Pamphlet: Welcome to the Moroccan Pavilion


Moorish Panel

"MARHABN - Welcome to Morocco!" Welcome to Morocco, the country where western ideas blend smoothly with the traditional culture of the east. Welcome to the Pavilion of Morocco, where the visitor breathes deeply and headily the aromatic mixture of spice, mystery, craftsmanship. Here, one crosses the threshold of the gorgeous Pavilion, as though entering the opened gates of the Casbah, to adventure into today, tomorrow and yesteryear, melded glamorously and ingeniously for the instruction and entertainment that live memorably - an adventure second only to a visit to Morocco itself.

Reflecting the highest artistic and historic traditions of Morocco, the Pavilion is designed in the Moorish style of architecture, immediately embracing the visitor. He is enchanted by the outward facade. Crossing the threshold, he is immediately deep within the heart of Morocco,

Moorish Design

SOURCE: Brochure, Welcome to the Moroccan Pavilion at the New York World's Fair 1964-1965

where for a short time, he can escape the heightened tempo of the World's Fair activities and relax in an atmosphere combining traditional grace and modern comfort.

Built around an open rectangle, the cloister-like edifice will occupy 10,000 square feet on the Avenue of Africa. In the open center area, Moroccan craftsmen will ply ancient arts and handicrafts. They will work in copper, ceramics, leather, fashioning with rare skill their cherished trays or cups or slippers. Some will demonstrate the weaver's art. Their works will be offered for sale in the booths reminiscent of Medina or Fez.

Shops and boutiques will offer for sale the widest imaginable array of Moroccan products - truthfully, a range of treasures and trifles never before seen under one roof! Art treasures dating from the ninth century will be seen, for the Pavilion of Morocco is intended to display historic culture as well as modern progress. Prominently featured will be the design and architecture of the oldest and most highly regarded university in the world - the Carouine University of Fez, built in the 9th century, sacred to the study and teaching of Arabic and the Islamic religion.

Food is fun at the Fair - and Moroccan food is something very special! A delight to epicure and adventurer - a mouth watering joy to every visitor, are the foods available in the Casbah-like snack bar . . . or the sidewalk cafe so typical of any Moroccan city. There, special sauces will tempt the nose and the palate as they simmer over charcoal fires awaiting the keftas, the brochettes, the cuscus and other taste-tantalizers that will whet the visitor's appetite for a larger, more substantial dinner in the open air restaurant. Here, service is supreme. Here, a meal becomes a banquet of rare exotic delights, graciously served in the Moroccan manner. Here, a meal is a memory of romance and a promise of paradise! Here the menu is extensive enough to serve the most discriminating connoisseur. And, in keeping with tradition, the Moroccan national beverage will be served - incredibly refreshing and satisfying mint tea - both iced and piping hot.

Moroccan craftsman fashioning a gold-leaf design on a leather book cover. This exacting medium is also found on various other leather items, hand-applied by Moroccan artisans.

Moroccan Craftsman

Since the tradition of hospitality typical of Morocco includes food in many forms, and since food is part of the restfulness that will be inherent in the Pavilion of Morocco, a word about the special dishes one may enjoy. Beyond the delights of mint tea and biscuits to be munched at the sidewalk cafe, the kefta will be greatly appreciated. It is a delightful, aromatic concoction of minced meats, parsley and herbs, cooked over an open charcoal fire, the very aroma of which will bring visitors to watch the gaily-clad servitors preparing this always welcome dish. Brochettes, for the visitor in a hurry, are a variety of roasted meats, skewered and temptingly ready for action. Moroccan sandwiches will be available for visitors who wish to take home a tasty tidbit.

A unique night club will offer amusement and dancing never before seen in New York. For here, in the "1001 Nights" club, dancers from the remote Atlas Mountains will perform to the haunting strains of Andalusian music - which has crossed the Mediterranean and taken root in Morocco. In an atmosphere redolent of the Casbah, entertainment

will be provided by artists brought from Morocco; musicians will play instruments right out of the Arabian nights, yet produce music so exquisite in its delicacy as to demand encore after encore. Derbouka (drums), the 3-stringed rebab, tarr, kanoun, the 14-stringed lute, knee-held violin - all blend joyously to dance rhythms and folk music.

The rarest of woodwork, marketry, weaving, coppersmithing are pungently produced in an atmosphere of Moroccan culture and progress that reflects the forward-looking young men responsible for this transplant of Morocco at the World's Fair.

Well aware of their position in a country that is the cultural hinge between west and east, the organizers of the Moroccan Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, 1964-1965 exemplify the spirit of "Peace through Understanding." They are endeavoring to bring before the peoples of the world a new image - the new Morocco: its people, its way of life, its future so richly rooted in a traditional culture. But most of all, they wish to emphasize the reality of modern Morocco - the nation so ably led by young King Hassan II, who won the hearts of Americans during his recent visit here.

The nimble fingers of a coppersmith creating a work of art to beautify the home. Finished samples of these sought-after trays are shown in the background.

Under the chairmanship of Columbia-educated Omar Saadi Elmandjra (B.A., M.B.A.) the core group which constituted the Societe Marocaine pour l'Exposition Universelle de New York (Somarex) consists of Mr. Mohamed Dadoun, president of the International Fair of Casablanca, Inc., well-known Moroccan business personality and financier, Mr. Moktar Sbai, who dreamed up the theme and breathed life into plans for the Moroccan pavilion, and other Moroccan personalities.

Mr. Moktar Sbai of the Moroccan Pavilion and Mrs. Sbai are shown here receiving the Fair medallion from Governor Charles Poletti, vice president of the New York World's Fair Corporation.

Mr. & Mrs. Sbai & Charles Poletti
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