The "we" is many: the three artists – American, Moroccan, French (see photo below) – who donated their works depicting our historic building to the Legation for its permanent collection. The many people – expats, Moroccans, art galleries, hotels, restaurants, and artists – who donated raffle (known as "tombola" here) prizes and works of art for our auction.
But my highest praise goes to those who gave of their time and helped make this fund raising event possible. Our "committee" of Americans, Europeans, and Moroccans made this a very enjoyable way to part with one's money, all for a good cause.
We probably broke all the rules of Tangier conventional wisdom – "nobody will pay an entrance fee" – as well as conducting our auction of donated works without the services of a professional auctioneer. We probably didn't even garner the full value that the works represent.
But our little group of amateur fundraisers did the Legation proud. Now we will apply our proceeds to "piggy back" on the roof restoration work by our State Department landlords at Overseas Building Operations.
They'll do roofs, and we'll tackle walls. Public-private partnership.
Now that we've entered the world of fund raising in Tangier, maybe we can reproduce the effort in places like Washington and New York, where there are people who, like our loyal Tangier public, know the historic and enduring value of this symbol of America's ties to Morocco, Africa, and the Arab and Muslim worlds.
(Photo by Carol Malt. Left to right: Terry Connor, Jerry Loftus, Rachid Alaoui, Hervé Metterie)