The year 2018 was marked by the disappearance of several Moroccan personalities who contributed, each in his field, to the influence of the Kingdom. These intellectuals, politicians, sportsmen, artists and other associative actors managed to inscribe their names in golden letters in the national memory.
In politics, former Prime Minister Mohamed Karim Lamrani died on September 20th at the age of 99. The deceased has left its mark on the contemporary history of Morocco. His passing as head of government has resulted in major reforms. The name of the deceased, who held positions of high responsibility in the management of public affairs, was associated with a series of political, economic and social reforms, in addition to its determining role in the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP).
Former Iraqi Secretary of State Ahmed Iraqi died on January 24 at the age of 69. One of the leaders of the party of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), the late Iraqi was appointed in 1998 to the post of Secretary of State to the Minister of National Planning, Environment, Urban Planning and habitat, responsible for the environment. He has published several scientific works in the fields of health, education, the education system, public health, the environment and the human sciences.
Abdelhamid El Jamri, a member of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) and President of the UN Committee for the International Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, passed away on 6 November at the age of 61 years. A native of Guerouane in the Meknes region, the late El Jamri, a great defender of migrants’ rights, has held various positions in Morocco and abroad as an expert, consultant in project engineering, development, training and cooperation.
In the field of culture, literature, science and academic research, Professor Mohamed Benchrifa, a member of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco and an expert on Andalusian heritage, passed away on 23 November at the age of 90. The deceased had obtained his degree at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Rabat in 1960 and the diploma of graduate studies in literature at the same faculty in 1964. He also obtained his doctorate in literature at the University of Cairo in 1969. The late Benchrifa practiced as a teacher of Andalusian literature from 1970 until his retirement in 1995.
On January 29th, the university professor Thami Raji Hachimi died after a rich life dedicated to the service of the Koran and the Arabic language. He notably held the Chair of Science of the Koran at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.
Ali Skalli Houssaini, poet and author of the lyrics of Morocco’s national anthem, bowed out on November 6 in Rabat at the age of 86. The deceased, who is also the author of many works, won in 1982 the Grand Prix of Morocco and received, in 1992, the International King Faisal Prize of Saudi Arabia for children’s literature.
Journalist and writer Mohamed Ahmed Bahi, a member of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), died on February 5 at the age of 72. The deceased had a long and rich experience in journalism through his stint in many national media organizations, including the daily newspapers “Al Anbae”, “Al Mitaq”, “Rissalat Al Ummah” and “Assahra Al Maghribia”. He has also been a correspondent for several international media.
Moroccan journalist and writer Amale Samie died on 27 January at the age of 63. Samie began his professional career as a French language teacher before becoming a journalist in 1992. Known in particular for his column in Morocco Hebdo “Should you be wrapped?” In the 90s and early 2000s, the deceased had published several novels of which “Ready me your delirium”, “Die for two ideas” and “Cedars and whales of the Atlas”, novel that earned him, in 1991, the Grand Atlas Award for the category original edition.
Mohamed El Menouar, a member of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), who died on August 27, rendered great and loyal services to the Amazigh culture and language as well as to the institution to which he belonged. The deceased has published several books on different fields of knowledge.
A prominent intellectual and Amazigh activist, Brahim Akhiat died on February 9 at the age of 77. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of IRCAM and Chair of its Committee on Cultural, Educational and Communication Affairs. Fire Akhiat has been campaigning since the 1960s for the recognition of Amazigh culture and language as components of the plural culture of Morocco. The deceased has written several books, including “Tabrat” (the letter) “Why the Amazigh?” (1994), “The Amazigh Action Men: The Dead Among Them” (2004) and “Amazighness , our national identity “(2007).
On October 8, the Moroccan pictorial scene was mourned by the death of the Moroccan painter Abdelbasset Ben Dahman who died at the age of 69. The figurative artist joined the Rabat Regional Pedagogical Center (CPR, plastic arts section) after studying at the School of Applied Arts in Casablanca. His first exhibition took place in 1972. From 1973, he devoted himself to the teaching of the plastic arts in his hometown, before continuing in 1983-1984 the special training cycle of art teachers. He manages the Linéart Gallery, which also houses his studio.
