Moroccan-American Relations: Photo Interpretation, Please

TALIM American flag rug horiz For years, it has been hanging in the courtyard of the American Legation in Tangier.  The red, white, and blue are now faded, dirty.  Poor Old Glory.

The courtyard is, after all, subject to the desert dust of the chergui as the Moroccans call the East wind off the Sahara.  When it's the Atlantic wind, the nearby hammam and its coal dust are the culprits.  There's no way to keep the Stars and Stripes clean, so we're bringing the carpet flag inside.  For a thorough cleaning, and to find a new home.

My question is this: who are the people in the photo, standing around the flag in its pristine state?  Are they Peace Corps Volunteers, who are about to celebrate 50 years of activity in Morocco, and who in the 1970s were trained here at the Legation?

Are they diplomats who spent a year or more at the Legation in the early 1960s, when it was a branch of the Foreign Service Institute, here to learn North African Arabic?  If so, the photo probably features a few Foreign Service Officers who went on to become US Ambassadors in the Arab world.

And who are the Moroccan women who spent days/weeks/months weaving this very large American flag?  I assume that the woman in white represents the weavers.  Where were they from, and what has become of them?

Readers, I need your help.  The new home of the American flag will be the Women's Literacy room of TALIM.  The women of 2011, who are learning how to read and write in Arabic, and then go on to learn foreign languages and life skills like cooking and sewing, will be interested in knowing more about who wove this flag, and to whom it was presented.

Maybe we can do a 50th anniversary reenactment.  Click on the comment box below, or send me an email: directorDOTtalimATgmailDOTcom.  Thank you.

Gerald Loftus

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