February 1, 2023

In honor of the color of the snow covering the peak of Tasmeet and Mount Agnin in winter, Beni Mellal was named for its whiteness. “Amlal” or “Omlil” is a Berber name meaning “white”. It is an abbreviation of the word Amellal. , meaning “white” in the Berber Middle Atlas, which means “children of the white color”.

This recipe for whiteness, rooted in the memory of the mullahs and inherited by them, was not associated with this city for more than half a century, after it acquired a different color called “red mamunia”. The red doesn’t so much reflect the green nature that embraces the city or the whiteness of the snow that falls on it from the highest mountain peaks, but scratches at its historical identity, according to local activists and a group of young people at Hespress.

Beni Mellal – an egg in a green nest

Regarding the controversy currently taking place in Beni Mellal over the color of the city, researcher Dr. Mustafa Arabos, who specializes in the history of the Tadla Plain, said: “It should be noted that historically Beni Mellal was known for its white color, as it is more like an egg in a green nest, where white houses are surrounded by sea greens from orchards and tall trees.

He added that “the public authorities chose in 2000, with the approval of a mixed commission consisting of various activities, the color ‘white/pale’, and at that time a color was produced on behalf of the city called ‘Beige’. Bani Mellal, which was unanimously approved by the inhabitants, and the chaos of color dissonance was stopped, “that the city knew.

He pointed out that “the situation remained the same until, in recent years, the city acquired the red color that distinguishes other cities, especially the cities of Deir Kamrah, Khenifra, Kasba Tadla and Azilal, which seems incompatible with the nature of the region, which is characterized green (…), and this is a color that has not been accepted by the population and is declining.” town.”

In turn, the plastic artist Hano Abdel Aziz, who grew up in the city, confirmed that “it is wrong to talk about the city of Beni Mellal without recalling the sound of the waters of Ain Asardun and olive trees that support a large percentage of the greenery of their leaves throughout the year, pine and the willows, the peaks of Tasmit, the mountains of Agnin, and what They scatter of white snow over the heart of the city.”

Nature is a source of love and inspiration… and white is a legacy

Hannu, who strongly defends the original flavor of the city, said: “These natural scenes, which have been a source of love and inspiration for writers, poets and plastic artists, and which are rooted in the minds of the inhabitants of the city and its visitors. , and are part of the identity of the mullahs and the memory of the place, rooted in a history that no one likes to erase.” “.

“Just like Marrakech, Fez or the Bride of the North and the rest of the Moroccan cities have their own identity, the white cashier, or the so-called beige, is part of the identity of the city, and this is a tangible legacy, and we, as local actors, cannot allow the city to give up part of your heritage by wearing red,” says the Hespress speaker.

Red tires the audience

The same plastic artist, who did not hesitate to plead with the authorities concerned and correspond with the authorities in order to return the city to its original color, stated: “Unfortunately, Beni Mellal, because he was red, became boring to onlookers. color incompatible with its nature. Pointing out that “the nature of Marrakech and its semi-arid climate is different from the nature of Beni Mellal, which is characterized by greenery.”

And associations have an opinion .. Red evokes sadness

For his part, Said Falik, head of the Ain Asardun press club, stated that “the club was the first to raise the issue with former governor Muhammad al-Darduri in a correspondence on the matter. He also sent a letter to the municipal council, which included it as a point in one of their meetings, but it was ignored.”

Falik added that the Ain Asardun Press Club, along with other associations, pushed for “the return of white color to Beni Mellal, as it reflects the beauty of this city, characterized by picturesque nature and bright colors.” Why did the color of the city of Beni Mellal change from white to red in this way?” Speed, what created a cacophony for us?

For his part, Al-Hussein Harshi, head of the Beni Mellal Community Reconstruction Committee, said that “most of the mullahs support the demand for the return of white”, noting that “the city has known this color for some time, and the inhabitants were surprised by this mammon red color, evoking melancholy and gloom, which was done. Imposition without coordination with various human rights and artistic organizations.

Harshi, an association activist with an interest in human rights issues, added that “the city, with its intellectuals, old people, youth and women, is painted white/beige”, stressing that he and his comrades “will strive until this is achieved.”

Selected edition claim in color

In this regard, 20 members of the Bani Mellal Community Council wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Community Council, Ahmed Badra, with the aim of including an item on the agenda of the meeting regarding the consideration of the issue of changing the color of the facades of buildings in the community soil from red to the original color of the city, which is light white for wall facades and gray for windows and doors. Considering white as part of the local heritage.

another opinion

In the same context, it should be noted that in contrast to this group, which strongly advocates white, there is another group, although smaller in number, that clings to the color red, justifying it by the fact that it obscures the dirt left after the rain. and breaks the intensity of the sun’s rays, which the city knows in the summer.

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