The Moroccan researcher, Said Al Bouhali, has just published his work “The first names and surnames of Moroccans of the Jewish faith in Safi: A study based on civil status systems”.
Published by Editions Bilal, this 120-page opus aims to contribute to the preservation of Moroccan collective memory by lifting the veil on several facets of the history of the city of the Ocean, including those relating to aspects of Jewish culture in Morocco, which “represents an essential component of Moroccan culture, in addition to the other components (Amazigh, Arab-Muslim, Andalusian and African) forming the identity and unity of the Kingdom”.
We learn from the presentation sheet of the book that Said Al Bouhali was based essentially on the registers of the Civil Status, the archives of the Official Bulletin, the documents of the Land Registry, the correspondence of the Rabbinical Court of Essaouira , to which the Jews of Safi belong in their transactions and civil status, in addition to the family archive of certain Jewish personalities.
In the preface to the book, the president of the Moroccan Center for Cultural Investment (Massaq), Khalid Touzani, notes that this publication is part of the major scientific project of the researcher Said Al Bouhali started more than two decades ago, with a view to to shed light on the cultural and spiritual life of the City of the Ocean and its historical sites as well as the personalities who have marked the history of this province.
In this context, Touzani noted that “The first and last names of Moroccans of the Jewish faith in Safi” enriches the research and studies carried out in Morocco on the different aspects of the life of the Moroccan community of the Jewish faith, “whose history and presence in the Kingdom date back to Roman times, before 2000 years, as evidenced by certain Jewish cemeteries in several Moroccan cities”.
Born in Safi in 1971, Said Al Bouhali first published books on the National Movement in Safi and the Zaouïa Ghanimia and its socio-political roles, before later taking an interest in the history of the Moroccan Jewish community. in Safi, which left its mark on the socio-cultural and economic context of Safi and Morocco in general.
This researcher has also written a book on Saint Abraham ben Zmirou Al Hazan, whose sanctuary is a high place to which thousands of Moroccans of the Jewish faith and Jews from all over the world flock to celebrate the Hiloula each year.