Saturday, April 12, 2014

Opening Day of The Fes Festival of Sufi Culture

Today see the opening of one of the most important festivals in Fez. The Fes Festival of Sufi Culture draws it's inspiration this year from Ibn Arabi. 

Ibn Arabi's full name was Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn al-ʿArabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن علي بن محمد بن العربي الحاتمي الطائي‎). He was born in Murcia on July 28, 1165 and died in Damascus on November 10, 1240. He is considered to be one of the greatest Andalusian Sufi mystics and philosophers. He is renowned by some practitioners of Sufism as "the greatest master

Ibn Arabi

Today's Programme

Saturday, April 12, 2014:
14H (Musée Batha)
Opening of the Festival:
Overview of the Festival theme by Faouzi Skali, followed by a concert of Samaa.

21H Concert (Musée Batha):
Part 1: Curro Piñana (flamenco songs and poems of Ibn Arabi) and Marouane Hajji (Spain / Morocco)
Part 2: Hamam Khairy: Spiritual Muwashahat of East and West (Syria)

Festival Director Faouzi Skali with Curro Piñana at the 2009 festival

Curro Piñana is one of the key figures of a style of flamenco that is little known, the Cante Minero. This genre developed at the end of the 19th century in the mining regions of Murcia, Cartagena, Jaen, Linares, and Almeria. It includes cartagenas, tarantas, tarantos, mineras and many other forms. Curro was one of the very popular performers at the 2009 Sufi Festival He will perform with Marouane Hajji who is recognised as one of the best of the younger generation of singers in Morocco and a local crowd favourite.

Marouane Hajji - photo Sandy McCutcheon
Sufism is something transcendent, from the inside to the outer space where God’s mercy is. It’s coming from the soul, from the bottom of the heart. People are in love and in touch with the Sufis, because they know that this is the line between them and spirituality and flying into the space.” - Marouane Hajji

Hamam Khairy - "The voice of Aleppo"

Hamam Khairy comes from the city of Aleppo (in Syria), the heartland of Arab music. He uses his powerful voice to perform songs that require great technical mastery, but is also capable of fluent improvisation. Without doing violence to the tradition, he offers a contemporary interpretation of age-old songs from his home town.

Khairy is accompanied by a Takht ("bed" or "stage" in Arabic) - the term for the standard ensemble in Middle Eastern music. The repertoire is made up of maqam from the region between Damascus and Baghdad and Andalusian muwassah (a secular music genre - see note below).


Muwashshah (plural: muwāshshaḥāt  موشحات or tawāshīḥ تواشيح) is the name for both an Arabic poetic form and a secular musical genre. The poetic form consists of a multi-lined strophic verse poem written in classical Arabic, usually consisting of five stanzas, alternating with a refrain with a running rhyme. It was customary to open with one or two lines which matched the second part of the poem in rhyme and meter; in North Africa poets ignore the strict rules of Arabic meter while the poets in the East follow them. The musical genre of the same name uses muwaššaḥ texts as lyrics, still in classical Arabic. This tradition can take two forms: the waṣla of Aleppo and the Andalusi nubah of the western part of the Arab world.

Typically a musical ensemble consists of oud (lute), kamanja (spike fiddle), qanun (box zither), darabukkah (goblet drum), and daf (tambourine): the players of these instruments often double as a choir. The soloist performs only a few chosen lines of the selected text. Until modernization it was typical to present eight successive poems including an instrumental introduction (samaa or bashraf).

Tomorrow's Programme

Sunday, April 13, 2014:
10H (Musée Batha)
Roundtable: Tribute to Suad El Hakim

16H (Musée Batha)
Roundtable: In the Footsteps of Ibn Arabi

21H Concert (Musée Batha):
Samaa the Tariqa Qadiriyya Boutchichiyya and Tariqa Siqilliyya (Morocco)

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