ICESCO and the Moroccan Ministry of Culture Announce Details of the Program CelebratingMarrakech as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2024
27 January 2024
Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), and Mr. Mohamed Mehdi Bensaïd, the Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication of the Kingdom of Morocco, announced details of the program celebrating the city of Marrakech as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world for 2024. The program includes the implementation of activities throughout the entire year, as part of ICESCO’s Capitals of Culture program.
This announcement was made during a press conference that they held at the Bahia Palace in Marrakech Friday 26 January 2024, in the presence of several Moroccan officials, including Mr. Farid Chouraj, Wali of the Marrakech-Safi Region. Mr. Bensaïd expressed his gratitude to ICESCO for choosing Marrakech as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world for this year, emphasizing the involvement of all competent authorities in cultural and heritage activities during the celebrations that consolidate the cultural role of the “Red City” on the international level.
Moreover, the Minister acknowledged the success of the partnership between ICESCO and the Ministry during the celebration of Rabat as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world, expressing confidence in the repetition of this successful partnership.
On his part, Dr. AlMalik, in his speech, reaffirmed the place that Marrakech rightfully occupies as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic world, considering its ancient history, rich cultural heritage, as well as its renown for skilled craftsmen and proficient authors. ICESCO Director-General furthermore expressed his belief that Marrakech will fully embody the essence of a Capital of Culture.
The Director-General elucidated that the Capitals of Culture in the Islamic world program aims to bolster the role of culture in sustainable development, thus cementing the importance of respecting cultural rights and diverse cultures.
Additionally, he highlighted the development of the program over the past four years, transforming these Capitals into prime cultural destinations and valorizing their cultural wealth. Dr. AlMalik also noted that the selection criteria for these capitals include their historical significance and contributions to culture, heritage, and literature.
During the Conference, Dr. AlMalik delivered certificates of inscription of a number of tangible and intangible heritage elements in Marrakech on ICESCO’s Islamic world Heritage Lists, to Mr. Mohamed El Idrissi, First Deputy Mayor of Marrakech.
The Conference also featured a presentation by Mr. Hicham Abkari, Director of Arts at the Moroccan Ministry of Culture, showcasing an outline of the celebratory program and its various activities and initiatives to be implemented throughout the year. Additionally, Mr. Mohamed El Idrissi, First Deputy Mayor of Marrakech, announced the collaboration between the municipal council and civil society to implement various cultural programs and initiatives during the celebration.
Subsequently, a heritage presentation titled “Nostalgia… Emotion of Yesterday” was delivered, aiming to introduce the history of the Bahia Palace in Marrakech through artistic and theatrical performances that highlight the civilizations that have successively enriched the palace throughout past centuries.
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