Mohammed Arkoun Library transferred to the National Library of Morocco

The donation agreement of the treasure of the late Algerian intellectual Mohammed Arkoun was signed on Wednesday for the benefit of the National Library of Morocco, during a ceremony attended by political and cultural personalities, as well as members of the deceased’s family.

Under the agreement signed by the widow of the deceased, Touria Yacoubi, president of the “Mohammed Arkoun Foundation for Peace between Cultures”, and the director of the National Library of Morocco, Mohamed El Farane, the Moroccan library will receive more than 5,000 authors and 7,000 journals in various literary and scientific fields from the library of the deceased Algerian thinker and critic.

13 years after his death, the widow of the late Algerian thinker Mohammed Arkoun, Mrs Touria Yacoubi, has chosen to donate his personal treasure to the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco. This gesture extends the feelings of the author of the “critique of the Islamic spirit” towards Morocco. His body was buried in the Cimetière des Martyrs in Casablanca on 14 September 2010 at the age of 82.

The treasure donated to the National Library in Rabat includes more than twelve thousand books (five thousand authors and seven thousand journals), most of which belong to the fields of philosophy, criticism, history and translation. A “donation agreement” was signed between the administration of the National Library and the family of the late intellectual represented by his wife Touria Yacoubi, president of the Mohammed Arkoun Foundation for Intercultural Peace. The agreement provides for the transfer of the contents of Mohammed Arkoun’s Moroccan Treasure and his archives to a special space in the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco, which will be made available to all students and researchers, and the National Library will allocate a space that will serve as a symbolic museum including his desk and the tools used by the deceased to write. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Islamic Affairs, the President of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad, personalities from the world of culture and thought, and friends of the deceased.

The director of the National Library, Mohamed El Farane, expressed his pride in seeing his institution acquire this great cultural and intellectual heritage, stressing that this event is an opportunity to revisit the experience of Arkoun by Moroccan researchers and academics, the widow of the late thinker confirmed his love for Morocco, and his constant concern for the intellectual and cultural heritage of this country, which he placed in the same rank as his native Algeria.

The special love for the Maghreb countries

Arkoun’s love for Morocco is set in the context of his constant celebration of the unique North African identity, and his appreciation of Morocco’s history, which extends over several centuries, and of the major transformations that this history has undergone, from the ancient Amazigh civilisation to the arrival of Islam and beyond. Arkoun, a historian before being a thinker, is well acquainted with the history of Morocco, which he has celebrated on several occasions in his television interviews, notably in the French media.

Mohamed Arkoun is considered a symbol of the intellectual who believes in the need to integrate the Maghreb countries in an interactive format that benefits the region, instead of getting caught up in political conflicts that put neighbouring countries united by a great cultural commonality into the traps of useless conflicts.

It is worth noting that the late Mohammed Arkoun (1928-2010) was a thinker, philosopher and historian of Islamic thought, whose most notable works include: “Arab Thought”, “Readings of the Qur’an”, “History of Islam and Muslims in France”, “When Islam Awakens”, etc.

Arkoun obtained his doctorate in philosophy at the Sorbonne University, where he held the position of professor emeritus, and has also taught in many European, American and North African universities

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