MOROCCAN SOFT POWER – By Mustapha Sehimi

Soft power? A concept that now has its place in international relations. It designates the capacity of a political actor (State, multinational firm, NGO, network of citizens, etc.) to indirectly influence the behavior of another actor or the definition by this other actor of his own interests and this whole through structural, cultural or ideological means. It thus refers to particular resources.

What about Morocco? Many features mark this policy of soft power. IRES has drawn up a significant picture of this in several annual reports. He concludes in that of the year 2022 that the Kingdom has an image, a generally positive reputation. This concerns many aspects of politics, internally and internationally. It is worth mentioning here two in particular related to current events. The first concerns culture and more specifically the 15th edition of the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture which is being held this week in the spiritual capital of the Kingdom. “Morocco, land of Sufism”: HM the King underlines this in a message to the 1st Sidi Chiker international meeting of Sufism affiliates. The Sovereign insisted on the fact that “Moroccans have internalized well, since the event of Islam, that the essence of religion consists in purifying the soul of selfishness, hatred and extremism. “. It is about rising “through self-restraint and self-control, in a quest for the spiritual crowning achievement known as “Sufism”. Values ​​of tolerance, solidarity, altruism and rejection of fiercest selfishness”.

science and consciousness

Man is not only reason, he is not made only of reason: he is also a being of desire, of inner life: spirituality in general and Sufism in particular have looked into the reality of that -this. This Fez festival has a central theme: “SCIENCE AND CONSCIOUSNESS”. A debate which has crossed our civilizations and which has also marked the Muslim civilization with Ghazali, Ibn Rochd or even Ibn Arabi. There is a Moroccan heritage there that must be made accessible to as many people as possible while working to promote it. It must be a source of inspiration for our collective intelligence. Sufism certainly has its place there. And this festival revolves around a flamboyant, sumptuous program: artistic creations, concerts, Master classes, cinematographic projections, great voices of samaa from the Moroccan Sufi brotherhoods, and a new spiritual humanism served by the NTTC.

Morocco as in itself. In an anxiety-provoking, crisis-provoking world with the rise of great perils, the Kingdom does not sacrifice culture; he continues to value it and make his voice heard.

Another voice from Morocco is also that of a designer, Fadila El Gadi. She has just exhibited, from October 10 to 16. It is also another expression of soft power. Refinement of the embroidery, fluidity of the cuts, the most precious fabrics: this stylist thus brings her touch, her know-how. The legacy of the most ancestral traditions of craftsmanship combined with sobriety and modernity. A cosmopolitan clientele has been seduced for ages (Ivanka Trump, Barbra Streisand, etc.); his models have paraded on the catwarks of several world capitals (Paris, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam…). Artisan workshops from Salé to Washington! A journey and a leap into the world of “Couture à porter”: everyday chic; contemporary models but with the Moroccan hand.

What country in the region or on the continent can invoke such expressions of cultural soft power? Current economic indicators are worrying, in Morocco and around the world. But soft power is doing well – we must continue, more and better…

MOROCCAN SOFT POWER – By Mustapha Sehimi