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H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui received the Golden Star of cultured diplomat, and Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum, received the Award of the organization for her contribution to Bulgarian-Moroccan cultural and diplomatic Relations

On January 3rd, at the residence of the Moroccan Ambassador in Sofia, the first Cultural Diplomatic Salon was held, by the Council of Moroccan Women of the World, in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of Bulgaria, the Union of Bulgarian Writers, the Association Spectar 21 vek and Diplomatic spectrum. The event was under the patronage of His Majesty King Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the topic "Women and their role in promoting cultural and diplomatic relations between peoples and countries" drew strong interest and attracted over 200 guests from all over the country.

Of course, there was also a delegation from the Council of Moroccan Women of the World, led by its President, Mrs. Nadia Yakine, and members: Dr. El Alia Maelainin, Vice President, Mrs. Amal Abdelmalek El Yahyaoui, Secretary General, Mrs. Zhor Gouram, Deputy Secretary-General, Mrs. Khadija Qirtasse, Financial manager, and Mrs. Fouzia Jaidani, Advisor. The event was also assisted by the Council of the Moroccan Community living abroad and the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans residing abroad.

The first Cultural Diplomatic Salon was opened by H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, who welcomed all Bulgarians and Moroccans who came to participate or simply to attend the event. She, then, gave the floor to the President of the Council of Moroccan Women of the World - Mrs. Nadia Yakine.

The Moroccan Cultural Diplomatic Salon - Goals and Activities

According to Mrs. Nadia Yakine: "The Council of Moroccan Women of the World, in partnership with Moroccan diplomatic and consularmissions accredited abroad, organizes this Salon to create a space for dialogue and exchange of experience, as well as to strengthen relations between Morocco and countries where the Kingdom is represented at diplomatic and consular levels.

The Cultural Diplomatic Salon is a place where culture meets diplomacy in the presence of representatives from various fields, including cultural, diplomatic, political, intellectual, scientific, artistic and sports. The Salon provides an opportunity for dialogue on specific topics that help to strengthen relations between peoples and countries. It creates partnerships between the Council of Moroccan Women of the Worldand institutions - governmental or non-governmental - of other countries whose missions and goals are compatible with those of the Council. The Salon supports the identification and promotion of talented Moroccans living abroad, both in their host country and in Morocco, and presents them through projects related to the Moroccan diaspora.

H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui received the Golden Star

Yakine emphasized: "The Council of Moroccan Women of the World has chosen to start this Salon in Sofia, Bulgaria, because of the great efforts made by H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, to organize a series of cultural events in both countries to get to know the Kingdom in all its aspects: political, economic, cultural, touristic, historical and others." Indeed, the extraordinary activity of Her Excellency and the tremendous work she puts into developing cultural and diplomatic relations between our countries in all spheres cannot be described in a few words. But it deserves the highest distinction that the Cultural Diplomatic Salon gave her and will give from here on. She received the Golden Star for her contribution to the development of cultural and bilateral diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and her two countries of accreditation, Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of North Macedonia, by the President of the Council of Moroccan Women of the World, Mrs. Nadia Yakine.

More about H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaouiin the Republic of Bulgaria.

Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum received an honorary award from the Council of Moroccan Women of the World

Few minutes before she was given the award, in the official part of the evening program, after her wishes for a healthy, successful New 2020 year, filled with prosperity for all, she said:

Five years ago, in the period between Christmas and New Year's, our online edition, Diplomatic Spectrum, was born. It was created by two women - me and my colleague Aneta Peni, with the desire to unite countries, diplomats, peoples... And I think we’ve succeeded to a great extent...

As editor-in-chief of the magazine, and co-chair of the Association Spectar 21 vek for Cultural Products and International Exchange, I understand the world, as a great personality said more than a century ago, "solely as a field for cultural competition between nations". And when there is both acceptance of differences and tolerance in relationships, this cultural competition unites. Therefore, the emphasis in Diplomatic Spectrum is cultural diplomacy. That's why the Association Spectar 21 vek has been trying for five years, with the media partnership of the magazine, through its initiative "Show Tradition! Give a Holiday!", to contribute in the making ofa better world and more beautiful.

A number of events have already been held - real celebrations under this motto, in cooperation with various diplomatic missions in Bulgaria and a number of Bulgarian institutions and cultural operators. Our goal is to show the beauty and diversity of Bulgarian celebrations and traditions to the representatives of foreign missions in Bulgaria, and vice versa - of foreign celebrations and traditions to the Bulgarian audience.

Fortunately for us, in the person of H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, since her arrival as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to our country three years ago, we found an adherent and an active diplomatic partner. And together we toured Bulgaria, showing the beauty of both countries to people. We started from Sofia, but we were also in Tryavna, Plovdiv, Chepelare, the villages of Momchilovtsi, Borino, Banite... Our last event was in Kazanlak in November, where, together with the regional Ombudsman, who is here among us tonight, we presented the oil roses of Bulgaria and Morocco. Therefore, we thank H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui for her commitment and cooperation, and we wish her success in the Cultural Diplomatic Salon, which has goals close to ours.

The award of the Council of Moroccan Women of the Worldwas presented to Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova by Mrs. Khadija Qirtasse, financial manager of the Council, expert in information and communication technologies in Germany.

