A Moroccan Man’s 60-Year Promise to His Jewish Friend

A loyal gesture of coexistence.

Nov 16, 2015
Special Collections: CONNECTING HEARTS
Jewish cemetery in Fes, Morocco

Jewish cemetery in Fes, Morocco (Illustrative photo: Shutterstock) 

In the small Moroccan village of Arazan lives an old man called Lahcen, who has been keeping a promise to his friend Moshe since the 1950s. When the State of Israel was established, many Jews were forced to emigrate from Morocco and other Middle Eastern countries. Among them was Moshe and his family. Lahcen agreed to take care of Moshe’s ancestor’s graves - and he has kept his promise ever since.

Once a year for the past 60 years, Lahcen makes his way around the cemetery maintaining the graves. A friend of Lahcen told Morocco World News that despite being illiterate, the loyal man repaints the Hebrew names engraved on the gravestones. He insists that he will continue with the yearly upkeep “until the return of my friend Moshe … or until I die.”

The story of Lahcen’s noble gesture shines a light on the strong bonds between neighbors - regardless of religion - and the generosity of the human spirit.

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