Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fes Festival of Sufi Culture 2010

Once again, Faouzi Skali has pulled out all the stops to make this year's Festival of Sufi Culture a magnificent event, with interesting topics of discussion and concerts in sublime surroundings such as the Bouanania Medersa and the Batha Museum gardens.

The Festival runs from 17-24 April and has the theme Mystery and Poetry. It will feature presentations, discussions and round tables on subjects such as spirituality and social change, soul therapy, the poetry of Ibn Arabi and the ancient Sufi manuscripts held at the Qaraouiyine Library and in Timbuctu, Mali. Thursday 22 April is Earth Day, when ecology will be highlighted.

Evening concerts will not only feature various Moroccan Sufi brotherhoods, but also Shaykh Habboush from Syria with Jalal Eddeine of France.

Festival Director Faouzi Skali

Here's the full programme:

Saturday 17 April

10h00-noon Introductory Address at the Qaraouiyine Library: What is Sufism? by Faouzi Skali

Address: The Kingdom of Saints by Zakia Zouanat, anthopologist, writer, Sufi specialist (Morocco)

Address: The Sufi manuscripts of the Qaraouiyine by Abdellah el Ouazzani, university lecturer, author and presenter of TV programme for 2M on Islamic news (Morocco)

16h00-18h00: Round table discussion at the Batha Museum: Poetry for Civilisation

Presentation: Bensalem Himmich, Minister of Culture (Morocco)

Edgar Morin, sociologist, philosopher, emeritus director of research at CNRS (France)

Bariza Khiari, socialist senator (France)

Nahal Tajddod, Iranian team member at CNRS and author of several history books (Iran/France)

Jean Claude Carrière, writer, scriptwriter (France)

Mohammed Barrada, former minister of finance and Moroccan ambassador to France, professor of economics (Morocco)

21h00 Concert at Batha Museum: Shaykh Habboush and Jalal Eddeine Weiss Ecstatic Song (Syria, France)

Sunday 18 April

10h00-12h00 Round table at the Batha Museum: Reconsidering development

Assia Bensalah Alaoui, itinerant ambassador for Morocco, professor of public law (Morocco)

Patrick Viveret, advisor in national accountability, philosopher, essayist (France)

Majid Rahnema, writer, lecturer at American University in Paris (France/Iran)

Katherine Marshall, professor at Georgetown University, advisor to the World Bank (US)

Alia Al Dalli, resident representative of the PNUD in Morocco (Iraq)

Mats Karlsson, director of the Maghreb, North African and Middle Eastern desk at the World Bank (Sweden)

16h00-18h00 at the Batha Museum

1st part: Nahal Tajddod and Jean Claude Carrière: La conférence des oiseaux by Farid Eddin Attar (France/Iran)

2nd part: Karima Skalli and Said Chraibi: Homage to Abu al Hassan Ash Shusturi

21h00 Concert at Batha Musseum: The Chishty Sufi Sama Ensemble Shahi Qawwals from Ajmer Dargah Sharif (India)

Monday 19 April

10h00 to noon: Conference at the Batha Museum: Portrait of a Living Saint: Sidi Hamza Al Qadiri Al Boutchichi by Mountasser Hamada, writer and journalist (Morocco) and Faouzi Skali

16h00-18h00 Round table at the Batha Museum: Spirituality and Social Change

Alain Chevillat, director and founder of the Université Terre du Ciel (France)

Yacine Demaison, speaker, educator (France)

Bernard Ginisty, philosopher, former director of Témoignage Chrétien, co-founder of ATTAC (France)

Aoua Ly-tall, sociologist, founding president of African Women's Network (Canada/West Africa)

21h00 Evening of Samaa at the Bouanania Medersa: Hassani songs by the Boutchichiyya Brotherhood of Laâyoune (Morocco)

Tuesday 20 April

10h00-noon Conference at the Batha Museum: Spiritual Chivalry (Futuwwa): A Path for our Times? by Jaafar Kansoussia, intellectual, Sufi specialist (Morocco)

16h00-18h00 Conference at the Batha Museum: The Mystery and Poetry of Ibn Arabi by A. Filali, university professor (Morocco), Cecilia Twinch, speaker in Ibn Arabi Society, Oxford (UK), Ahmed El Kheligh, TV journalist on 2M and Radio Médi 1, Sufi specialist (Morocco) and David Hornsby, member of Ibn Arabi Society, Oxford (UK)

21h00 Evening of Samaa at the Bouanania Medersa:

