02/03/2015 (press release: media1press) // Morocco
HRH Princess Lalla Meryem presented, on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 in Paris, the wissams awarded by HM King Mohammed VI to representatives of Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions in France.
HRH Princess Lalla Meryem decorated Khalil Merroun, rector of Evry mosque, Michel Serfaty, rabbi of Ris-Orangis and Michel Dubost, Evry bishop, with Wissam Al Arch of third class (officer) at a ceremony held at the Arab World Institute in the presence notably of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Moroccan minister of Endowment and Islamic affairs, Ahmed Toufiq.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President of the Arab World Institute Jack Lang said that awarding these wissams is a symbolic gesture that illustrates the exemplarity of Morocco, a country characterized by its commitment to the values of diversity and tolerance, and a melting pot of various tributaries.
For his part, Secretary General of the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco and the kingdom’s Ambassador-at-Large Serge Berdugo underlined that this ceremony brings hope and comfort, especially as it comes at a particular moment following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
He also highlighted the project of the rehabilitation of Jewish cemeteries, which was launched in 2010 at the initiative of HM king Mohammed VI, lasted four years and involved 167 sites in 14 regions of the Kingdom, noting that this initiative has had an impact on hearts and memories.
Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq said that this ceremony pays tribute to three Moroccans as encouragement to their spiritual guidance mission in Evry, adding that these personalities share several features.
For his part, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that by this gesture, HM the King honors not only France, but also brings together three religions that share the same messages.
He also expressed his great pride to be in this crossroad of cultures to celebrate the strong friendship between Morocco and France despite some misunderstandings that have been overcome.
It should be recalled that HRH Princess Lalla Meryem and French President François Hollande inaugurated last October in Paris the exhibition-event “Contemporary Morocco”, an initiative of the Arab World Institute (IMA) in partnership with the National Foundation for Museums. On this occasion, The French president said that ”the presence of HRH Princess Lalla Meryem in the inauguration of this exhibition mirrors the friendship ties between Morocco and France, lauding in this respect HM King Mohammed VI’s initiatives to promote art and culture”.
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