When the City of Revere needed local organizations to step up and assist the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moroccan American Connections in Revere (MACIR) was front and center with a big, helping hand.
The group, which was founded by Rachid Moukhabir in 2016, made 25,000 masks for residents of Revere during the pandemic. More recently, MACIR trained more than 100 residents in a workforce development program.
On Saturday, Aug. 14, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., MACIR will hold its Fifth Annual Moroccan Festival – “Your Gateway to the Kingdom of Morocco” – at the Whelan Elementary School. In the event of rain, the Festival will be moved indoors to the school.
Moukhabir invites all residents to attend the music, arts, and food event that will feature a fashion show by Salwa Gardaf, live music by the band Five Star Boston, and Moroccan dance by Soumaya Marose. There will be raffles with a grand prize of free roundtrips to Morocco. Visitors can also win free laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
“We invite all families and friends to learn about our culture, to share love – it’s not just about the Moroccan community, it’s about inclusion and diversity in the City of Revere. We have been promoting other countries through our platform. We acknowledged the country of Algeria in 2018. We honored the country of Colombia in 2019, and this year we’ll be honoring all the other countries through the Center of Arabic Culture operating out of Somerville. We call it the Moroccan Festival, but it’s about inclusion, diversity, respecting each other, and acknowledging each other, and that’s the goal of this Festival.”
More about MACIR and its Founder
Rachid Moukhabir, 45, came from Morocco to live in Revere in 2003. He is a highly respected leader in the large community of Moroccan Americans who now live in the city.
“We can easily say that 10 to 15 percent of the Revere population are Moroccan Americans,” said Moukhabir, who is fluent in Arabic, the main language of Morocco. “The biggest concentration of the Moroccan community throughout the United States is in the City of Revere.”
MACIR has approximately 1,000 members, according to Moukhabir. MACIR is based in Revere and operates a training center in East Boston.
Moukhabir has been the volunteer director of MACIR since 2016. MACIR is credited with establishing strong and productive working relationships with the Revere Police Department and the Revere public schools.
Moukhabir holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and an MBA in Technology Management. He works as the global technical service manager for a medical device company.
Moukhabir thanked the Revere Cultural Council for providing $11,000 in funding to help defray expenses for the Festival. He also thanked the Festival’s Diamond Sponsor, the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. The Moroccan national airlines, Royal Air Maroc, and Tijani Travel and Safari provided the round-trip tickets for the raffle.
Moukhabir said Mayor Brian Arrigo has been “an outstanding supporter of the Moroccan community and all other communities in the City of Revere.”
“The Mayor has done a great job making sure that everyone, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, and origin, are treated fairly in the City of Revere,” said Moukhabir, who is a member of the Revere Human Rights Commission. “We are very proud of the partnerships we have forged between the city, non-profit organizations, and everyone in the community and we take pride in that.”