During the evening, a bunch of prizes were given out

The Council of Moroccan Women of the Worldalso received the journalist, writer and poet, chairman of the Europe and the World Foundation, Mrs. Gergina Dvoretska, for organizing two evenings of Moroccan poetry in Sofia and for her publications dedicated to Morocco in the site www.evropaworld.eu, of which she is the editor-in-chief. The diplomatic spectrum also relayed these events.

Dr. Alae Eddine Zaoui, a gynecologist, Moroccan, living and working in Bulgaria, received the same award for his full integration in Bulgaria and high professionalism.

Among other prizes presented by the Council of Moroccan Women of the World during the event was MEP Mr. Ilhan Kyuchuk. His distinction was awarded for promoting Moroccan culture in Bulgaria and promoting relationship between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco, as well as the President of the Union of Bulgarian Writers - Mr. BoyanAngelov, and the translator Mr. Khairi Hamdan.

The following famous Bulgarian writers received gifts on behalf of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco: Mr. Zlatimir Kolarov, Mr. Peter Andasarov, Mr. Dimitar Christov, Mrs. Angela Dimcheva, Mrs. Zdravka Evtimova and Mrs. Aksinia Michailova, also the Mr. Dimitar Hristov – Director of the cooperation of the Union of Bulgarian writers, Mrs. Vyara Lyubenova, President of the Association of French teachers in Bulgaria, the choreographer of the danse group "Sophistik jivo" Mrs. Elina Topalska.

At the end of the official part of the evening, an Agreement of Understanding/MOU was signed between the Union of Bulgarian Writers and the Council of Moroccan Women of the World. It says that literature is an important factor for getting to know the peoples of Bulgaria and Morocco, and the purpose is understanding and cooperating between writers and cultural communities. The upcoming initiatives will include visits of Bulgarian writers in Morocco and of Moroccans in Bulgaria, presentations and translations of books in both languages, conferences, seminars, festivals and workshops. The agreement was signed by Mr. Boyan Anguelov, President of the Union of Bulgarian Writers - UBW, and Mrs. Nadia Yakine, President of Council of Moroccan Women of the World.

For his part, the President of the UBW, Mr. Boyan Anguelov, presented Ambassador Zakia El Midaoui with an Honorary Prize for her contribution to the development of Bulgarian-Moroccan literary cooperation, saying: "On behalf of the 106-year-old Union of Bulgarian Writers, I congratulate the friends of Morocco! Our two countries are thousands of kilometers from each other, but both Bulgaria and Morocco are heirs to an 8,000 years culture. We are happy to be able to show at least some of our achievements today."

A cultural program and a caftan catwalk

The evening continued with a fashion show of Moroccan caftans and takshitas, which, as always, captivated the attendees and livened up the atmosphere.

The program also included performances of the Sophistik-jivo Dance Group with the participation of Alexander Alexandrov-Alex. Only a few months ago the artistshad a successful tour in Zagora - Morocco, and during the evening at the residence they showed dances and songs from almost all ethnographic regions of Bulgaria. A catwalk of Bulgarian national costumes followed. The Bulgarian famous folk singer, Polly Paskova, also performed a musical greeting.

The raffle organized by the Embassy and the Council of Moroccan Women of the World with Moroccan handicrafts object sand caftans also provoked a real craze.

E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui thanked especially for their assistance in the implementation of the cultural program of the evening: Mrs. Vyara Lyubenova, Chair of the Association of French Teachers in Bulgaria, and Mrs. Elina Topalska, Choreographer of the Sophistik-jivo Group.

All guests enthusiasticallytasted the famous Moroccan couscous and other specific Moroccan traditional dishes. At the beginning and the end of the evening, everyone could enjoy the Moroccan green mint tea with pastries.

The first Cultural Diplomatic Salon organized by the Council of Moroccan Women of the World, held in Sofia, was a real success. The Council of Moroccan Women of the World isplanning its second edition in Delhi, in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of India and in collaboration with the Department of Arab language of the University of New Delhi.

Photos credit: Mr. Krasimir Pekov, Black and White Magazine

Above: Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum receives the Organization award for her Contribution to Bulgarian-Moroccan Cultural and Diplomatic Relations from Mrs. Khadija Qirtasse. Left - H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia.

First Row: H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui welcomes the guests at the first Cultural Diplomatic Salon; Mrs. Nadia Yakine, President of the Council of Moroccan Women of the World, announces the opening of the Salon; Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum, and Chair of the Association of Teachers of and in French in Bulgaria talk about the topic: "Women and their role in promoting cultural and diplomatic relations between countries".

Second and third rows: H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui received the Golden Star, and Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova, Mrs. Gergina Dvoretska, Mr. Khairi Hamdan and Mr. Boyan Angelov received prizes from the Council. A bunch of awards were also given to the people who contributed to the development of the cooperation and the organization of the Salon.

Fourth row: the signing of the Agreement of Understanding was signed between the Union of Bulgarian Writers and the Council of Moroccan Women of the World. Bulgarian girls presented the Moroccan kaftans to the guests. The Sophistik-jivo dance group livened up the atmosphere with its performances.

Fifth Row: The editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum in conversation with the ambassadors of Italy and Moldova. She was also congratulated for the award by Mrs. Stanislava Pekova, Editor-in-Chief of Black and White Magazine. Women from the delegation of the Council of Moroccan Women of the World