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Avant-première mettant à l’honneur le patrimoine marocain

, which could be translated as « The Smile of Heritage », is the first animated series on the intangible heritage of Morocco, broadcast on the Youtube platform. This ambitious project is first carried out by two individuals with a vision, the curious researcher at CNRS and historian Mohamed Nabil Mouline, author of numerous books on Islam and Morocco, as well as the talented visual content creator and director Mustapha El Fekkak AKA « Swinga » who captivates us with his voice and pedagogical tone in a journey through Moroccan cultural artifacts.

The first episode, which deals with the history of couscous, benefits this Friday night from above-average audiovisual quality, thanks to the equipment of room 4 of the Megarama premises on the Casablanca waterfront. This allows for a total immersion in the history of couscous, with animated images, a well-crafted script, and above all extremely rich and precise documentation, which, we are told before the start of the projection, is incomparable to the information that can be found on the Web.

A story full of historical facts and examples

The 15-minute video clip begins with an anecdote about Prince Mohammed’s journey to Mecca in 1734, known as Mohammed III, who during the journey makes an incongruous request to his servants, asking them to bring him couscous in the heart of the central Maghreb, a dish that according to the saying, « beyond Taza… as far as Boulajraf », would be unknown. The series then tells the first references made to the traditional Moroccan dish, namely two recipe books dating back to a period between the 11th and 13th centuries. After some particularly immersive wanderings, for example through the etymology of the word, whether Arabic or Berber, the documentary ends on the exportation of this culinary tradition to regions far beyond the Maghreb or the various Arab sultanates, namely Italy and Sicily, Spain, Portugal, and even through Lusitania, Brazil, which then integrated into its culture different couscous recipes including that of Sao Polo for example.

More themes to come, a season 2 in the works

This audacious project to retrace some major themes of Morocco’s strong, rich, and diverse history, with a focus on popularization, succeeds in cheerfully captivating the viewer and lives up to expectations. To illustrate the excitement, a question-and-answer session after the screening revived the debate, particularly on the extent of the recipe’s expansion and its Moroccan identity, knowing that 54% of the recipes are endemic to Morocco.

While this first episode was broadcast on the same evening on Mustapha Swinga’s Youtube account, the following episodes should be released in chronological order every two months, and will cover four other subjects:

– Sayyida al-Hurra, the warrior queen of the north
– Atay, Moroccan tea, a symbol of Moroccan hospitality
– The Tinmel Mosque, cradle of the Almohad Empire
– Sabâatou Rijal, the seven Saints, Patrons of Marrakech

In conclusion,

is a promising series that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Morocco and promises to educate and entertain viewers with each new episode. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in delving into the fascinating history and traditions of this North African country.

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