French-Moroccan Acting Star Jamel Debbouze Urges Tourists To Keep Visiting Quake-Hit Marrakech; Film Fest Posts Support For Victims

French-Moroccan actor and comedian Jamel Debbouze is urging tourists to keep visiting Morocco in the wake of an earthquake in the country’s Atlas Mountains region that has killed close to 3,000 people.

The quake which measured 7 on the Richter scale hit late on Friday night local time and had its epicenter high in the Atlas Mountains, roughly 43.5 miles south of Marrakech, the old city of which suffered extensive damage.

Most the devastation is in the mountains, where whole villages have been destroyed and more that 300,000 people are impacted.

Related Stories

Breaking News

Martin Scorsese To Attend His "Beloved" Marrakech International Film Fest As It Marks 20th Edition


Maryam Touzani's 'The Blue Caftan' Leads Noms For Critics Awards for Arab Films Ahead Of Prize-Giving Ceremony During Cannes

France-based Debbouze, who retains strong links with the country where he spent part of his childhood, travelled to the quake-hit city of Marrakech in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

The actor and comedian, whose credits include Amélie, Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cleopatra and the Oscar-nominated wartime drama Days Of Glory, was filmed donating blood in a Marrakech hospital.

He told French news channel BFMTV that it was vital that people continued to visit Morocco, which is a popular destination at this time of year.

“Things are getting back to normal. Life is getting back on track… It’s really important that life comes back to Marrakech. Obviously, outside the city, in the villages, it’s a tragedy and that’s where we really need to intervene, but here in Marrakech, things have calmed down and life is getting back to normal,” he said.

He suggested that staying away from Morocco would be another damaging hit for the country.

“If we don’t come to Morocco, we condemn the country twice. It’s a double punishment. Visiting a devastated country as a tourist means helping that country.  Obviously, I advise everyone to be careful, there’s talk of aftershocks, there was a small one on Sunday, but we have to come back to Morocco and support Morocco in this way.”

In the backdrop, it remains to be seen whether the Marrakech International Film Festival will still be able to go ahead as planned from November 24 to December 2.

Long-time festival attendee Martin Scorsese is among the guests due to attend this year in support of its 20th edition celebrations.

The Marrakech International Film Festival Foundation issued a message on the social networks voicing its support for the victims of the quake but has yet to issue a statement on its plans for the upcoming edition.

Marrakech’s luxury Mamounia Hotel, which traditionally lodges the festival’s VIP guests, put out a statement saying it was undamaged and that it hoped to welcome guests back soon.

“Our beloved Mamounia and all our guests and staff are safe,” it read. 

“We are truly grateful for the outpouring of support and kind messages we’ve received. Your words have touched our hearts and strengthened our spirits, thank you for being with us during this time. We are focused on assisting our beloved city and our community.”

Must Read Stories

Dana Walden & Jimmy Pitaro On Spectrum Deal: “This Is The Future Of Our Business”

Talking Heads; Netflix Deal For Kendrick Pic; Blunt & Evans In ‘Pain Hustlers’; More

WWE & UFC Merger Is Official; New TKO Group Unveils Strategy & Board

‘Dancing With The Stars’ Moves Days; Jamie Lynn Spears To Compete

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article