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Open letter of gratitude
to His Majesty King Mohamed VI

By Bahya Oumlil-Murad

December18, 2006

On behalf of the San Francisco delegation, composed of San Francisco Small Business Commissioner Mr. Gus Murad and California Assembly Representative Ms. Fiona Ma, I would like to express my gratitude to His Majesty King Mohammed VI for generously inviting delegates to the third annual Moussem (festival) of Tan-Tan.

Small Business Commissioner Gus Murad is presented for introduction
to Prince Moulay Rachid by former U.S. Ambassador Edward Gabriel
and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Kitin Munoz Valcarcel.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Assemblymember Fiona Ma is presented for introduction
to Prince Moulay Rachid.

I would also like to extend my personal thanks to His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid for kindly receiving and welcoming the guests.

In the summer of 2006, M. Obadah Rachidi, Director of Business Development at the Moroccan-American Trade and Investment Council, provided detailed information about the Tan-Tan Festival, which is organized under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammad VI. When information about the event was shared with U.S. government officials, we encountered keen interest in the festival. Traveling to Tan-Tan was not only an opportunity to build political and business relationships but also a chance to experience some of Morocco’s remarkable traditions.

M. Obadah Rachidi (left), Director of Business Deverlopment
for the Moroccan-American Trade and Investment Council.

The San Francisco delegation flew to New York to join other delegates from the U.S. and Canada and boarded a special charter flight to Morocco, courtesy of the Moroccan Government. Upon their arrival to Agadir, the administrative and economic centre for the southern region of Morocco, Murad and Ma met with delegates from Korea, Europe and Saudi Arabia.

At the Moussem of Tan-Tan, the San Francisco delegates experienced first-hand the legendary Moroccan tradition of hospitality. They walked away enthusiastic about what the country has to offer and were impressed with the richness of Moroccan culture. As a result, a sister region relationship between California and the southern region of Morocco is being considered.

I would also like to thank Mr. Mohammed Achaari., Minister of Culture; Mr. Adil Douiri, Minister of Tourism, Handicraft and Social Economy; Mr. Tayeb Fassi Fihri Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Mr. Abbas Azzouzi, Chief Executif Officer of the Moroccan National Tourist Office; Mr. Fadel Benyaich, Royal Cabinet; the Moroccan Office of Protocol; Mr. Ahmed Hajji, Director of the Agency for the Economic and Social Development of the Southern Regions of Morocco, Mr. Ahmed Merghich, Governor of Tan-Tan; Mr. Theodore Smith, President-Moroccan American Trade and Investment Council; Mr. Ambassador Edward Gabriel, Chairman- Moroccan American Trade and Investment Council; Mr. Obadah Rachidi, Director Business Development- Moroccan American Trade and Investment Council; Mr. Ali Oumlil, Ambassador of Morocco to Lebanon; and to the festival volunteers for coordinating, planning and executing an extraordinary event.

We are looking forward to taking part in the fourth Tan-Tan Moussem next year.

Bahya Oumlil-Murad and Gus Murad on the occasion of their wedding reception in Rabat on September 1, 2006.




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