A Moroccan woman carries a sack on her head as she walks along a narrow street in the Jewish Mellah quarter of Tinghir, at the foot of the High Atlas and the heart of Morocco's Berber community on April 21 , 2014. AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA
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In the bustling Berber town of Tinghir beneath Morocco's towering Atlas mountains, some residents remember with nostalgia when Muslims and Jews co-existed harmoniously, the subject of an acclaimed but controversial documentary.Morocco has had a Jewish community since antiquity, and in the late 1940s it counted some 250,000 members, or 10 percent of the North African country's population. But these numbers dropped dramatically in the decades after the founding of the Jewish state, and today only around 5,000 Jews remain.French-Moroccan director Kamal Hachkar has brought memories of its Jewish past back to life with his award-winning documentary "Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah," which came out last year and was shown for the first time on Sunday in Tinghir, his home town.The Moroccan authorities are keen to highlight the country's tolerance, rich history and cultural diversity, scrapping a list drawn up 20 years ago that banned parents from giving their children certain Berber names, and opening a Jewish museum in Casablanca in the late 1990s.
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