Saturday, February 28, 2015

Provisional Program for the 9th Edition of the Fes Festival of Sufi Culture

The 9th edition of the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture April 18 to 25, 2015 with the theme "Religion of Love From Rabi Ibn Arabi, Rumi to today ...." The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday the 18th of  April at 16.00, with a general introduction by Faouzi Skali followed by a musical presentation.

In the evening at 20.30 the first concert will feature  a mystic recital dedicated to Rabiaa al Adawiya.

The rest of the programme at this stage:
(This program may be subject to modifications)

Sunday 19 April

10.00 Round Table and poetic readings. "Tribute to Abdelwahhab Meddeb: Sufi moments".

16.00  Round Table: “Is there a revival of Sufism in the Muslim world?”

20.30 Samaa of the Tariqa Boutchichiyya Qadiriyya ( Morocco).

Tariqa Boutchichiyya

The Boutchichiyya Brotherhood are from the small town of Mardagh, near Berkane, in north-eastern Morocco and has become an important pilgrimage destination. The sheikh is Sidi Hamza el Qadiri el Boutchichi and the brotherhood is active in many countries, particularly in the UK.

The Boutchichiyya are an offshoot of the Qadiriyya tariqa, one of the oldest Sufi orders, which was brought to Morocco (initially to Fez) by the descendants of the two sons of ‘Abd al-Qadir from the 16th Century. The Boutchichiyya take their name from the 18th Century sheikh Sidi Ali al-Boutchichi, a Qadiri who was given the title “al-boutchichi” because he used to serve “cracked wheat” (bou tchich) to the poor who came to his zawiya.

The Brotherhood of the Samaa Qadirya Boutchichiya performs a sacred music, and produces a spiritual state "where celestial music becomes audible," says Moroccan musicologist Abdelfettah Benmoussa. "It combines the primordial sound and the absolute divine word. Through the practice of Samaa, it becomes possible to experience the depths of being in universal harmony".

Monday 20 April

10.00  Round Table: ‘Persian Mystical Poetry and the Message of Love’ Discussion led by Faouzi Skali with Hossein Gomshei, Leonard Lewisohn, and Alan Williams

16.00  Round Table: ‘Rumi and the Mevlevi: Poetry of Ecstasy and Love in Persian and Turkish’ Discussion led by Faouzi Skali with Leonard Lewisohn, Alan Williams, and Roderick Grierson

20.30 Concert: ‘Aşkın Sesi: The Voice of Love’ : Mevlevi music for the ney: Kudsi Erguner.

Tuesday 21 April

10.00  Round Table:  ‘Rumi and the Legacy of Persian Music’ Discussion led by Faouzi Skali with Jane Lewisohn, Leonard Lewisohn, and Hossein Gomshei

16.00  Round Table:  “Listen to This Ney”: Music of the Mevlevi ‘Visions of the Mevlevi: Eastern and Western Depictions of Semazens’.  Discussion led by Roderick Grieson with Kudsi Erguner and Faouzi Skali

20.30  Samaa of the Tariqa Khalwatiyya : Chaykh Nur Allah Fath ( Turkey).
These musicians, singers and dancers (Semazens) represent one of the most interesting aspects of the mystical culture of Turkey. The Sema - the whirling dance - and the Zikr - the hymns sung by the sacred choir - are connected to each other, a spiritual ambience that leads the Dervish enter a mystical universe.

Wednesday 22 April

10.00  Round Table:  "The scriptural foundations of the Religion of the Love ".

16.00  Round Table: "Presence of Rabiaa".

20.30 First part : Samaa of the Tariqa Rifaiyya ( Turkey)
         Second part: Samaa of the Tariqa Naqchbandiyya (Bosnia).

Thursday 23 April

10.00  Round Table: Sufi Amazigh culture and poetry

16.00  Round Table:  Bards of the spiritual Love of East and West.

20.30  Samaa of the Tariqa Charqawiyya and of the Tariqa Wazzaniyya.

Tariqa Charqawiyya
Tariqa Wazzaniyya

Friday 24 April

10.00  Round Table:  Writings and poems about spiritual love in Morocco and Andalousia .

16.00  Round Table: Culture and expressions of spiritual love in Sub-Saharan Africa.

20.30 First part: Samaa of the Tariqa Siqilliyya
          Second part: Sufi songs of Alep: Homage to Jalaleddine Weiss

Tariqa Siqilliyya

Saturday 25 April

10.00 Round Table:  Love and Futuwwa, the path of the Spiritual Chivalry.

20.30 Sufi Samaa and Andalusian Music.

Conferenciers Lecturers ( alphabétique order ) :

