Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fes Festival Sufi Nights Proving Popular

The Sufi nights are a great way to finish off a night of concerts and sacred music for foreign visitors to Fez. They arrive to join the large crowd of locals who are devoted to the musical prayers and aware of all the nuances of the changes orchestrated by the Malem or leader of the Sufi Brotherhoods

On Monday night the Dar Tazi venue is packed with local Moroccans eager to see the Saqalia Tariqa is performing led by the imposing presence of their Malem, Haj Mohamed Bennis (pictured above).

Haj Mohammed stands as a conductor in front and to one side leading the 20 young men in white robes seated on the stage. As the music builds he turns to his audience and asks them to join in the song of praise to Allah - and they do this in rousing voice, with clapping of hands as they sway to the incessant rhythms. It is a complete performance and the joy of the music is infectious.

There are a group of young bearded men in tight jeans and tee-shirts who are seated right up front and they are just as engrossed as the devotees in white robes and turbans who are beside them. At the back of the crowd two little children are up on their feet and clapping in time to the music as their parents sip te-de-menthe under the trees. This music joins us all together in celebration.

A majority of the large crowd are locals

As Godelieve, a  Flemish  speaker from Belgium, tells The View from Fez, "This is my first visit to this Sacred Music Festival and its great. Sufi music to me is like a search for God inside your soul and also outside. I can compare it to the Indian Bajans of the Hindus, it is trance-like."

Text: Larry Marshall
Photographs: Larry Marshall, Sandy McCutcheon

Tonight - Sufi Night at Dar Tazi 11pm:  Naqchabandia Brotherhood
Today's Weather:  Cooler and Cloudy - Max 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 Fahrenheit) 
Fez Medina Map

The View from Fez is an official media partner of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

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