Azoulay: The Tribute Paid to Zafrani will Allow the Public to Discover his Legacy

Royal Councillor André Azoulay considered that the tribute paid to the Jewish researcher Haim Zafrani by the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco is an important step in deepening and perpetuating the visionary approach that this scholar had initiated since the 1960s through a series of works and publications that have made him an essential reference in fields of history, culture, identity and memory of Moroccan Jews.

Azoulay said at the ceremony held in Rabat: “No one has worked on the theme of diversity within our country, whether culturally, spiritually or philosophically, with the same insight, coherence and depth as Haim Zafrani,” expressing his joy seeing this event organized by the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, to which the deceased has belonged since its creation, stating that “this initiative will allow the general public to gain a close understanding of Haim’s heritage and what he can offer us today.”

Abdeljalil Lahjomri, Permanent Secretary of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, said that Zafrani has left a rich library devoted to the history of Judaism in Morocco and Islamic countries. These are important reference documents on the history of Jews in Morocco, from the historical, sociological, economic and legal points of view, stressing that he was very interested in the Hebrew tributaries of Moroccan culture and that he paid particular attention to heritage events and expressions.

Lahjomri stressed that Morocco has always been a land of tolerance and dialogue among civilizations and religions and that it has continued to guarantee religious freedom for Jews, respecting their places of worship and preserving their cultural and religious heritage.

Elie Serge Zafrani, a researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and son of the late Haim Zafrani, took part in this tribute. He spoke of his father, recalling in particular that he was very attached to the city of Essaouira where he worked as a teacher before settling in Casablanca, adding that he had campaigned for the independence of Morocco, as well as for the teaching of Arabic language in the schools of the Universal Israelite Alliance.

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