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Restoring centuries-old religious schools : a way of highlighting the Moroccan cultural heritage

Restoring historical sites has been maintained through the opening of centuries-old religious schools in several cities. King Mohammed VI, has inaugurated this week the reopening of a number of Madrasas in the city of fez to enrich the cultural heritage and provide dorms for students of Al-Qarawiyyine university.

Restoring historical sites has been maintained through the opening of centuries-old religious schools in several cities./Ph. DR
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King Mohammed VI presided on the 23rd of May the reopening of six Madrasas and Al-Qarawiyyine library in the city of Fes. The centuries-old religious schools have been refurbished according to a rehabilitation plan to host and provide dormitories for Al-Quarawiyyine university students.

The three Madrasas namely the Mohammedia, the Seffarine and the Bouaanania were opened after one year of restoration. «The Bouaanania could be visited by tourists for specific hours during the day», announced Ahmed taoufiq the Minister of Habouss and Islamic Affairs indicating that these schools will provide 105 beds for undergraduates. On the other hands, Sebaaiyyine Madrasa, which contains only five rooms «will be dedicated to Ulema professors», the Minister added.

As for the rest, Sahriji School will host students of Arabic calligraphy, the artistic practice of handwriting based on the alphabet in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. The sovereign during the inauguration ceremony in fez visited Dar Al Mouaqqit tower which is reopened by its turn to monitor the astronomical map.  

Enriching the Moroccan and Islamic cultural heritage 

According to a document sent by the Agency for the Development and Rehabilitation of the city of Fes (ADER), a program was launched for restoring the cultural and historical heritage of the imperialist city in March 2013. Presided by King Mohammed VI, the project aims at refurbishing 27 historical monuments with a MAD 335,5 million budget. The program includes the restoration of 2 bridges, 2 walls, 3 Foundouqs (ancient hotels), a Kissariat, traditional market, 3 tanneries a dying shop, 7 socio-cultural facilities and 5 Medrasas.

Enriching the cultural heritage of the the North African Kingdom is the major objective behind the rehabilitation of these Madrasas. Al-Qauarawiyyine University, for example, is considered by the UNESCO as the oldest continuously operating degree-granting university in the world. It was founded by Fatima Al-Fihria in 859 and was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963.

On the other hand, Dar al Mouaqquit features a museum housing ancient Moroccan and Arab astronomical instruments which will give tourists the chance to discover the Kingdom’s scientific heritage. Fouad Serghini, head of the Agency for the Development and Rehabilitation of the city of Fes of told Yabiladi that most of the sites restored were partially ruined. He pointed out that the ADER «has been operating for thirty years to restore the ancient Medina of Fez» adding that such projects help students have an open-minded mentality that tolerates all monotheistic religions.

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