Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Vietnam
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Vietnam in cooperation with the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies (IAMES) of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) co-organized an International Seminar “Cultural Diversity for National Unity: Sharing Experiences between Vietnam and Morocco” on 27th March, 2018.
The seminar was held as part of the celebration of the 57th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Vietnam, and within the framework the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies (IAMES) and the Center for Studies in Social Sciences Research (CERSS) signed on 28th March, 2017.
During his opening remarks, Ambassador of His Majesty the King in Vietnam, Mr.Azzeddine Farhane pointed out that the cultural diversity of Morocco constitutes the base of the unity and the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
H.E.Mr. Farhane stressed that "throughout history Morocco has always been a nation that symbolizes cultural diversity that operates within the framework of national unity", noting that the Kingdom's culture is a melting pot characterized by a multitude of languages and customs that have largely contributed to strengthening the unity and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
H.E.The Ambassador, pointed out that the 2011 Constitution, adopted as part of the political and social reforms under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, has clearly emphasized the cultural diversity that constitutes a wealth for the Kingdom.
The Director of the Moroccan Center for Studies and Research in Social Sciences (CERS), Prof.Abdallah Saaf, stated, for his part, that "Morocco has a constitutional mechanism that highlights the unity of Morocco forged by the convergence of its Arab-Islamic and Amazigh components, which has been nourished and enriched by its African, Andalusian, Jewish and Mediterranean tributaries", stressing that it is a strong formula of the Moroccan Constitution which was adopted in 2011 and which synthesizes the Moroccan approach to cultural diversity.
The Constitution of 2011 underlines the principle of cultural diversity and pluralism and gives them all their magnitude, through the National Council of Languages and Moroccan Culture, Prof.Saaf noted, affirming that the other languages practiced in Morocco allowed to initiate new intercultural and intercommunity relations. The process of integration of other cultural characteristics has forged a national unity that has become more tolerant of other expressions, he concluded.
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Rabat, Mr.Jamal Eddine El Hani pointed out that Morocco is a millenary country and a brewing space of different cultures that have contributed to forge a strong Moroccan national identity , highlighting the contribution of the geographical position of the Kingdom, laying between the Arab world, Europe and Africa.
He stressed that despite attempts to undermine this national unity, especially through colonization, Moroccans fought together to free themselves from the yoke of colonialism and defended their cultural diversity by rejecting attempts to separate the Arab and Amazigh component. Mr. El Hani explained that the national unity was consolidated thanks to two important factors, namely the commandery of the believers, which constitutes a true base of national unity and unanimity and the decolonization of Morocco and the attachment of the Moroccans to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
The university professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the Cadi Ayad University in Marrakech, Mrs Fatim-Zahra Iflahen, stressed that "cultural diversity is the DNA of Morocco", noting that by constitutionalization of this cultural diversity, Morocco has taken it from a local context to a universal one. "Morocco has made the choice to consolidate the characteristics of its culture with a desire to share and openness to other cultural aspects that have enriched its identity and helped to forge a singular character unique to Morocco and an identity that is made thanks to the accumulation and dynamics of Moroccan society ", she explained.
The Director of the Institute of African Studies and the Middle East (IAMES), Prof.Le Phuoc Minh pointed out that there are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam that have contributed, each in their own ways to forging a Vietnam-specific national identity, considering that the colonization and the fight for the independence of the country consolidated this national unity within the framework of the respect of the diversity of each one of them. He stated that Vietnam has adopted a resolution recognizing ethnic equality, focusing in this framework on the country's efforts to restore traditions and customs to assert the right of these ethnic groups to the difference.
The seminar was marked by the presence of the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Hanoi, The Dean of the Arab Ambassadors group, the Director of UNESCO for Vietnam and the Deputy Director of the Africa Department at the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as scholars, researchers and students.
Morocco is the first Muslim country to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam after its independence.
Book Launch Ceremony:
This seminar was followed by the launch book ceremony of the Vietnamese version of "History of Anh Ma" written by Prof. Abdallah Saaf, in which he traced the remarkable Vietnamese experience of Mr. M'hamed Ben Aomar Lahrech during the liberation war of Vietnam.
Ben Aomar and his wife on cover of the book. Moroccan Communist Party sent Aomar to Việt Nam following President Hồ Chí Minh’s request with aim to support the then Việt Nam Communist Party in 1949. — VNS Photo Minh Thu