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Active participation of the Embassy in the 2021 Francophonie Week in Canberra

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to Australia organised, in the framework of the celebration of the 2021 Francophonie Week, various academic, cultural and sports events, notably a Conference at the prestigious Australian National University, a Tea Ceremony at the emblematic National Portrait Gallery as well as a Football Friendly Game at the Australian Institute of Sports and the participation as the guest of honour at the Francophonie Market organised by the Alliance Française of Canberra.The Embassy organised a Conference entitled “Writing in French, Thinking in a mother tongue” which was held , on the 18th of March, at the Australian National University, marked by the participation of the Ambassador of His Majesty the King to Australia, Mr. Karim Medrek, the Director of the ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Mrs. Karima Laachir, the Moroccan Novelist and Poet, Moha Souag as well as the Moroccan Writer Mouna Hachim, in presence of various diplomatic and academic personalities.This Conference has been devoted to tackle the contribution of the Moroccan Writers, Novelists, Poets and Dramaturges to the Francophone Literature. In this regard, M. Medrek underlined that” the Kingdom, renowned by different manners of cultural expression and linguistic diversity has contributed through many generations to the enrichment of the Francophone literary landscape”.The ambassador also considered that “the Moroccan Francophone literature provides an experience oriented towards the acceptance of differences that make of the literary field a facilitator of dialogue between cultures, adding that this Moroccan Francophone literature is a means to express the Moroccan values and principles”.Through analysing the careers of literary men like Laabi, Kilito, Benjelloun, Laaroui or Chraibi belonging all to different generations, M. Medrek notes that the Moroccan Francophone Literature has become identifiable within the Francophone Panorama. He highlighted, as the other panellists considered as well, that “the Moroccan writers have possessed French Language by flouting its rules of expression and creating their own style, which however abides by the linguistic, stylistic and semantic rules”.In the same vein, the Moroccan writer Mouna Hachim pointed out to the fact that “the bilingualism of this generation presents something so ambiguous -serene for some and challenging for others- because there is that strange feeling of expressing oneself in a language considered as foreign and in a specific historic context, at a moment when the Arabic linguistic field is productive since many centuries”.According to her, this alienation is a matter of openness as “this cultural hybridation leads to the enrichment that allows acquiring other intellectual tools on the path of individual and collective freedom”. She added that “this French language, regardless of how paradoxal it may seem, allows us to share our culture, plural identity, history, traditions and customs.As it gives us a gift as individuals or collectives, it is a gift to the other language as French becomes enriched by new texts which lead to writing and to the transformation of prose to poetry”.For her part, the Director of the ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Mrs. Karima Laachir considered that Moroccan Francophone writers agonised about writing in French during the historical moment of decolonisation in the 1950-60. This has changed radically from the 1970s onwards as there was an assertive understanding of the extension of French beyond the borders of France. The language has been adapted, according to her, to local contexts and expressions manifested in the Moroccan Francophone Literature.The Moroccan novelist and poet, Mr. Moha Souag indicated that writing is not a translation but rather a creation. Creativity cannot be translated as it is an act by virtue of which the spirit creates something at the level of the language that it utilizes. According to him, writing in French is a natural process and the result of how things comes to one’s mind and spirit without being conditioned by the language of thinking or writing.Mr. Souag considers that the human brain chooses unconsciously the moments when to use the liturgical language or the language of creation. This passionate topic of discussion has constituted a good occasion to raise an interesting discussion between the attendees and the panellists who all converged in the fact that Morocco, being a crossroads for cultures and civilizations, provides unique and inspiring contexts to produce literary masterpieces including the French Language.Earlier, the Embassy started its week of activities by holding a tea ceremony at the emblematic National Portrait Gallery of Canberra in presence of Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Canberra, political personalities as well as cultural and academic dignitaries.On this occasion, Mr. Karim Medrek presented the rich history of this Moroccan drink, introduced between the 16th and 18th century. Besides, he tackled the symbolism of the Moroccan Tea, being the sign of Moroccan hospitality. The Ambassador also recalled the cultural assets of this drink as well as the different modalities of its preparation depending on every Moroccan region.The Ambassdor considered that such celebrations constitute the occasion to share different cultural experiences about Francophone countries as Moroccan Tea itself is considered as one of the most popular drinks in the region and the world.The audience has been fascinated by the showcase of the preparation of the Moroccan Tea held in a pure Moroccan ambience within an iconic Australian Gallery. Besides, attendees enjoyed a video about the history of the Moroccan Tea and interacted actively about this historical national drink which has become a worldwide known Moroccan brand.The Francophonie week has been the occasion to celebrate a sports event as the Embassy organised at the Australian Institute of Sports a Friendly Football Competition between the Diplomatic Team and the Woden Valley Masters which has seen the latter crowned as the winners of the first edition of this tournament, marked equally by the presence of a number of Ambassadors and personalities.To crown this spectacular week of activities, the Embassy of Morocco has been the guest of honour of the Francophonie Market held by the Alliance Française. The Ambassador delivered a Speech on this occasion, in which he expressed his happiness and satisfaction to see this joyful Francophonie Week return after so many months of restrictions due to the sanitary situation and seized the opportunity to talk about La Francophonie and its role worldwide. On the same occasion, he delivered prizes to the students winners of the “Dis-Moi Dix Mots” Competition.