On the 1st of June, at the residence of H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria, the first Moroccan poetry evening was held.

The poems of 10 poets from the fabulous North African country sounded out in their original language of Arabic or French, and then translated into Bulgarian. The event was organized by the Moroccan Embassy, ​​the "Europe and the World" Foundation and the Moroccan-German Association for Culture and Integration.

H. Pr. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui welcomed the participants and personally read the first poem "Scars of the Sun" by the famous Moroccan poet and writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, a receiver of the "Prix Goncourt" and a member of the "Goncourt" Academy.

Gergina Dvoretzka, chairman of the "Europe and the World" Foundation, a poet and journalist, also greeted the guests, while throughout the evening there was the wonderful poet-moderator who gave them a fascinating insight into the Moroccan poetry. The poems of five female poets and five male poets were presented; five of them were written in Arabic and five in French. Gergina Dvoretzka made the selection of the Moroccan writers, who write in French language, and the translation of their works in Bulgarian. The selection of the verses in Arabic was made by the poet and chairman of the Moroccan-German Association for Culture and Integration Nadia Yakin. Their translation into Bulgarian was the work of Khairi Hamdan - poet, writer and translator.

Nadia Yakin, as well as, Naziha Al Mountassir - a poet, artist and fashion designer; were the special guests from Morocco at the event. The two Moroccans read one of their own poems, and one from the poets Rajjah Om Sanaa and Munia al-Alali. The reading included Ms. Malica El Haddad, Advisor to the Moroccan Embassy in Sofia, with the poem by Fatema Chahid.

Men were also presented. The Bulgarian poet and literary critic Ivan Hristov, who participated in the International Poetry Forum in Safi (Morocco) in March this year, received the honorary prize "Culture is a Refuge for Humanity" and Khairi Hamdan, a poet, writer and translator took part. Works by Abdulrahim al-Hassar, Aisa Ikken, Abderrahman Ben Hamza were read. The evening of Moroccan poetry ended with the poem by Abdelatif Laabi, a translator, writer and poet, a winner of the "Goncourt" award and the of Grand Academy Award of the Francophone Academy of France in 2011.

And can poetry exist without music? Of course not. So, for the pleasant atmosphere contributed Ivan Hristov, who performed two pieceson kaval, and the duo from Morocco - Said and Nabil, who played authentic Moroccan rhythms on a lute and a synthesizer.

Then everyone enjoyed a fashion show - a collection of Moroccan caftans, combining the traditional and modern works of Naziha Al Mountassir.

After the event H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui gave a dinner - a banquet for the guests. Among them were the ambassadors of Spain, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Sudan, diplomats, cultural figures and friends.

Photos: "Diplomatic Spectrum"

Above: H. E. Ms. Zakia El Midaoui (with the white dress in the middle); to her left - the poets Naziha Al Mountassir and Nadia Yakin; to the right – Gergina Dvoretzka, Khairi Hamdan and Ivan Hristov.

Below: H. E. Ms. Zakia El Midaoui reads the poem of the Moroccan poet and writer Tahar Ben Jelloun; Ivan Hristov plays the kaval, Said performson a lute; guests; moments from the caftan fashion show of the designer Naziha Al Mountassir.