Moroccan Cultural Preservation, Unity & Diversity

by High Atlas Foundation


The High Atlas Foundation and partners initiated this restoration program for Christian, Jewish and Muslim places of worship and cemeteries in Morocco. The project is a present-day reminder of the multiculturalism of Morocco, where people of different faiths share a life, work, a culture and language. The project supports education programs for youth, and planting trees and the rehabilitation of churches, zawiyas, mosques, cemeteries and synagogues.

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In Morocco's history, Arabs, Amazighs (Berbers), Muslims, Jews, Europeans and Africans -- had lived together long enough that they shared language, culture, traditions, recipes, and work. This was a harmonious co-existence, and can be remembered through the cemeteries and historic places of worship, which tell these histories. However, due to corrosion, cemeteries, zawiyas and churches of the faiths are not maintained, and those who know the history are growing older.


In order to perpetuate the memory and re-kindle the spirit of this rich past, 400 local youth and teachers in Essaouira and Marrakech will visit cemeteries and historic houses of worship. The preservation of these sacred sites will include skills training for the guardians, infrastructural restoration, preservation of writing upon graves and prayer sites and its cataloging, and sustainable tree planting and maintenance in all three cemeteries to avoid erosion and make them more inviting.

Long-Term Impact

This project seeks to raise awareness of this richness (through education locally), to increase understanding of its uniqueness (through the media), and to instill pride in the inclusive aspects of the Moroccan identity, which Morocco so clearly represents. This project is particularly important for its potential to demonstrate to the entire world that Muslims, Christians, and Jews can live together in harmony because here, they in fact have lived together in harmony for centuries.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).


High Atlas Foundation Website
The photo gallery of the project
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Day Event

Organization Information

High Atlas Foundation

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Yossef Ben-Meir
President of the High Atlas Foundation
Gueliz, Marrakech Morocco
$0 raised of $75,000 goal
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$75,000 to go
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