The field of justice lost during this year the director of the Higher Institute of the Judiciary (ISM) and president of chamber at the Court of Cassation, Abdelmajid Ghmija, who died at the age of 62. The deceased was a member the National Dialogue Forum on the Reform of the Justice System, the National Commission for the Control of Personal Data Protection and the National Commission for the Treatment of Tax Remedies. The late lawyer was also a member of the management committee of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) and the board of directors of the Moroccan Center for Banking Mediation.
As for the field of journalism and media, the former director general of the Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Abdeljalil Fenjiro, died on February 6 at the age of 80. The late Fenjiro was a living reference for national journalism. His name remained undoubtedly linked to the MAP for having long presided over the destinies of one of the largest news agencies in Africa and the Arab world as director and then general manager, from 1974 to 1999, before being named Ambassador of Morocco in Lebanon.
The journalist Maria Latifi died on May 15 at the age of 66. The deceased has held the position of director of the educational channel “Arrabiaa”, under the National Broadcasting Corporation (SNRT), since its launch in 2005 until 2017. Feue Maria Latifi had an exceptional professional career with cultural and educational programs, including “Attalfaza al madrasiya” (school television) and “Namadij” on 2M.
Former journalists of the Maghreb Arab News Agency (MAP), Mohamed Benseddik, Ibrahim Alia, Driss Boualam and Mekki Zerhouni died on 29 June, 27 July, 20 September and 1 August respectively.
In the field of sports journalism, journalist Abdeljabbar Ouzahra, editorial member of the newspaper “Al Mountakhab” and one of the emblematic figures of the national sports press, died on June 21 at the age of 77 years. Ouzahra was known for his dedication and action in favor of journalism and various sports causes. It was considered a “living memory” of the newspaper and national sport.
The president of the Moroccan Association of Journalists and Writers of Tourism (AMJET), Mustapha Trai, died on January 16th. A teacher by profession, feu Trai was the founder and editor of the magazine “Tourism and Gastronomy”.
The art scene has also lost many of its iconic figures during this year. Moroccan actress Khadija Jamal died on 5 October at the age of 83. Khadija Jamal was notably known for her role in the comedy series “Lalla Fatima”, directed by Khadija Assad and Aziz Saadallah. In addition to her multiple roles on television, the deceased was known for her activism against the French occupation.
Moroccan artist Mohamed Mezgueldi, who died on January 29 at the age of 86, is one of the pioneers who laid the foundation for Moroccan song, in addition to being ambassador for Moroccan song in the Arab East.
A pioneer of Moroccan music and a famous violinist and composer, Jilali Belmahdi passed away on March 6th at the age of 84. The deceased bequeathed to posterity many works of art that have enriched the Moroccan art scene and have been performed by national and international orchestras.
Ali Bachar, alias Qchbal, a member of the famous duo “Qchbal and Zeroual”, died on 2 August in Settat at the age of 86. Over 50 years, Qchbal formed with Bachar Mohammed, alias Zeroual, who is none other than his nephew, the most endearing duo that has left its mark on the show with the flavor of “halqa” where music and comedy are only a.
The icon of the Moroccan popular song, Hamid Zahir (whose real name is Hamid Bentaher), died on December 10 at the age of 82. The late one developed a personal style combining words, music and joie de vivre. Tubes like “Awin Awin”, “Rouah Li Bgha Yzour”, “Lila has Sidi Aâmara”, “Marrakech Sidi Koulou Fareh Lik (All Marrakesh is happy for you, Your Majesty),” Lalla Fatima “and” Ach Dak Tmchi Lzine “Are picked up everywhere in Morocco.
The famous raï singer Mimoun El Oujdi died on 3 November in Oujda at the age of 68. Considered one of the stars of the Moroccan music scene, he drew his songs in the sounds of the raï and the rhythms of the Oriental region.
