” to initiate the world to the paths of wisdom, innovation and excellence. Dr. AlMalik added that the uniqueness of Marrakech lies in the calls of roadside sellers, the wit of the water sellers, the captivating narratives of storytellers in Halqa, the lively vibes of folk music, Dakka Marrakchia, and the unparalleled charm of Jemaa el Fna Square.

Taking the floor, Minister of Culture Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid pointed out that the choice of Marrakech as the capital of culture in the Islamic world for the year 2024 offers an opportunity to highlight the Kingdom’s culture, heritage, authenticity, and originality as part of a permanent openness to the contemporary world.

While expressing his thanks to ICESCO for this choice, he said that the program of this celebration, which will extend throughout the year, includes the organization of cultural, heritage, artistic and intellectual activities in coordination with the city’s cultural civil society. The success of this cultural year depends on the involvement of local intellectuals and artists, he insisted, noting that these activities will further enshrine the cultural role played by the city of Marrakech, both nationally and internationally.

The celebration of Marrakech, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2024, featured the official song of the ceremony, which will be played at related events during 2024. The song is performed by the Moroccan group Fnaïre. The ceremony also showcased many artistic and lyrical performances that entertained the audience and transcended them to the realms of art that abound in the red city.

Toward the end of the ceremony, Dr. AlMalik recited a poem he wrote in tribute to the city, entitled “The Glorious Marrakech.”

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