Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fez Festival comes of age

Now that the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is in its 17th year, it has reached maturity, says Director General Faouzi Skali. The Festival is now moving beyond being simply a place to come to soak up culture, towards one of creativity and experimentation.

At the press conference last night, Skali explained that he views the Fez Forum, the conference that takes place during the Festival, as a 'spiritual Davos'. Here we are privileged to observe the accelerated pace of the world that surrounds us, and by examining new ideas from ancient cultures and wisdoms, achieve greater understanding.

Skali called for students, who might not be able to afford to attend the Forum, to apply for free places. He placed great emphasis on the need to appeal to the youth; the music programme also reflects this attitude with artists such as Ben Harper and Abdel Malik who will particularly appeal to this section of the community.

FES FORUM - The Conference of the Birds
The subtitle of the Forum this year refers to a book of poems written in 1177 by Persian Farid ud-Din Attar. In the story, the birds set off to find their leader, which is an analogy for the Sufi search for the true nature of God.

In our search for truth and understanding, our thinking has to be expanded to avoid the old prejudgements and ignorance.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them Albert Einstein

With this in mind, the Forum will explore and debate the following topics:
- Islam and Civilisation
- New horizons for the Maghreb
- What future for the Near East?
- The roots of the financial crisis

Giving soul to globalisation is the aim of the Forum, and philosophers, writers, thinkers and artists from all over the world will be present to debate the way forward. Among them will be Rajmohan Gandhi, Katherine Marshall, Edgard Morin, Wim Wenders, Andre Azoulay, Siddhartha, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Setso Klossovska de la Rola.

The Fes Forum takes place from 09h00 to noon, Saturday 4 - Wednesday 8 June at the Batha Museum.

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