Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sufi Festival in Fez

The Fes Festival of Sufi Culture starts on Saturday 16 April and runs until 23 April. The theme this year is Feminine Figures in Sufism.

The Festival comprises a conference, round-table discussions, concerts and performances by Sufi brotherhoods from Morocco and Turkey. Well-known singer Karima Skali, no stranger to Fez, starts off the concerts with a tribute to the Sufi poets of Andalusia, accompanied by the Al Kawthar Ensemble from Granada. The Festival ends with the premiere of male and female voices of Sama'a 'From Melhoun to Spiritual Noubas' which will be a first for Morocco.

Karima Skali

While all the talks will be simultaneously translated from French to English, there is one presentation in English: The Female Teachers of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, presented by Jane Clark and Nick Pearson. Sir Nicholas, who has previously attended the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, is a member of Temenos, a teaching organisation in London dedicated to creative spirituality. HRH the Prince of Wales is patron of the Academy. Prince Charles has this to say about Temenos:
'The work of Temenos could not be more important. Its commitment to fostering a wider awareness of the great spiritual traditions we have inherited from the past is not a distraction from the concerns of every-day life. These traditions, which form the basis of mankind's most civilised values and have been handed down to us over many centuries, are not just part of our inner religious life. They have an intensely practical relevance to the creation of real beauty in the arts, to an architecture which brings harmony and inspiration to people's lives and to the development within the individual of a sense of balance which is, to my mind, the hallmark of a civilised person.'

Here is the full programme of the Festival. All events take place at the Batha Museum, except for the final concert at the Jnan Palace Hotel. Performances by the Sufi brotherhoods are free of charge.

16h00 Introduction
20h30 Concert: Karima Skali and the Al Kawthar Ensemble of Granada: Tribute to the Sufi Poets of Andalusia

10h00 Feminine archetypes according to Emir Abdelkader, with Bariza Khiari and Eric Geoffroy
And God created Khadija, with Soussan Azarin

16h00 From Hinduism to Islam: the feminine 'ma', with katia Legeret and Muhammad Valsan

20h30 Qadiriyya Boutchichiyya Brotherhood, Morocco

10h00 Writing on the Path: Isabelle Eberhardt and Eva de Vitray Meyerovitch, with Marie Odile Huleu-Delacour, Jean Rene Huleu, Saad Khiari, Jean-Pierre Montagne and Amal Arfaoui

16h00 The Female Teachers of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, with Jane Clark and Nick Pearson

20h30 Khalwatiyya Brotherhood, Turkey

10h00 Lalla Zahra Al Kouchia, a saint in the shadow of the Koutoubia, with Touria Ikbal

16h00 Sufism, Women and Ecology, with Fattouma Benabdenbi

20h30 Charqawiyya Brotherhood, Morocco

10h00 Women and Sainthood: Sufi women of West Africa, with Salamatou Sow
Nana Asma'u (1793-1864, Northern Nigeria): an exceptional Sufi woman, with Marie Miran Guyon

20h30 Wazzaniyya Brotherhood, Morocco

10h00 Round table: Women's destiny in sainthood, with Abdellah Ouazzani, Ikram Bennani Rtal, Souada Maoulainine and Thami Lharak

16h00 Round table: The feminine archetype according to Ibn Arabi, with Abdelillah Arafa, Jaafar Kanssousi and Leila Khalifa

20h30 Sama'a evening with the Siqilliyya Brotherhood, Morocco

10h00 'Life is not short but time is counted': a mystical woman in her time (Malke Jan Ne'mati, 1907-1993) with Leili Anvar

16h00 Feminine symbols in Sufi poetry with Ahmed El Kheligh

20h30 Concert: Shadya Hamed and Mustapha Said (Palestine/Egypt)
Tribute to Omar Al-Khayyam: spiritual songs of the great Arab voices

16h00 Concert: Leili Anvar (narrator), Renaud Garcia Fons (double bass) (Iran/France)
The mystical female voices of East and West

20h30 Premiere: From Melhoun to Spiritual Noubas with the great Sama'a voices of Morocco

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