Abdelillah Arafa, Abdou Hafidi, Abdellah Ouazzani, Abdussamad Romero, Alan Williams Bariza Khiari, Eric Geoffroy, Hossein Gomshei, Ines Safi, Jaafar Kansoussi, Jane Lewisohn, Katia et Gabrielle Legeret, Kudsi Erguner, Lila Anvar, Leonard Lewisohn, Michael Barry, Michel Boivin, Mounir El Kadiri, Roderick Grierson, Saad El Khiari, Saïda Bennani, Salamatou Sow, Souada Maoulainine, Suad El Hakim, Touria et Layla Iqbal, Xavier Guerrand-Hermès.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and if the whole world's harp
should burn up,
there will still be hidden instruments
playing, playing
This singing art
is sea foam.
The graceful movements
come from a pearl
on the ocean floor. ~ Djalal al din Rûmi

This year, you can now book your tickets online. Indeed, given the large crowds, and to guarantee a seat at the festival events, we recommend you book and pay your tickets directly on the website. To do this, go to: in the tab 'Booking / حجز / booking'.

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Interactive "Magic Carpet" Opening in Fez

Miguel Chevalier
Last night saw the opening at Dar Batha of Digital Arabesques - an installation by digital artist Miguel Chevalier.

The installation, a digital virtual reality light show projected onto the floor of Dar Batha, is inspired by various geometrical elements of traditional Moroccan design.

The installation is part of the France-Morocco Cultural Season 2015 and sponsored by the the French Institute in Fez.

The opening was well attended both by the public and a number of well known artists, photographers and writers.

Miguel Chevalier said he was extremely happy with the reception given to his work and was obviously delighted by the way the public became involved with the interactive nature of the work.

The installation works on several levels. Firstly, the sheer brilliance of the visual effect is spellbinding and viewers found themselves mesmerised by the kaleidoscopic display, shifting and changing before them. 

Secondly, came the transition from being a viewer to being a participant by stepping onto the floor. Moving into and onto the lights created a strangely discombobulating sensation for a few brief moments.  

Standing in the installation, the viewers faces and clothing were bathed in the ever-changing display, faces looking as if they had been given living, shape-shifting tattoos  - instant body art

Tattooed by light ~ Instant body art 

An interesting extra element came in the form of two young men who gave an acrobatic display of break dancing amidst the shifting patterns. 

Miguel Chevalier's work, using software developed by Cyrille Henry and Antoine Villeret, will be seen at four French Institutes in Morocco: Fez, Agadir, Tetouan and Essaouira. The exhibition will run in Fez until March 5th. It is certainly worth visiting.


Installation Digital Arabesques 2015
Miguel Chevalier

Opening night in Fez -  Friday, February 27, 18:30 at Dar Batha
The exhibition runs from February 27 to March 5
Monday to Friday: 9 am - 17h
Free admission

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Collective Exhibition at Cafe Clock

A talented group of photographers present vastly different perspectives on the beauty of daily life, street photography, abstract images and portraits. Some are locally based, while others work abroad
Organiser Omar Chennafi says, "This event is intended to heighten people's awareness ofthe power of photography and its ability to make changes in people's lives."

Photo: Anass Med El Issmaeli
Photo: Tarik Labrighli
Photo: Alaoui Kinany
When: Opens Sunday March 1, 4.30 PM, until April 1
Where: Cafe Clock, Fez Medina
Info: or 06 59 66 15 02

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The Fez Dyers Souk Gets A Makeover

There has been concern in the Fez Medina that the ancient street of the dyers - the Dyers Souk - was being destroyed. However, the latest news on the street is that the souk is the recipient of some royal largesse - and will be restored, in a more environmentally friendly location

The Dyers Souk as it was 

According to locals, it was an initiative of King Mohammed VI, who offered the dyers twenty thousand dirhams each to take a holiday while the work was being done. In addition they were offered interim work on the new construction.

Workmen cleaning up the old souk - it will no longer pollute the river

The old dyers souk was seen as polluting, and with the work being done on cleaning up the river in R'cif, something had to change. Hopefully the new souk and its drainage system will be an improvement.

The souk has been in action for several hundred years and is where many small businesses bring fabric or skeins of wool to be dyed. Everything from old jeans to cotton shirts are treated and then resold. The souk was also a popular tourist destination and it is the restoration aims to ensure that this will continue.

Construction work is forging ahead at Rcif

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