Morocco: Football, Faith and Films.by Suryani Omar
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The Muslim world cheered with cries of Allahuakbar as the Atlas Lions roared their way to the FIFA World Cup 2022 semi-finals in December.
It wasn’t just about the team’s tactical plays and waltzing dribbles, but the Internet was abuzz with their unapologetic displays of faith. Falling to prostration when a goal was scored, honoring their mothers, and raising the Palestinian flag proudly.
The Moroccan football team made sujud after scoring against Belgium.
(Reuters: Amr Abdallah Dalsh) Source: ABC Net
Team Maghreb may have only clinched 4th place, but to many, they reigned as champions in their hearts. Mosques held watch parties, Islamic schools (at least in North America) chose to stream the game instead of completing curriculum, and Whatsapp notifications went crazy with dua requests.
Long before the North African country made its mark on the pitch, it has always been a treasure of talent for the Islamic world.
Land of scholars.
Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan explorer and scholar who is known for his extensive travels throughout the Islamic world and beyond. He was born in Tangier, Morocco in 1304 and is considered one of the greatest travelers in history.
During his lifetime, he traveled to more than 44 countries, covering a distance of over 75,000 miles. His travels took him to many parts of the Islamic world, including North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He also traveled to Europe and China.
Series 1 & 2 of “Ibn Battuta The Explorer” are available to stream on Qalbox now.
Ibn Battuta is famous for his detailed and fascinating accounts of his travels, which provide insight into the cultural, political, and social aspects of the places he visited. His adventures are captured in the book, Tuhfat al-anzar fi gharaaib al-amsar wa ajaaib al-asfar (A gift to those who contemplate the wonders of cities and the marvels of traveling). It is commonly referred to as Ibn Battuta’s Rihla (journey).
The Rihla has been translated into many languages and is still widely read today. Ibn Battuta’s captivating adventures have been recorded not just in his book but in many films, including the animation series, “Ibn Battuta The Explorer“.
Morocco is also home to the oldest university in the world. Al-Qarawiyyin, was established in Fez, Morocco, by the late Fatima al-Fihri. She was not just a philanthropist who had inherited a generous sum of money. More importantly, she was a woman of deep faith.
The construction of Al-Qarawiyyin began in the holy month of Ramadan. Even when Ramadan ended, Fatima continued to fast daily throughout the construction period of the institution which lasted for about two years.
Al-Qarawiyyin continues to serve as an educational institution shaping thinkers, scholars and leaders.
Women of faith.
Today, there are many pious women in Morocco who continue this legacy of molding bright minds. While they may not necessarily give millions of dollars, they give their time, energy and knowledge to shape the future of Morocco.
These are the morchidat highlighted in the documentary, “Casablanca Calling” that’s available to stream on Qalbox.
The morchidat, or female spiritual leaders, were introduced in Morocco in 2006 as a way to counter Islamist radicalism and promote a more tolerant form of Islam. These women play an important role in Moroccan society by providing spiritual guidance and support to their communities.
In addition to their spiritual duties, the morchidat also work to improve the position of girls and women in Moroccan society. They may work to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through education and other initiatives. It is hoped that the presence of female spiritual leaders will help to create a more inclusive and respectful society in Morocco.
A still from Casablanca Calling– a documentary about female religious leaders in Morocco. The show can be streamed on Qalbox.
Land of Colors
Beyond the stories of its people, Morocco is a unique mosaic of landscapes. In “Morocco: Land of Colors“, viewers get to journey throughout the Maghreb in five different colors- green, red, blue, ochre and white.
In this five-episode series, you will find a colorful tapestry of traditions and cultural practices that have been passed down through the generations in Morocco, including ancestral craftsmanship. The country is also home to many stunning natural landscapes, including palm groves, oases, and dunes, which offer a feast for the senses.
As we wait for the next Fifa World Cup in 2026 and practice chanting “Dima Maghreb” (Morocco forever), we have time to delve into the heritage, beauty and wonder of Morocco through the rich variety of shows on Qalbox.
With the recent upgrade of Qalbox, you can now enjoy streaming movie titles from Qalbox in the app to your TV screen through screen casting with Chromecast and Airplay.