Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fez Festival of Sufi Culture - Day Four Review

A Sufi selfie (Click on images to enlarge)

The Fez Sufi Festival continued with slightly smaller numbers of European visitors than those on the opening weekend. Local Moroccan support, on the other hand, continues to grow
Tuesday in Fez was a beautifully mild day , mostly cloudy and with a top of only 31 Celsius, However,  the outlook for Wednesday and Thursday threatens to bring rain and thunderstorms, with top temperatures around 24 degrees.

Sufism and the art of poetry panel

The days round tables were: Sufism and the art of poetry (morning session) and Sufism and inter-religious dialogue (afternoon session).

In the afternoon, Faouzi Skali introduced the session by pointing out that Fez has historically been a meeting place of faiths - mentioning such people as Pope Sylvester II, who introduced Arab numbers to Europe after studying, culture and sciences including mathematics and astronomy, in Fez. 

Faouzi Skali also pointed out that Rabbi Moses ben Maimon,  commonly known as Maimonides, lived in Fez while he composed his acclaimed commentary on the
Mishnah in the years 1166–1168.  

Faouzi, speaking in English then asked "What about the situation today with inter-faith dialogue?".

The afternoon panel

Evening Concert

The first of the rain showers arrived in Fez mid-afternoon and then cleared away until an hour before the concert with the Tariqa Rissouniya was due to start. 

As the rain began again the stage crew were called in to cover foldback speakers and microphones. Then. some twenty minutes later, they uncovered them and prepared the stage area. 

Taking a few precautions against the rain

By the time the concert began the rain appeared to have stopped. but it did come back with a small shower an hour later.  By that stage the performance was well underway and nobody cared to move. 

The Tariqa Rissouniya are based in Chefchaouen and have a repertoire of Andalusian and sacred song. 

What is notable about the group is the youth of its members and the fact that they are happy to include an electronic synthesiser into the otherwise traditional line-up of instruments.

The tariqa comprises seven singers and seven instrumentalists.

The Tariqa Rissouniya  come across as an extremely well drilled team of musicians, albeit lacking the strong spiritual force that is at the heart of some of the older Sufi groups such as the Boutchichiyya, Issawa or Hamadcha.  This is something that will hopefully develop over time.

Young musicians with a bright future - inshallah

Tomorrow's programme

Ustad Daud Khan Sadozai - should be a festival highlight

Wednesday October 18
10h-12h: Round table: "Sufi cultures of Central Asia" - Medersa Bounaniya

16-18h: Round table: "Sufism, a living heritage" - Medersa Bounaniya

8 pm: Jnan Sbil Gardens
- First part: Concert by Ustad Daud Khan Sadozai with Robab and Sarod - Sufi music from Afghanistan

- Part Two: Tariqa Sharqawiya

PLEASE NOTE! There is a chance of rain and thunderstorms

And - for those who want more...
The 7th edition of the Festival Samaâ Marrakech for the "Rencontres et Musiques Sufies" will take place October 25th to 29th around the theme "The Samaâ releases man and completes his humanity".

Photographs and text: Sandy McCutcheon

Click on links to read a full review of each day

Who are the Sufis?
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight

The View From Fez is an official Media Partner of the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture


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