Monday, 22 July 2024 22:09

Essaouira: Leading figures examine history and future of relations between Morocco, Spain and Portugal

Thursday, 20 June 2024

For its 11th edition, the Human Rights Forum organised by the Gnaoua and World Music Festival is taking place under the theme "Morocco, Spain, Portugal: A history with a future", Friday 28 and Saturday 29 June 2024 at the Hotel Atlas in Essaouira.

Organised in partnership with the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME), the Forum is inviting, as it does every year, personalities from different horizons to debate in three thematic panels and an introductory speech by the former head of the Spanish government, Mr José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Morocco, Spain and Portugal will be organising the Football World Cup in 2030. This unique joint bid reflects the unique relationships that have united the three countries for more than a thousand of years, with human, economic and cultural flows that have varied but are practically unbroken. This shared history has not been without its frictions or conflicts.

Strengthening economic and political relations between Morocco, Spain and Portugal, and jointly organising the 2030 World Cup, constitutes major advances and opportunities to promote dialogue and cooperation. However, the nature of the new challenges facing the three countries has also evolved, calling for greater creativeness, understanding and mutual respect.

In this context, how might the joint organisation of the World Cup shape the future relations between the three countries? What role will civil society, intellectuals, artists and sportsmen and women play? In what ways is mobility evolving between the three countries? What do each of the different communities think about exile, community and country? All these questions will be debated in three theme-based panels, each of which will bring together leading academics, politicians, business people and associations from the three countries.

"The Forum is always open to the issues and debates shaping our societies. Organising this World Cup is a major event in our modern history. And this year's forum is a way for us to support it through the insight and contributions of leading figures", explains Neila Tazi, producer of the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival.

Driss El Yazami, President of the Council for the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME), echoed this view. "Given the new challenges facing the three countries, we shall be exploring the respective roles of civil society, intellectuals, artists and athletes in building healthy and lasting relationships. We also need to look at how mobility is evolving in this part of the world. We need to know how, in each of the diasporas, issues such as exile, community and country, for example, are addressed", he concludes.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Mediterranean ... border or crossroads between Africa and Europe?

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former Spanish Prime Minister (April 2004 - December 2011) - (Spain)


ROUND TABLE 1: A thousand years of history, what remains of it in us?

Anouar Majid, Professor at the University of New England,

publisher and chief editor of Tingis Magazine - (United States)

Mohamed El Morabet, Writer and translator - (Spain/Morocco)

Muriel Nieves, Writer and researcher - (Spain)

Oumama Aouad Lahrech, Doctor of Iberian and Ibero-American Letters, Former Ambassador of HM The King to Peru, Bolivia and Panama - (Morocco) Rodrigo Sobral Cunha, Writer, researcher and university lecturer - (Portugal)

ROUND TABLE 2: Sport, arts and culture ... Fatum Nostrum (Our common destiny)

Carlos Martins, Musician - (Portugal)

Farida Benlyazid, Producer, director and scriptwriter - (Morocco)

Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla, Professor, translator and writer - (Spain)

Nadia Hafid, Comic book author and illustrator - (Spain)

Youssef El Maimouni, Writer and educator specialising in social issues - (Spain/Morocco)

ROUND TABLE 3: Human mobility, economy, diasporas ... stories of neighbourhoods

Abdallah Saaf, Political Science Professor and PhD in Public Law - (Morocco)

Iván Martín, Affiliate Professor at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain) and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) of Morocco - (Spain)

Laila Karrouch, Author - (Spain/Morocco)

Maria João Tomás, Professor, international policy analyst and author - (Portugal)

Mohammed Anouar Haidour, Trade unionist and activist - (Morocco)


Driss Bennani, Journalist and TV producer - (Morocco)

El Arbi El Harti, Poet and playwright - (Morocco)


Download the program.

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