The capital of the Oriental was at the rendezvous, Friday evening at the Mohammed VI Theater, with a colorful evening celebrating the closing of the event ” Oujda, Capital of Arab Culture for the year 2018 ”, held under the High Patronage of HM King Mohammed VI.
Secular, plural and welcoming, the city of Oujda, made of a blend carefully dosed between East and West, has worn, for a year, the flag of the capital of Arab culture.
Thus, the cultural heritage oujdi in all its splendor and diversity was in the spotlight from April 13, 2018 to March 29, 2019, during which time the thousand-year-old city displayed all its attractions through live shows, art exhibitions, literary meetings, and scientific colloquia, highlighting its tangible and intangible heritage in particular and Morocco in general, and enhancing its visibility at the Arab and international levels.
In short, hundreds of cultural and artistic activities of national, Arab and international scope, in addition to numerous tributes to the cultural scene, punctuated this celebration.
The final closing ceremony of this Arab cultural event par excellence, punctuated with music, song and poetry performances, was chaired by the Minister of Culture and Communication, Mohamed Laaraj, in the presence of local officials and elected representatives. as well as Moroccan and Arab personalities from the world of art and culture.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Laaraj noted that the event “Oujda, Capital of Arab Culture” is a historical event that has made this city, for a year, a hotbed of Arab culture and space. for Arab cultural action and for strengthening inter-Arab cooperation ties.
And to continue that the millennial city has amply deserved this distinction of the capital of the Arab culture, considering its secular history, its civilization, its geographical position and the diversity of its cultural expressions.
Noting that the efforts made and the huge investments made to strengthen cultural infrastructures, thanks to the Royal High Care, were also decisive in the choice of this city to be “Capital of Arab Culture 2018”, Mr. Laaraj Highlighted the role of culture in strengthening relationships between the people, and as a lever for development and economic growth.
” We are now enjoying a moment of pride, and we consider that the event of the celebration of Oujda Capital of Arab Culture has achieved the goals outlined ” thanks to the adhesion and mobilization of different actors for the success of this great cultural event.
For his part, the Wali of the Oriental region, governor of the Oujda-Angad prefecture, Mouad El Jamai, said that throughout this event that lasted a year, the city of Oujda welcomed warmly welcome his guests who have discovered a secular, plural city with a rich cultural and civilizational heritage.
He added, in an address read on his behalf by the Secretary-General of the Wilaya, Abderrazaq El Gourji, that the millennial city has become, in the wake of this event, a favorite destination for intellectuals, creators and artists to celebrate Arab culture in all its forms.
This cultural event, added the wali, offered the opportunity to the guests of the city to discover the dynamics of development that it knows in favor of the Royal Initiative for the development of the Oriental region which has It has enabled many social, economic, sporting and cultural projects, recalling in this respect that the Mohammed VI Theater, which is an architectural gem and a majestic place of culture, is one of them.
Moreover, throughout the celebration of the event Oujda capital of Arab culture, the Mohammed VI Theater has served as a cultural scene open to different expressions, confirming its major role as a federation of talents and creators, all expressions artistic diversity, and in the promotion of culture, which is becoming more and more a vector of human development.
For his part, Abdelfattah Al Johari, representative of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science (ALECSO) pointed out, in an address on behalf of the Director-General of this Organization, that the city of Oujda has lived a year punctuated by cultural and artistic meetings of national, Arab and international scale, divided between festivals, conferences, exhibitions, Arab days, theatrical presentations and artistic creations with the participation of more than 1,200 artists and intellectuals.
He noted in this sense that this important Arab cultural event constitutes an added value to the common Arab action and reflects the richness of the Moroccan cultural experience which is distinguished by its openness to different cultures.
The closing ceremony was marked, moreover, by the passing of the torch between the city of Oujda and the Sudanese city Port-Sudan which was designated “Capital of Arab Culture for the year 2019”. The torch was handed over by Mr. Laaraj to a Sudanese delegation.
In a special address, Graham Abdelkader, a senior official at the Sudanese Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities, welcomed the celebration of the cultural values embodied in the capitals of culture, with emphasis on facets of wealth and cultural diversity in Sudan, particularly in the city of Port Sudan.
He reminded the occasion of some great names that have marked the cultural and artistic scene of this city, such as the internationally renowned novelist Tayeb Saleh, the writer Noufissa Cherkaoui, or the singer Abdelkarim Al Kabli, noting that Port- Sudan is a tourist town that ” loves reading on the Red Sea coast ”.