“Today, hundreds of families usurp the surname of “Benjelloun”. At one time, it was a fashionable name that we attributed to ourselves to gain a certain social prestige, ”estimates sociologist Hassan Qranfal. A phenomenon that expresses all the luster attributed to this Fassi dynasty. Within the extended family, some, like the famous writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, insert a space between “Ben” and “Jelloun”.
“The real Benjelloun are the descendants of traders who have evolved in the wholesale trade on an international scale. These are traders established for more than three centuries and whose influence extends from Africa to Europe,” adds Professor Qranfal. If their reputation is well established, their exact origin remains unclear. For some, they would be of Arab – Syrian origin. For others, they would be of Jewish descent.
[Série] Morocco: power, business, religion… Welcome to the Fassis!
Be that as it may, the Benjelloun divide into innumerable sub-groups. The most numerous, the Touimi, would be “related to Hajj Bernoussi, mystic and theologian”, explains Mouna Hachim in his Dictionarywhich lists the other branches: the Gasaâ, the Ben Mfaddel, the Derb Jenyar. There are also the Jbina Benjelloun, from whom descends the nationalist leader Abdelkader Benjelloun, who was Minister of Finance (1955-1956), Employment and Social Affairs (1961-1963), Justice (1963-1964).
The specificity of the Benjellouns remains their sense of business. A tropism evidenced by the career of Younes Benjelloun, Managing Director of CFG Bank. His daughter, Lina, born in the United States, brought up in Casablanca and now living in London, recounts her attachment to the city of Fez: “I only went there twice. All of mine, both on the maternal and paternal side, live in Rabat. But I still feel fashy, because my family is very traditional. »