1st part: Charqawiyya Brotherhood (Morocco)

2nd part: Darqawiyya Brotherhood (Morocco)

Wednesday 21 April

10h00-noon Conference at the Batha Museum: Soul Therapy by Eric Geoffroy, writer on Islam, Sufi specialist (France)

16h00-18h00 Workshop at Batha Museum

1st part: Poetry in a Garden

2nd part: The Savoury Path: nourish the soul, nourish the body by Jeanne Bouguet, gastronome, dietician (France)

21h00 Evening of Samaa at the Bouanania Medersa:

1st part: Alawiyya Brotherhood (Morocco)

2nd part: Wazzania Brotherhood (Morocco)

Thursday 22 April

10h00-noon Conference at the Batha Museum: Earth Day

Ecology: material necessity or a way of living?

Kamal Oudghiri, communication engineer at NASA (Morocco/USA)

Pierre Rabhi, writer, founder of Terre et humanisme (France)

Caroline Chabot, journalist at Actes et Sens (France)

Nicholas Moller, president of the Global Institute for New Energy Technologies GIFNET (Denmark)

Fattouma Benabdenbi, sociologist and founder member of the Association Marocaine pour la Promotion de l'Entrprise Féminine ESPOD (Morocco)

Jean Marie Pelt, renowned ecologist and botanist, president of the European Institute of Ecology since 1972 (France)

16h00-18h00 Conference at the Batha Museum: The Timbuctu Manuscripts

Abdelkader Haïdara, scholar, collector and holder of a private library of manuscripts (Mali)

Abdul Laraw, collector and holder of a private library of manuscripts, specialist in manuscript conservation techniques (Mali)

Souada Maoulainine, speaker, Sufi specialist (Morocco)

Fatima Harrak, director of the Institut des Etudes Africaines (Morocco)

Marie-Odile Delacour, journalist and writer (France)

Jean-René Huleu, journalist (France)

21h00 Concert at the Batha Museum: Haj Mohammed Bennis: Al Munfarija, Samaa of Fez (Morocco)

Friday 23 April

10h00-noon Conference at the Batha Museum: Film and Spirituality: Cinema in the quest for meaning by Nabil Ayouche, film-maker (Morocco)

16h00-18h00: Cultural Café: Art and Spirituality with the participation of Amadou and Mariam (singers from Mali), Setsuko Klossowska de Rola (Japanese painter) and Salamatou Sow (University of Niger)

21h00 Concert at the Batha Museum: Hussain Al Aadhamy: Maqamat du désir divin (Iran/Jordan)

Saturday 24 April

10h00-noon Conference at the Batha Museum: The Quest of Ibn Battouta by Said Taghmaoui, Franco-American actor of Moroccan origin

Love is stronger than Death by Professor H. Joyeux, professor in the medical faculty at Montpellier, founder of the Health, Love and Sexuality conferences, writer (France)

and Fanny Abadi, psychotherapist, founder of the International Centre for Ethical Training and the Association for Humanitarian Ethical Action (France)

16h00-18h00 Round table at the Batha Museum: Islam and the West: traces of light

Mahmoud Hussein, the pseudonym for two authors: Baghgat Elnadi and Adel Rifaat (France/Egypt)

Fatema Mernissi, sociologist and writer (Morocco)

Hassan Abou Ayoub, former government minister, itinerant ambassador (Morocco)

Mustapha Chérif, philosopher, theologian, researcher in human and social sciences (Algeria)

Maati Kabbal, writer and journalist (Morocco)

Abdou Hafidi, politician, professor and presenter of Islam on France 2 (France)

Saad Khiari, writer, involved in many programmes on dialogue between faiths and cultures (France)

21h00 Concert at the Jnan Palace Hotel: Noubas Spirituelles: the great voices of Samaa in Morocco, with Mohammed Briouel

For more information, contact the Association du Festival de Fes de la Culture Soufie at

Accommodation in Fez at festival time will be at a premium. If you're planning to attend the festival, check Fez Riads. For homestays with Moroccan families in the medina, see Ziyarates Fes.


Anonymous said...

Helen, Thanks for publishing the programme in english. Can you tell us though what language the Round Tables/Conferences etc are conducted.

Helen Ranger said...

Hello Anonymous
French is the main language, but the conference usually has simultaneous translation via headphones.
Some of the speakers are English-speaking (eg those from Ibn Arabi Society in Oxford), so they will speak in English (with French translation).