In Marseille, France, Ambassador Ahmed, Harrison Akins, and Frankie Martin met with Mr. Salah Bariki, Charge de Mission in the Cabinet of the Mayor of Marseille. Of Algerian descent, Mr. Bariki is the first and only Muslim to serve in the Mayor’s cabinet. Mr. Bariki is in charge of relations between the Mayor’s office and the minority communities, especially the Muslim community, in Marseille and heads the Mayor’s interfaith initiatives. In Mr. Bariki’s office, Ambassador Ahmed also met the president of the Jewish Association of PACA (Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur), Mr. Clement Yana, to discuss Jewish-Muslim relations in Marseille.
Mr. Bariki also oversees the proposed mosque project for the Marseille government. In his office, Mr. Bariki showed Ambassador Ahmed the plans for mosque. The mosque project is an important project for Marseille and its Muslim community because there are 300,000 Muslims in the city, largely from former French colonies in North Africa, yet with no official mosque. This mosque would be the first purpose-built mosque in Marseille and would be constructed on land allotted by the government. Following the meeting in his office, Mr. Bariki invited members of Ambassador Ahmed’s team to visit the mosque site.