ALC-ALIF Cultural Heritage Club: Geometry and Decorative Art in Morocco
Lecture by Richard Allen from St. Olaf College
Monday, January 15 at 6:15 PM
ALC Room 30
Moroccan Judaism: A Lecture & Documentary Screening by Yona Abeddour
Wednesday, November 1 @ 6:30 in ROOM 30 of the ALC/ALIF
Youness (Yona) Abeddour, born in Fez, has been working to promote a better understanding of the pluralistic identity of Morocco. He holds a master’s degree in Cultural Studies, completing a thesis on “The Representation of Moroccan Jews in Moroccan Cinema.” He researches the history of Moroccan Judaism and makes documentary films. Today he lives between Israel and France, where he’s doing a Ph.D. in anthropology at Ben Gurion University and the University of Lyon on the topic of Moroccan Jewish Identities in contemporary France and Israel.
“A Culture in Danger” (2011)
What was once a key part of Moroccan culture and society is now on the way to being forgotten. There is much confusion and even resentment caused by the massive Jewish immigration to Israel and many people now confuse terms such as Judaism and Zionism. This confusion and lack of information has caused many people to forget or to even look negatively on a people who were once their neighbors and a culture that is even now intricately a part of their own. This film seeks to resolve the confusion and to educate people about this history of a culture which cannot be separated from Moroccan culture as a whole.
“My Neighbor…the Jew”
“My Neighbor…the Jew” highlights Muslim-Jewish relations in Morocco. Muslims in Morocco talk about their Jewish neighbors in a very nostalgic manner, and Jews remember Muslims as good neighbors and friends. The Jewish interviewees are strongly attached to their roots and history in Morocco, which they are not willing to give up. The title accentuates the concept of “neighbor,” which echoes the message of the documentary. The neighbor in both Islam and Judaism, as well as in the Moroccan culture, is almost hallowed. The Hebrew Bible says “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18). There is a Hadith narrated by the Prophet of Islam that states “The best neighbor in Allah’s estimation is the one who is best to his neighbor” (Al-Tirmidhi, Number 1287), and the famous Moroccan proverb “Choose your neighbor before your house.”
This lecture, organized by the ALC-ALIF Cultural Heritage Club, is free and open to the general public.
ALC ALIF Heritage Club: “Sacred Geometry, The Cosmic Order”
Lecture by Aiysha Amin
Monday, October 16 @ 6:15
ALC, Room 30, 2 Rue Ahmed Hiba, Fes Ville Nouvelle
“Allah created the heavens and the earth is True (proportions): verily in that is a Sign for those who believe” (29:44)
Through understanding the symbolism of Sacred Geometry we can begin to discover how the Divine wishes itself to be known; as the natural world is a product of the Divine imagination. Discover how geometry can also serve as the prism of interconnection and alignment with nature. The appreciation of the symbolism behind this beautiful language will also give students a better understanding of why Islamic Art has adopted it through the ages as a form of expression and bringing beauty and much needed joy into our world.
The sessions will be exploring the Divine order of nature and creating a better understanding of the fundamental patterns that shape our world and existence. Students will have the opportunity to engage in creative pattern making and four fold geometric construction.
Aiysha graduated from The Princes School of Traditional Arts in 2013. She received training in many different forms of traditional disciplines, and the language that connects them all, such as sacred geometry, islimi or arabesque designs etc. After graduating she set out to travel for a year to several countries as a personal spiritual pilgrimage in order to connect with different intentional Sufi communities. It was during this time that she travelled to Saudi Arabia with her spiritual guide.
The journey opened up many vistas of understanding and more importantly brought to the surface pertinent questions pertaining to faith, spirituality, ritualistic practice and in general how we view and our relationship with the Sacred.
Aiysha’s recent collection which she has been working on for a year and a half deals with these themes and ideas; in an age in which the ‘sense’ of the Sacred is being lost, and only a few fragmented traces of origins of Sacred history and sites remain.
Alongside this deeply personal project Aiysha works for the Greensville Trust (Liverpool, England) where she has been curating an exhibition called The Prophetic Relics for the last two years.