For several years, UNESCO has failed to classify couscous as cultural heritage because of the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, each of the two countries claiming the paternity of the famous dish of North Africa.
The ministers of culture of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania met last Monday and granted to present this dish as heritage of all Maghreb countries.
Thus, couscous has managed to unify the Maghreb political class divided by the conflict of forty years of Western Sahara between Rabat and Algiers.
The record of the classification of couscous in the heritage of humanity will be submitted by the end of March 2019 to the Evaluation Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The meeting of the group of Maghreb heritage specialists was a” common awareness “and a” positive step “for the preservation of this culinary heritage common to the Maghreb countries.
As a reminder, in 2016, Algeria tried to file this application alone, which provoked the anger of its Moroccan neighbor who, for its part, had tried to file the Raï, a musical style invented in the great border region of Morocco. Oran.
According to historical information available to date, couscous, or at least its variants, has been present in the region for thousands of years. The earliest archaeological evidence dates back to at least 200 BC.