Saturday, February 20, 2016

Moroccan "Maestro" Dies at 100

Moha Oulhoucine Achibane, whom everyone called "The Maestro", died on Friday February 19th at the age of 100 years. Born 1916 in Azrou Ait Lahcen in the Province of Khénifra, he took part in the resistance against the French before turning to the music which brought him international acclaim 

In the early 1950s, he began an artistic journey that made him the undisputed master of the ahidouss, a traditional dance performed by the Amazigh (Berber) tribes of the Middle Atlas and High Atlas. His musical career took him to the four corners of the world as a worthy representative of Moroccan Amazigh culture. Among his fans was the late US President Ronald Reagan, who was responsible for giving Moha his nickname "The Maestro".

He was also nicknamed "the Eagle", after the smooth and agile movements of the ahidouss dance.

During his career Moha Oulhoucine Achibane attended more than 150 meetings and festivals in Morocco and around the world (Africa, Europe, USA), including the Popular Arts Festival of Marrakech and Fes Festival of World Sacred Music.

In 1982, he was the Moroccan who lit the torch of the World Cup in Spain.

Moha Oulhoucine Achiban suffered from ill-health in his last years, first with heart surgery in 2003 and then, nine years later, with a heart attack in 2012.

His death was announced by the president of the Association of Amazigh Poets, Khalid Zouani, who praised Moha for his more than 60 year career as a singer, dancer and orchestra leader.

Editor's Note: Some news sources are saying that Moha was aged 113 - but being born in 1916 that is hard to understand

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