The Pavilion of Morocco, Inc. will reflect the culture
of the country. Products of Morocco will be exhibited and sold
in the pavilion and an outdoor restaurant will serve Moroccan
delicacies. Architect for the pavilion is Mr. Charles Koulbanis,
Mr. John Olenek is structural engineer, and Mr. Ugur D. Bengisu
is the designer.
Brochure, The Pavilion of Morocco, Inc.
transcription of remarks made by Moroccan and World's Fair officials
at the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Pavilion of Morocco,
Inc. at the New York World's Fair, Thursday, July 25, 1963.
DR. ROBERTO DE
MENDOZA [Deputy Chief of Protocol]: Mr. Sbai, Governor Poletti,
distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. This groundbreaking
ceremony for the Pavilion of Morocco, Inc. is a happy occasion
full of golden promise. The pavilion, beautiful in the simplicity
of its lines, has been designed by Ugur D. Bengisu in collaboration
with New York architects Charles J. Koulbanis and John Olenek.
it will have many features to captivate the interest of the millions
of visitors to the Fair.
It will depict
the agricultural resources of the country and its wealth in mineral
deposits, as well as the modern industrialization which has expanded
a number of its industries. Shops around the pavilion will feature
famous products of Moroccan handicraft - carpets, leather goods,
wool and silk stuffs, and many others. I understand that part
of the exhibit will portray the tourist attractions of the kingdom
which quite apart from its well-known centers like Rabat, Tangier,
Marrakech and Casablanca, are many and varied, from skiing on
the slopes of its beautiful mountains to swimming and water sports
at its magnificent beaches.
At this moment
I should like to have the honor of presenting Madame Sbai, wife
of the president of the Pavilion of Morocco, Inc., Madame Sbai.
I should also like to present the architects who have designed
the Pavilion: Mr. Charles J. Koulbanis, Mr. John Olenek and Mr.
Ugur D. Bengisu.
Our first speaker
on this very auspicious occasion is a prominent New York attorney
who has been a justice of the State Supreme Court, trustee of
the Power Authority, and governor of the State of New York. He
rendered most valuable services during World War II, for which
he received many high honors. He visited Morocco in 1961, shortly
after the accession to the throne of His Majesty, King Hassan
II; and he has traveled widely in his untiring efforts on behalf
of the success of this international section. I have the honor
to present governor Charles Poletti, vice president for International
Affairs and Exhibits of the New York World's Fair Corporation.
POLETTI: Thank you very much. The Ambassador referred to the
fact that Mrs. Poletti and I had a very fine visit to Rabat to
extend the official invitation to the government for participation
in the New York World's Fair. That was in 1961, but my recollection
of Morocco goes back a few years before that. In fact it goes
back to 1943 when I was a member of the staff of General George
Patton, and those days we were roaming around Morocco and Algeria;
we saw a bit of Casablanca and Marrakech and Fez and other places,
so that I've had a little acquaintance with your country from
De Mendoza said, we at the World's Fair are much delighted that
we will have a Pavilion of Morocco, Inc. We believe that Morocco
has much to show to the seventy million visitors that will come
to the Fair; it's a wonderful country, with a marvelous people.
And we trust that the culture and the tradition and the achievements
of the Moroccan people will be beautifully presented in this
I want to add
another word of commendation to Mr. Sbai, Mr. Bengisu, Mr. Koulbanis
and his associate Mr. Olenek for the magnificent design that
you have. I think it's colorful, attractive, and it ought to
be one of the most interesting points in the International Area.
We of the International
Division want specially to commend Mr. Sbai for taking the initiative
in organizing this pavilion. The Moroccan Government was precluded
from official participation, but Mr. Sbai, who is an American
citizen of Moroccan extraction, had such confidence in the success
of the New York World's Fair and such conviction that the flag
of Morocco should be joining the other flags of the world here
at the Fair, that he alone took on the organization of this pavilion.
We are happy to say that his initiative and his resourcefulness
have borne great fruit and we look forward to the collaboration
and the cooperation of the Government of Morocco.
Moktar Sbai and Governor Charles Poletti at the site of the Moroccan
Pavilion, Inc., are shown with Mr. Sbai's children, Najia and
We feel that
surely the Ministry of Tourism of Morocco will want to give its
assistance and its cooperation to Mr. Sbai in connection with
this Moroccan Pavilion, Inc. because American people, who love
to travel, will surely want to see some of these glorious places
of which Morocco can boast. And this pavilion is the vehicle
by which that can be done. Apart from showing handicrafts and
some good foods and the nice little bar that I see there, I hope
that the organizers of the pavilion will also in some way serve
to convey to the American people that will come to this World's
Fair, the great qualities of the people of Morocco - and, also,
something about the King of that splendid country.
Those of us who have followed world
events are admirers of what is being done by His Majesty, King
Hassan II of Morocco. He is a young man, but he is courageous,
is forward-looking, he is stalwart, and he is a firm believer
in the values of freedom and justice and liberty. And in today's
groundbreaking for the Moroccan Pavilion, Inc., those of us here
at the World's Fair with to extend our best wishes to His Majesty,
King Hassan II. We are proud to have the Moroccan flag at the
World's Fair and delighted that this beautiful pavilion will
reflect some of the superb qualities of the people of Morocco.
|DR. DE MENDOZA:
Thank you, Governor Poletti. I now have the honor of introducing
an imaginative, enterprising personality, who has made it possible
to have at our New York World's Fair, the Pavilion of Morocco,
Inc., which promises to be one of the great attractions of the
International Section. He was born in the city of Fez, seat of
the Carouine University, the oldest university of the Arabic
language. He was raised and educated in Morocco, attended business
school in this country and later became an American citizen.
Among his activities, he founded in New York, Moroccan Leather
Goods, Inc., of which he is president. I have the honor to present
Mr. Moktar Sbai, president of the Moroccan Pavilion, Inc.
MR. MOKTAR SBAI:
Thank you, Dr. De Mendoza. Governor Poletti, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for being with us on this very happy occasion. I also
want to express my deep appreciation to the personnel of the
New York World's Fair and specially to your Mr. Harris for all
the willing and able assistance given to me. I am looking forward
with great pleasure to continuing this association for the next
I have every
confidence that the New York World's Fair is going to be a tremendous
success, and I will do everything I can to see that the Moroccan
Pavilion, Inc. helps contribute to this well-deserved success.
I felt so very strongly that Morocco should be represented in
this great undertaking that I decided to go ahead with this pavilion
on my own. However, in the next few weeks, I will be going to
Morocco where I will meet and confer with the various government
As a result of
this visit I have every expectation that the Moroccan Government
will cooperate with me on this enterprise. The Bureau of Tourism
has already indicated an interest in the Moroccan Pavilion, Inc.,
and I look forward to their valuable cooperation.
Moktar Sbai, president of the Moroccan Pavilion, Inc., and Mrs.
Sbai, receiving the Fair medallion from Governor Charles Poletti,
vice president of the Fair's International Divison.
It is through
endeavors such as this great New York World's Fair that the people
of the world will come to understand and appreciate one another
and enjoy the culture of all countries.
In this Moroccan
Pavilion, Inc. many of the products of my native country will
be displayed and some will be sold. A sidewalk cafe is planned,
similar to one that might be found in Morocco, where light refreshments
will be served. There will also be a regular restaurant in which
Moroccan foods and beverages will be served, and less exotic
cuisine too, for less adventurous diners. Moroccan craftsmen
and entertainers will be in various parts of the pavilion. Again,
let me thank you, my friends, for being here with us today. Thank
you very much.