There is plenty happening in Morocco over the next few weeks. So take out your diary and make some notes!
Moussem des Femmes Créatrices d'Assilah - the Festival of Creative Women in Asilah takes place again this year from March 1 to March 6.
Asilah is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 31 km from Tangier. Its ramparts and gates remain fully intact. Its history dates back to 1500 B.C., when the Phoenicians used it as a base for trade. The Portuguese conquered the city in 1471, but John III later decided to abandon it because of an economic crisis in 1549. In 1692, the town was taken by the Moroccans under the leadership of Moulay Ismail. Asilah served then as a base for pirates in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Festival of Creative Women (not to be confused with the Asilah Arts Festival in August) is always a good time to visit as the exhibitions and events add to the atmosphere. The emphasis of the festival is on supporting and promoting the artistic skills of rural and urban women in the Arab-Mediterranean nations. L’Association Marocaine des Créatrices Contemporarines created the festival to showcase the achievements of women and to encourage the artists to sell they artistic products nationally and internationally as an independent means of income. More details about this year's event when they become available.
The International Nomad Festival (8, 9 and 10 March) was first staged in 2003 and is based in the small Moroccan village of M'hamid El Ghizlane, some 60 kilometres south of Zagora in the Draa Valley. This, the ninth edition of the festival, features dance, music, exhibitions, conferences and handicraft displays and draws international artists from France, Spain and Brazil. This year will feature a major exhibition of local produce and crafts of Morocco.
|the festival is full of surprises|
This is a great opportunity to take a different journey and find a new experience of the desert.
During these three days will be held roundtables, conferences and workshops related to the heritage of the region. Local artists, regional, national and international will join the festival and share their musical universe on two stages: one at 4 km north of El Ghizlane M'hamid in the dunes, the other south in the center of M'hamid.
For more information call (212) 662104793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maroc Classic
Sunday, March 18th LEG 1: RABAT – VOLUBILIS – FES (260 kms)
Monday, March 19th LEG 2: FES – KENIFRA – BIN EL OUIDANE (390 kms)
Tuesday, March 20th LEG 3: BIN EL OUIDANE – DEMNATE – OUARZAZATE (320 kms)
Wednesday, March 21st LEG 4: OUARZAZATE – TAFRAOUTE – AGADIR (498 kms)
Thursday, March 22nd LEG 5: AGADIR – TAROUDANNT - AGADIR (283 kms)
Friday, March 23rd LEG 6: AGADIR – TAROUDANNT – MARRAKECH (396 kms)
Saturday, March 24th LEG 7: MARRAKECH – MARRAKECH (148 kms)
Aïcha Gazelle Rally
This competition is the standard reference for women's motorized adventure. It is open to amateur or professional women only who are then immersed in the Moroccan Sahara for 14 days on their 4X4, motorbike, ATV or truck. With its unique concept involving eco-driving without excess speed, based on traditional navigation without GPS the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc was the precursor to a new vision for auto rallies.
22nd edition takes place from 17th to 31st of March 2012. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles was the first rally to offer internet users the opportunity to follow, live, the competitors or the team of their choice, thanks to a satellite tracking system installed in each vehicle.
Against a Google Map background, internet users can experience the competition in real time.
They can keep track of the number of check points located, the route taken by their team, the team’s adventures throughout the day. The rankings, posted on line every evening, allow them to follow the progress of their favourite teams.Find out more on the rally website.
Tan Tan Moussem - The Tan Tan Festival
This important gathering (21 - 26th March) of the "Blue Men" takes place each year in the small desert town of Tan Tan in South Morocco. Members of neighbouring tribes gather for the Sidi Mohammed Mâa El Aynine Moussem which is both religious and for tourists.
Started in 1963, primarily as a religious festival, the annual Tan Tan Moussem draws thousands of members of nomadic tribes to gather together for a celebration of tradition and culture. In the past the focus of the Tan Tan Moussem was the tomb of the great Saharan leader Cheik Mohamed Laghdaf, who died in 1960 after fighting for decades against French and Spanish colonial invaders. In addition to being a festival of worship, this is an opportunity for tribes to socialize with song and dance, swap stories, share herbal remedy knowledge, compete in horse races and engage in some serious camel trading.
Due to the turmoil being experienced in the region in the mid-1970s, authorities at the time banned the Tan Tan Moussem. However, the festival had life breathed back into it when in 2004, UNESCO teamed up with the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism to revive the festival which they considered to be a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.” The response was overwhelming and the Tan Tan Moussem has reclaimed its spot as the largest gathering of nomadic tribes in northern Africa.