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Home »» Dialogues

Washington Moroccan American Club Holds Planning Meeting for March 2010 20-20 Events


By Norman L. Greene.
 

On Sunday, January 10, 2010, the Washington Moroccan American Club held a well-attended meeting of the leadership for its “20/20” project proposing 20 carefully selected events in March 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Club with two decades of service to the Moroccan American community.  The meeting was appropriately held at the Casablanca Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, which specializes in fine Moroccan cuisine and which supported and provided a comfortable, colorful and thematic atmosphere for the afternoon’s activities, and whose owner, Rafi Labriny, is himself a member of the Club.

The meeting was led by Annalisa Assaadi of the “20/20” planning committee, and besides the chairs or co-chairs, was attended by representatives of the Moroccan Embassy, the Moroccan American Cultural Center, the Maghreb Arab Press, and other members of the Moroccan American community and guests.  Along with celebration and recognition of the Washington Moroccan American Club’s contributions, the Club’s objectives through the project include increasing cultural awareness and understanding in Morocco and the United States.

The 20 proposed “20/20” events extend from recreational and social to political and cultural. They include an academic panel on gender and family issues, including women’s empowerment, and events on freedom of the press, interfaith dialogue, the Peace Corps in Morocco, the High Atlas Foundation, cinema, Moroccan cooking, Moroccan Amazigh culture, sports, donations of clothing to Morocco, Moroccan-United States relations, the Tangier American Legation Institute, fine arts and poetry, educational study tours, literature, and other topics.  The events will be open to the public and held in various locations in Washington, D.C for that reason Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has separately agreed to recognize officially March 2010 as a month for celebrating Morocco at the District of Columbia’s City Hall.

 At  the January 10 meeting in Alexandria, each of the 20 chairs or co-chairs of the “20/20” events presented the nature and status of the chair’s program and any need for resources or assistance. One presentation included a well-developed description by the program chair of a timely panel on women’s empowerment, including the 2004 Moroccan Personal Status Code (Moudawana or family code) and its successes and challenges. This reform of Moroccan family law, which addressed and liberalized such key issues as marriage and divorce, has been acclaimed as an important progressive step, although questions have been raised on the extent to which it has taken hold in Morocco and how to ensure its broader acceptance.  The program will include academic and civil society experts from Morocco and the United States.  Another presentation was made by Tim Resch, president of Friends of Morocco, an established community organization based in Washington, D.C. and a sister organization of the Washington Moroccan American Club.  Time and space requirements limit a complete description of the reports and proceedings at the several hours long meeting.

 

“20/20” is the result of the vision of the Washington Moroccan American Club and its founder Hassan Samrhouni with proven ability to convene important meetings, bring people together, and inspire and facilitate community dialogue and spirit. Indeed, in a demonstration of that ability and spirit, on January 10, on a very cold day in Alexandria, many Club members and others devoted hours of valuable weekend and family time solely in order to create and organize the “20/20” project.  The Club’s “20/20” website (www.wmc20.org.) is and will be providing information on the events as the project develops.







 
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conference : This is a very important undertaking, including universal topics as women's empowerment and gender overall, and congratulations to all involved with this and other aspects of the program.
 
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