H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Bulgaria, hosted in her residence the first Diplomatic Cultural Salon organized by the World Moroccan Women Council and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Sofia on January 3, 2020. Co-organizers were the Council of Moroccans Living Abroad and the Hassan II Foundation of Moroccans Living Abroad in collaboration with the Union of Bulgarian Writers, the 21st Century Association, the Diplomatic Spectrum website and the Association of Teachers of French Language in Bulgaria. The event was held under the honorary patronage of H.M. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
The World Moroccan Women Council, in partnership with Moroccan consular and diplomatic missions abroad, organized this Salon to create a space for dialogue and exchange of experience between diplomats, politicians and representatives of culture, art, science, sport with a view to strengthening the relations between Morocco and other countries where the Kingdom is represented at diplomatic and consular levels. The Diplomatic Cultural Salon enables the establishment of partnerships for future joint work between the World Moroccan Women Council and government institutions, as well as civic organizations in other countries.
The topic of the first Diplomatic Cultural Salon to be held in Sofia was “Women and their role in promoting diplomatic and cultural relations between countries”. On this occasion, six prominent Moroccan women with achievements in literature, art, teaching and research were invited. Among them was Ms. Nadia Yakin, a journalist, poet, President of the World Moroccan Women Council. She visited Bulgaria for the first time in 2018 to participate in the first Evening of Moroccan Poetry in Bulgaria, organized on the idea of the Europe and the World Foundation in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Sofia with the exclusive assistance of H. E. Zakia El Midaoui. The Moroccan-German Association for Culture and Integration, chaired by Nadia Yakin, then joined the event as a co-organizer. The verses of Nadia and four other Moroccan poets writing in Arabic were translated by the poet Khairi Hamdan, and the poetic works of five Moroccan authors writing in French were translated by Gergina Dvoretzka, a poet and President of the Europe and the World Foundation. The great interest aroused by the first Evening of Moroccan Poetry in Bulgaria motivated the Europe and the World Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to organize a second Moroccan Poetry Evening in Sofia.
It is no coincidence that Nadia Yakin chose Sofia as the venue of the first Diplomatic Cultural Salon, because there Morocco has such an active Ambassador, supporting cultural communication among the peoples, in the person of H. E. Zakia El Midaoui. During the January 3 event, Nadia Yakin gave her a special award in the form of a Woman Diplomat and Intellectual Gold Star on behalf of the World Moroccan Women Council for her active work as an ambassador.
For his part, he received a plaque from the World Moroccan Women Council and a painting by a Moroccan artist.
Other Bulgarians working for the development of relations between the two countries were also honoured with awards and gifts.
Paintings by Moroccan artists were received by: MEPs Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Tsvetelina Penkova, the businessman Boris Redanski, sponsor of the New Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, to which H. E. Zakia El Midaoui is a major supporter, as well as Dr. Alaeddine Zaoui, a member of the Bulgarian-Moroccan community in Bulgaria who has successfully integrated into the country.
Plaques from the World Moroccan Women Council were presented to: poet and translator Khairi Hamdan, Ms. Ekaterina Pavlova, President of the 21st Century Association and Editor-in-Chief of the Diplomatic Spectrum website, Gergina Dvoretzka, a poet and President of the Europe and the World Foundation.
H. E. Zakia El Midaoui and Khairi Hamdan gave gifts on behalf of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Sofia to Bulgarian writers and poets: Zdravka Evtimova, Angela Dimcheva, Aksinia Mihaylova, Dimitar Hristov, Zlatomir Kolarov, Petar Andasarov.
Gifts from the Embassy were also received by Vyara Lyubenova, Chair of the Association of Teachers of French Language in Bulgaria, and Elina Topalska, choreographer of the Sophistik-jivo dance group.
Nadia Yakin, President of the World Moroccan Women Council, and Boyan Angelov, President of the Union of Bulgarian Writers, signed a cooperation document between the two organizations.
This was followed by a show of Moroccan caftans, a music program with the participation of the Sophistik-jivo dance group, singers Alexander Alexandrov-Alex and Polli Paskova, as well as a raffle with prizes – works by Moroccan craftsmen.
Finally, the participants at the Salon had the pleasure of tasting Moroccan dishes.
The next edition of the Diplomatic Cultural Salon is planned to be held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Delhi, India.