H.E Chafik RACHADI Morocco Amb. to the Republic of Korea, second from left in the front row, poses with Multiculture Museum Director Kim Yun-Tae, fourth from left in the front row, and other dignitaries in time with an event dubbed “The House of Morocco in Korea’’ held at the museum in Seoul. Photo courtesy of Morocco Embassy to the Republic of Korea

The following is a welcoming speech, delivered by H.E Chafik RACHADI Morocco Amb. to the Republic of Korea during the opening ceremony of the House of Morocco regarding Treasures of the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa. _ ED.

Excellencies My fellow Ambassadors, the Director of Multiculture Museum, Honorable representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Representative of Korea Africa Foundation, Representative of Local government, representatives of Media, and Ladies and gentlemen!

Good afternoon and welcome!

As the world faces the ongoing challenge of COVID-19, we would like to express and share a sense of gratitude to be in Korea, where the situation is under control, and we can meet with confidence at “The House of Morocco in Korea’’.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Director of the Multiculture Museum, Mr. Kim Yun-Tae, and to thank all who were involved in organizing this meaningful event which demonstrates their hard work and commitment, overcoming even this worldwide pandemic situation.

I’m also pleased to inform you that the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco will gladly contribute to the future new facilities of the Multiculture Museum by providing more items for the Moroccan space.

Excellencies, Honorable guests!

Morocco has established itself as a crossroad of civilizations, it is a multicultural country with its mix of Arab, Berber, African, Mediterranean, and European influences interacting across a diverse terrain that a poet described by saying, “Its paradise is a mountain, over the ocean and the desert.”

It is only natural that Moroccan people mirror this diversity of culture and geography in their customs and traditions, like a kaleidoscope of different styles making up our Moroccan heritage.

Let us paint a picture of my country in our minds.

Morocco is a land of 710,850 square kilometers with 3,500 kilometers of coastlines along both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Mountain ranges, with the highest peak standing 4167 meters at Mount Toubkal and Southern provinces of Sahara with an area of 266,000 square kilometers.

Once a land of only sand and desert, it has become a well-developed region and stands today as a geo-strategic space of reference for prosperity.

To illustrate the cultural and geographical diversity found in my country, we set up this typical House of Morocco for this 2021 Special Edition held by the Multiculture Museum under the theme of “Maghreb Treasures of the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa.”

I believe this exhibition is an opportunity to bring joy and pleasure to a large number of both Korean and foreign visitors. Here, they can discover the treasures built by centuries of Moroccan diversity and culture.

Further, we will ensure even broader dissemination of the content of this event through digital technologies for those unable to attend in person due to coronavirus. Also, I offer great thanks to the media and journalists who, I am sure, will share our message of diversity and unity to the screens of the world.

In fact, Morocco is no stranger to both the big and the small screen. Due to the gorgeous scenery and the diverse and distinctive cultures, directors and producers have long come to my country to film in our stunning locations, and so many filming projects, in both our northern and southern provinces, are scheduled for post-COVID-19.

Not only are the backdrops superior, but just as important, we offer developed infrastructure to support the filmmakers. Recently, the successful Korean Drama Vagabond was shot in the north of Morocco; I am convinced that many Koreans will be not only impressed but also enticed to visit our beautiful country.

Excellencies, distinguished guests!

The Republic of Korea opened its first Diplomatic Mission in the African continent, right in the heart of Morocco. Next year we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of our bilateral diplomatic relations! One goal of this event is fostering mutual understanding between the peoples of our two friendly countries and strengthening our political and cultural cooperation.

On a global scale, Morocco recognizes cultural diversity as a component of the common heritage of humanity and as essential to peace and prosperity.

Therefore, we wish to ally ourselves with the mission of the Multiculture Museum, as learning about different cultures is the first step toward the peaceful world that we all dream of. By sharing our culture here, we take another step toward uniting humanity.

His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, has always believed that culture is one of the most essential elements of unity, both within and without our borders.

He once said, “As the achievement of human development hinges on moral and material considerations, I am keen to ensure culture receives all the attention it deserves. Not only is it the bedrock of cohesion within the nation, but it also reflects our identity as well as our traditional values.”

Honorable guests, ladies, and gentlemen!

Now I would like to invite you to watch two very short films.

The first is one about Morocco’s cultural and geographical diversity, in order to allow you to discover virtually the beauty of our cities, as well as unexplored traditions and little-known facts.

The second film is about the famous city of Dakhla, just one of the many seaside gems in our developed Sahara region, where the dunes meet the sea.

This city boasts a soothing and tranquil atmosphere, where adventurers, water sports lovers, quiet-seekers, and tourists come to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of our coast. And remember, this is only one of a plethora of Saharan cities which attract tourists from all over the world.

In closing, this exhibition and these films are only a taste of the wealth of the Kingdom of Morocco. We extend our invitation to each of you, once travel is safe, to join us in our ‘paradise of a mountain, over the ocean and the desert.’

Thank you for your attention.