Star of Moroccan World Cup side given a hero’s welcome in his mother’s hometown where a football stadium has been named in his honour.
The Master Musicians of Joujouka performed recently at huge public gathering in Ksar El Kebir to welcome Moroccan World Cup legend Achraf Hakimi to his mother’s hometown.
Thousands of soccer fans lined the streets of the city to welcome the returning star – whose performances at the Qatar 2022 World Cup helped the Atlas Lions reach the semi-finals of the competition.
Though he was born in Spain, Hakimi’s mother is from Ksar El Kebir, the nearest city to Joujouka. Hakimi currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain in France.
Paying a visit to Ksar El Kebir on 10th January, Hakimi was greeted by fans at a reception where the Master Musicians of Joujouka where invited to play their ancient Sufi trance music to soundtrack the occasion.
Hakimi was a key member of the Morocco side throughout their record breaking run in the tournament as the first African and Arab side to reach the semi-final stage.
The 24-year-old right back started in all of the Moroccan side’s World Cup fixtures and memorably scored the penalty shoot spot kick that knocked out Spain in the second round. Hakimi played a key role in wins against Canada, Belgium and Portugal. The side went out of the competition to then cup holders France before a third place play-off encounter with Croatia, with whom they had drawn in the group stages.
Mohammed Al Simo, the president of Ksar El Kebir’s collective council, announced that a soccer stadium in the city would be renamed in honour of their returning hero – the Achraf Hakimi Municipal Stadium.
Hakimi told press: “I am so happy to be with you today. I thank all the town of Ksar El Kebir. I am very happy to see the mayor of the city, who did good things. We keep on working for the good of Morocco’s culture and we have to keep working for the good of Moroccans. I am happy here. This is my mother’s town, and I spent a lot of time here when I was a kid. Thank you everybody.”
A city council statement said the purpose of the reception was to continue “to celebrate the historic achievement of the Moroccan National Football Team in the Qatar 2022 World Cup”.
Like many people all over Morocco and beyond, the Master Musicians were cheering on the Atlas Lions at the recent World Cup.
Joujouka 23 Festival 2-4 June 2023
The Master Musicians of Joujouka annual Festival returns in 2023 with a limited number of 50 places – tickets available now.
The festival begins on Friday, 2nd June 2023 with pick up at the nearest city of Ksar El Kebir around noon and by arrangement drop-off on the morning of Monday, 5th June back to the train station at Ksar El Kebir.
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