This historical, cultural, and spiritual space, after restoration works, houses the Synagogue “Slat Attia,” the house of memory and history “Bayt Dakira” and the International Research Center Haim and Célia Zafrani on the history of the Relations between Judaism and Islam.
The visit of the Sovereign to this building reflects the particular interest that the King, Amir Al-Mouminine, places in the cultural heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community, and his permanent will to preserve the richness and diversity of the spiritual components of the Kingdom and its authentic culture.
Upon his arrival at “Bayt Dakira,” the King was welcomed by the Advisor to the Sovereign, President of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, Mr. André Azoulay, before being greeted by the members of the “Bayt Dakira.”
The Sovereign was greeted by the Chief Rabbi of Casablanca, Mr. Joseph Israel, and the Chief Rabbi Mr. David Pinto, before visiting the prayer hall “Slat Attia.” One of the most typical synagogues of Essaouira -Mogador, which reflects the exceptional singularity and richness of Moroccan Judaism.
The Sovereign was subsequently greeted by Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Then, Mr. André Azoulay presented to the King, Amir Al-Mouminine, the two Holy Books: The Koran and La Thora.
On this occasion, the cantor Michel Abittan performed religious songs, before the Chief Rabbi of Casablanca, Mr. Joseph Israel, pronounced a blessing for King Mohammed VI.
Subsequently, the King’s Advisor, President of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, Mr. André Azoulay, addressed the Sovereign in which he affirmed that this visit by the King seals the rebirth of the city of Essaouira, which has always been turned towards the rest of the world. He continues by noting that this is a historic day that bears the imprint of “our secular and millennial Morocco which has been able to protect the very great diversity, which is the central wealth of our country.”
“This house is one of memory and history. It is also that of the Moroccan compass that the world needs today, a world in search of landmarks, a world that turns its back on all these values that are those of our country under the leadership of HM the King, Amir Al “Mouminine,” added Mr. Azoulay.
Having for the center of gravity the Synagogue “Slat Attia,” Bayt Dakira is a place of memory which tells by objects, texts, photo and film the extraordinary saga of Judaism in the city of Essaouira and its heritages. From tea ceremonial to Hebrew poetic art, from the gold and silver filigree gold work to the embroidery and making of beautiful caftans, from cultural dances to literature and rituals from the synagogue to the great trading posts which made the influence of Mogador in the 18th and 19th century.
“Bayt Dakira,” which presents and explains all the passages of Jewish life in Essaouira, from birth to death and from Bar Mitzvah to marriage, is also a place of education thanks to the Haim and Célia Zafrani Research Center on the history of the Relations between Judaism and Islam. It constitutes a space of exchange between researchers from various horizons and space of sharing, transmission, and resistance to amnesia.