Moroccan king gives Jewish neighborhood its name back
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Moroccan king gives Jewish neighborhood its name back

Marrakesh’s Essalam district will revert to original name of El Mellah, as monarch moves to preserve heritage of all society’s components

King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the rededication ceremony of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, Morocco, December 16, 2016. (Screen capture: YouTube)
King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the rededication ceremony of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, Morocco, December 16, 2016. (Screen capture: YouTube)

A historically Jewish neighborhood in Marrakesh will have its original name restored on the orders of King Mohammed VI.

The Essalam neighborhood will be renamed El Mellah, and the original names of the streets and town squares also will be restored, according to reports.

The order comes from the king, following a request by the president of the Jewish community, according to the Moroccan State Press Agency.

The Moroccan Interior Ministry made the announcement on Friday, saying the king made the decision in order to “safeguard the civilizational heritage of the Kingdom as well as the cultural heritage of all the components of Moroccan society.”

Variations of the word “mellah” in Arabic and Hebrew mean “salt.” The Jewish neighborhood was surrounded by a high wall.

Earlier last month, the king attended the rededication of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, whose restoration was funded in part by a government grant.

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