U.S. Ambassador Bush participated in an event on Friday marking the official conclusion of restorations to the western ramparts of Ksar Sghir. The project was funded through a $120,450 grant from theAmbassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to the Association of Moroccan Heritage of the Mediterranean Coast in 2014. The ceremony included officials from the Ministry of Culture, officials from Tangier and Tetouan, and representatives from the Association of Moroccan Heritage of the Mediterranean Coast. In his remarks, Ambassador Bush highlight the goals of the AFCP, which utilizes funding from the U.S. government to preserve cultural heritage sites and traditions throughout the world with the goal of promoting regional economic development. The U.S. Embassy will announce the call for 2016 AFCP proposals in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
For those who haven’t visited, Ksar Sghir is a fortress that was built under the Merinides Sultan Abou Youssef Yacoub (around 1257), and it was taken by the Portuguese in 1458. The Portuguese occupied the fortress and then abandoned it 90 years later. Morocco is home to six Ambassador Fund sites, starting in 2002 with the restoration of two central square and fountains in the old medina of Tangier. Like Ksar Sghir, Ambassador’s Fund projects across the Kingdom of Morocco represent a selection of Morocco’s most cherished places for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Ancient and sacred sites such as the Kasbah of Mehdiya near Kenitra, granaries in the region of Tata, spiritual songs chanted by Moroccan women choirs, and the restoration of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish cemeteries in Essaouira.