The eminent artist painter Hassan El Glaoui retired on June 21 in Rabat at the age of 94. The late artist has distinguished himself by a career as dense as it is singular and he is considered one of the founders and pioneers of contemporary art in Morocco. His paintings have received international recognition. He is famous for his horse paintings, especially fantasias, and still life.
Director Abderrahmane Mouline passed away on July 16th at the age of 75. Mouline belonged to the very first generation of Moroccan directors. During his long career, the deceased has made popular tele-soap operas, plays and TV series, including the latest “Men dar al dar” was a huge success.
In sports, the former player of the national football team, Mohamed Baba, died at the age of 83 years. The deceased, who wore the Atlas Lions jersey in the sixties, had shone in the Nejm Chabab Casablanca club, attracting the desires of many teams including Wydad, Raja and Racing Casablanca.
The former international and coach of the national football team, Abdellah Settati, died on March 29 at the age of 83. The deceased was an assistant coach of the Atlas Lions in the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico. He also presided over the destinies of several national clubs, including the Moghreb of Fes, the Renaissance of Settat, the Wydad of Casablanca (WAC), the CODM of Meknes, the Mouloudia of Oujda, the Chabab Mohammédia, the ASS of Sale and the Ittihad Zemmouri of Khémisset.
The former goalkeeper of Moghreb de Fes (MAS) and the national football team, Hamid El Hazzaz, died on January 13 at the age of 72. The late El Hazzaz was one of the most prestigious goalkeepers in the history of Morocco’s national team, with which he won the 1976 African Cup of Nations. He was also selected for the Mexico-1970 World Cup with the Morocco.
Moroccan coach Mustapha Madih died on November 4th at the age of 62. Madih, who has led several clubs including Chabab Al Massira, Raja Beni Mellal, Hassania Agadir and Olympique de Khouribga, was at the helm of the Olympic selection that won the gold medal of the Games of the Francophonie in Canada in 2001 and Moroccan Onze at the Arab Cup (Kuwait 2002). Before his death, he was coach of Morocco under-17 team.
The former player of the 1960s national football team, Mohamed Jarir, known as “Houmane”, died on May 19 in the United States at the age of 74. The deceased has worn Raja Casablanca and the national team several times, including the final phase of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, where he scored the first goal of the National Eleventh at the World Cup against Germany.
Former Casablanca Wydad goalkeeper Mohamed El Khalidy, aka “Yachine”, passed away on July 18th at the age of 75. He became famous in the 1960s for his agility and spectacular parades in the cage of the prestigious club Casablanca, hence his nickname that referred to the legendary keeper of the Soviet Union Lev Yachine.
The former leader and member of many Raja Casablanca committees, Hadj Abdellatif Lasky, died on 2 November at the age of 78. This veteran of the Green Devils Club’s leadership had for nearly 35 years served as vice-president on numerous occasions and other responsibilities on various committees.
During the year that is ending, the family of the resistance was also afflicted by the death of several activists, including El Khamani Ben Salem El Khamni, who died April 4 in Zagora. The late El Khamni, born in 1926 in M’hamid El Ghizlane, joined the ranks of the South Liberation Army as Caid in the 7th district of the center of M’hamid El Ghizlane. The deceased participated in crucial battles in the Sahara such as Swihat, Zemoul and Oum Laachar.
Former resistance fighter Mohamed Tabach died on August 10, 2018. The deceased joined the ranks of the Liberation Army in the north of the Kingdom and took part in several operations targeting the interests of the occupier, before being imprisoned in 1955. He was one of the first resisters to have left their mark on the national struggle for the recovery of independence and the consecration of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In the associative field, Pierrette M’jid, widow of the former president of the Royal Moroccan Tennis Federation, Mohamed M’jid, died on 7 August at the age of 67. “Morocco has lost a great lady. The M’jid Foundation has lost its second half, “said the Foundation in a statement, noting that” if volunteering still exists, it is carried by people like Pierrette M’jid, this lady with a big heart who put a point of honor to help one’s neighbor “.
On 24 April, Corporal Rachid Abarki, a member of the Moroccan contingent serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), died in the field of honor.