Her Excellency Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia,

took part on February 26, 2023 in Sofia in a gathering for the presentation of the book by Mr. Misho Ivanov, written in Bulgarian language, titled "Islam and the Last Prophet".

The writer, Misho Ivanov, passionate about Morocco and its culture, is a Bulgarian author established in Spain. He is a tour operator specializing in organizing trips for groups of tourists in Morocco and Andalusia in Spain.

In his above-mentioned work, Mr. Misho Ivanov, who is a general "Manager" of the travel agency "Andalu Travel" in the Spanish city of Malaga, set out to shed light on the life of the Prophet Sidna Mohammed  and its contribution to the perception and expansion of the Islam, as well as to the ideas and ideals advocated by this religion, of which the holy book the Koran, a collection of revelations received by the Prophet, constitutes one of the main foundations. In doing so, he focuses research on one of the fundamental aspects of this religion, namely tolerance, the centerpiece of Islamic thought and the mother of all human values for the purposes of living together within the framework of diversity, in all its forms.

In her speech during this meeting, the Ambassador Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui made the comparison between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Bulgaria, considering that the two countries are both important international tourist destinations and models of tolerance and lands of intercultural dialogue and living together, thanks to the richness of their culture and their thousand-year-old history of peaceful coexistence between, in particular, the different faiths and ethnic groups. And to add "this is why today's event intends to celebrate this spirit of openness and tolerance, which find their essence in the values of solidarity, fraternity, peace and living together, that Morocco and Bulgaria have in common with other countries around the world".

In the same context, the Moroccan Ambassador did not fail to highlight the originality of the Moroccan religious model, based on the Commander of Believers, which aims to be a factor of unity and guarantor of respect for the principles and values of Islam in Morocco, highlighting the efforts of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, in promoting the values of tolerance and interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

The Moroccan Diplomat also pointed out that Morocco has always been, throughout its history, a land of coexistence, tolerance and living together between people of the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

This model of interaction, highly praised, she observed, has helped the country to preserve its multicultural origins, noting that all of these tributaries have been recognized by the 2011 Constitution which has enabled the Kingdom to strengthen its diversity, its unity, its identity and its cosmopolitanism.

Custodians of a centuries-old heritage that has its roots in sub-Saharan Africa as much as in Europe to the north and the east part of Arab countries, Moroccans today proudly share this heritage as an asset for the present, as was in the past, and for the future of their country, she added.

Along the same lines, Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui recalled the efforts made by the late H. M. King Hassan II, early promoter of peace and dialogue between monotheistic religions, and by the late H. M. King Mohammed V, who categorically refused to let to sacrifice Moroccan citizens, of the Jewish faith, during the Vichy regime. The extension of these positions is seen every day with H. M. King Mohammed VI, Amir Al Mouminine, who made the Kingdom an exception in the region, she said.

The visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Morocco, on March 30 and 31, 2019, testifies, remarks the Ambassador, to this strong dynamic of openness and coexistence that characterizes the Kingdom. And to emphasize that the Kingdom's constant commitment to tolerance, dialogue and religious freedom is reflected, among other things, in its pioneering role as a founding and active member of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), an organization responsible for mobilizing national and international actors around peace and carrying its values around the world, and which held its 9th edition on November 22 and 23, 2022 in Fez. Similarly, through the establishment of two flagship institutions to promote the values of a tolerant Islam: The Mohammed VI Institute for the training of Imams, preachers and the Mohammed VI Foundation of African «Ulemas», whose vocation is to thwart the radicalism that rages at the gates of Africa and to promote an Islam of moderation and the just medium.

"In Morocco, peace, tolerance and religious coexistence are not only common parameters of daily life, but also irreversible choices freely agreed and unanimously shared," she concluded.

For his part, Mr. Misho Ivanov took the floor to give a historical overview of his ties with Morocco and the reasons that motivated him to write his book in testimony to the principle of "living together" and the tolerance of which make Morocco, its Sovereign, King Mohammed VI, and the Moroccan people special.

Subsequently, via the screening of a documentary on the importance of tourism in Morocco, several personalities, both Moroccan and Spanish, spoke to pay tribute to the Bulgarian author of the book "Islam and the Last Prophet", to praise his human and professional qualities, always ready to help others in all circumstances, to establish friendly relations with the local population to better understand their culture and, if necessary, adapt to it.

Famous singer Ivan Gotsev, specializing in folk songs, who is one of the veterans and founders of the Pirin Folk Festival, performed three songs. Note that Pirin Folk is a festival of original songs based on Macedonian folklore, which is held every September in the town of Sandanski. Since the year 2000, with its inclusion in the cultural calendar of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Festival has grown more and more and established itself as an international cultural event and a place where artists from Bulgaria, from Greece, the Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia and Romania meet, compete and communicate.

This was attended by a large audience made up in particular of officials, experts, university professors, people of culture, representatives of the media, businessmen, religious, representatives of travel such as Ms. Roumyana Lyubenova (Welcome Travel Ldt Travel Agency Director) as well as members of the diplomatic corps.

The information was provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of Bulgaria.