On April 6th, 2011, Charles Windsor, the Prince of Wales, visited Fez, after meeting the day before with the king Mohamed VI and enjoying the historical monuments of Rabat. His visit to Fez was announced in the synagogue, where we were invited, because he was having a special visit to Ben Danan Synagogue, which is a 17th century synagogue.
Ben Danan synagogue was full of mostly Fessi Jews: Rabbis, ladies, gentlemen, young, old. All waiting for the coming of the Prince. Everyone looked elegant. I was sitting next to the cousin of the Prince. Mr. J. L. Norton, Esq. Does this name sound familiar? Well, yes. He is my friend Jess, who has had five grandfathers on the English throne. Since Jess looked very English and very elegant, everyone was asking me who he is. I kept answering, he is my friend, but soon preferred to answer a Professor of English, since they were willing to know more.
The synagogue was full of VIPs, including: Simon Levy, the director of the Jewish Museum in Casablanca, Armand Guigui, the president of the Jewish community of Fez, Sefrou and Oujda, Ministers, national and international media, and later the Prince with his bodyguards. After waiting for a long time, the Prince finally comes. Everyone rose and directed their cameras to him. He was welcomed by Mr. Levy and Mr. Guigui. He received different gifts from the Jewish community: a book from Mr. Levy, a Shufar, and many others. He was introduced to some people, such as Rabbi Abraham Sabbagh, the Rabbi of Fez, Mr. Edmond Gabbay, the director of the Jewish museum of Fez, etc.
Then, he was invited to sit down to listen to the prayers after having been given a French translation. The prayers were for blessings, a prayer for the king Mohamed VI and the Moroccan Kingdom, a prayer for the Queen Elizabeth and her kingdom and then a prayer for the Prince.
The Prince came and shook our hands, I said “Good Afternoon Your Royal Highness, I am Youness Abeddour, Welcome to Morocco.” He smiled and said that we all speak good English, when Samantha declared that they are American students, he asked what are they learning, she said Arabic. And then he moved to Jess, and asked what is he doing in Morocco, Jess answered that he is a professor of English and added that he is a Planteganet and then the Prince replied “Aren’t we all!”
Soon after he left, and we were invited for lunch. We went to Maimonid Center where we had our lunch, and marked a special day in our lives.
The Youtube link: