Friday, 12 Aug 2022 - 15 of Av, 5782

Growing rush to learn Hebrew in Morocco

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Since the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel, the two countries have continued to intensify their cooperation in all areas. From trade to defense to culture and tourism…

Hebrew language is increasingly seen in the alleys of the markets and old cities as merchants are delighted with the return of Israeli tourism to Morocco in the context of the renewed relations between the two countries.

Since the normalization of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel in December 2020, in the wake of the Abraham Accords, there is a growing rush to learn Hebrew in the Kingdom where some 2,000 Jews live, Moroccan media reported.

Since that date, the two countries have continued to intensify their cooperation in all areas. From trade to defense to culture and tourism, Morocco and Israel have relations in virtually every sector.

“We receive many requests for Hebrew classes from individuals who want to learn the language, simply because Moroccans love languages and are known to speak many languages,” Einat Levi, in charge of economic affairs at the Israel Liaison Office in Rabat, told daily newspaper Israel Hayom.

In addition to individuals, business owners and service providers are also interested in learning Hebrew because of the economic opportunities that exist with the Israeli market.

The other factor that justifies this interest in Hebrew is related to the fact that the Hebrew language is increasingly seen in the alleys of the markets and old cities – this time not because of any initiative of the King or the government, but by residents and merchants who are delighted with the return of Israeli tourism to Morocco, in the context of the renewed relations between the two countries;

In the Mellah, a neighborhood in the port city of Essaouira, one of the two neighborhoods where the city’s Jews once lived and where Jewish life was intense, today the pharmacy’s sign is also posted in Hebrew.

Hassan Janah, president of the National Federation of Tourist Guides in Morocco, told a Moroccan media that in Marrakech, Fez, Essaouira, Rabat, Tangier and Tetouan, many tourist guides are interested in learning Hebrew. They take advantage of certified training to deepen their knowledge of Jewish culture and heritage.

Rabat is already planning Hebrew courses for these tour guides. The Moroccan capital has opened a new Master’s program at the International Institute of Tourism in Tangier, which will combine Hebrew studies with courses on Jewish heritage sites in Morocco and on Israeli and Jewish tourists.

Morocco’s history with the Jews goes back centuries.

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