Islamic Architecture in Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saadian Tombs, Marrakech

Morocco has the richest Islamic architectural heritage in North Africa. Key to this was the influence of Muslim Andalusia, as Muslims were expelled from Spain as a result of the Christian Reconquista led by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. This Andalusian style, which was a rich fusion of European and Arab creativity had a far greater architectural influence, than the Middle East.

Morocco was at the centre of the Hispano-Moorish architectural movement for almost six centuries (11-17th Century). Algeria and Tunisia came under the Ottoman empire but Morocco maintained its independence and withstood the Ottomans. Morocco’s early Islamic architectural heritage was  enriched by  the Arab conquest in the seventh century and the indigenous Berber culture which continues to thrive today.

Due to Islam’s forbidding of all human representation, most decorative art was based on geometric patterns, arabesques and floral motifs. Cursive or Kufic script also features prominently.

Such motifs can be found in stone, brick or wood, but Hispano-Moorish art particularly favored two materials. The first, stucco, was applied in plaster form to surfaces covered in nails and sculpted while still damp, often into stalactite forms. The second, zellij tiling on panels, is a Moroccan decorative feature.

The basic layout of the mosque has not changed since the beginning. It always faces Mecca, the direction of which is shown by the mihrab, an alcove in the middle of the qibla wall. Next to it is a minbar , a platform or pulpit, made out of wood or marble, on which the spiritual leader stands to deliver his sermon. In Morocco, the minaret is a square-shaped tower, topped with a battlemented platform where the muezzin stands to call the faithful to prayer five times a day.

Ben Youssef Medersa, Marrakech

A madrasah is a college of theology. The building’s specific function gave birth to an equally specific architectural style. An elaborately decorated door with awning, opened onto a narrow central courtyard surrounded by classrooms and a prayer room. The masters and students lived in cells on an upper gallery overlooking the central courtyard. The courtyard contains the madrasah’s sophisticated decorative features: central fountain, zellij floors, intricately carved stucco fanlights, carved cedar wood corbels and cornices. The Ben Youssef Medersa in Marrakech was the largest theological college in North Africa. It was founded during the Merinid dynasty (14th century) by Sultan Abu al-Hassan and allied to the neighboring Ben Youssef Mosque. The building of the madrasah was re-constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib (1557–1574).

A koubba, better known as a marabout, is a mausoleum built for pious Muslims who had achieved something approaching sainthood on their deaths. Their distinctive white domed roofs – koubba originally meant dome – and little cubic buildings are a familiar sight throughout the Moroccan countryside and they are the object of pilgrimages.

Very little remains architecturally of the first two or three centuries of Islam in Morocco, of the 8-10 centuries. The excavations of the ancient city of Sijimassa and the former royal city of Aghmat near Marrakech by a team was led by Professor Ron Messier, from Vanderbilt University USA and Professor Abdallah Fili faculte des letters Universite d’El Jadida. They found that the mosques in both locations were extensive with a mobile minbar, which could be moved on rails. When these locations began to decline because of factors like loss of water and population change. Their buildings were dismantled to create new structures nearby in time honored Moroccan fashion and as communities changed buildings also changed their functions. The hammam at Aghmat became a pottery.

The two most important mosques of Fès, the Qarawiyin and the Andalusian Mosque were both founded in the mid 9th century, were the work of immigrants from Andalusia.

The  Almoravid dynasty  (1070-1147).

Desert nomads, the Almoravids clearly had no architectural traditions and naturally enough adopted those of Andalusia, which they had just conquered; hence the term “Hispano-Moorish” given to this art symbolized by semicircular Moorish arches and a decorative style.

The Almohads’ hatred of the Almoravids led them to destroy all Almoravid works, which were considered too frivolous; consequently, almost nothing remains of the Almoravid edifices in Morocco itself: exceptions being some parts of the Qarawiyin Mosque in Fès, extended in 1130 and the Koubba Ba’Adiyn rediscovered in 1950 in Marrakech.

The Almohad dynasty was influenced by Andalusia, like the Almoravids and was responsible for one of the greatest artistic movements of Morocco’s history. The scale of design and the sobriety of the decoration, the handsome proportions and pure lines characterize Almohad architecture.

The fortifications and Great mosque at Taza, together with the superb funereal mosque at Tin Mel, recently restored, date from this period.

Almohad mosques have grand proportions and impressive minarets. A typical Almohad minaret is somewhat squat and square-shaped: its height is equal to five times its base, and it is constructed from freestone. The Kotoubia mosque in Marrakech was completed in the 1190’s during the reign of the Almohad Sultan Yusuf El Mansour. (1184 to 1199). Its minaret, which is 253 feet high, inspired the Giralda at Seville and the Hassan Tower at Rabat. This iconic minaret is the greatest testament to Almohad religious architecture. Moroccan square minarets continue to be built today and are unique to Morocco.

The golden age of the Marinades (1278-1358)

The Merinids’ reign, up until the mid-14C, was one of the most fertile periods of Moroccan architecture. Ornamentation became more important, even in edifices such as fortifications. The main door of the wall around Chellah (Rabat) built in 1339 is a fine example.  Abu el-Hassan and Abu Inan, the two main Merinid sultans and patrons of architecture built many mosques and madrasas. Merinid madrasahs include the Bou Inania, Attarine and Sahrij at Fès, Abu el-Hassan at Salé and Bou Inania at Meknès are among the best known.

A continuing tradition of Hispano-Moorish art persisted under the Saadians and the Alawites (16th -present). In the 20th century, the last manifestation of Hispano-Moorish art to be built was the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.

For more information about an Imperial Cities Tour and the architecture of Morocco

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

The Ouarzazate Festival, Folk Music Talent, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Ouarzazate Ahidous Berber Musicians

The 2nd edition of the Ouarzazate Festival will take place from September 14th – 19th, 2014.  The Ouarzazate Music Festival serves as an opportunity to promote the young artistic talents of Ouarzazate and its region. The outdoor spaces “3 March” and “Al Mouahidines “, as well as the Kasbah Taourirt will be the home of theaters and entertainment programs for this festival.

The program will be rich and varied featuring both Moroccan and international artists.  The singers Sami Rai, Hatim Alv, Naser Megri, Nabyla Maan, along with local Folk music are planned for this edition of the festival.

The Ouarzazate Festival will feature Ahidous music, a traditional dance performed by Moroccan Berber tribes in form flowing circles accompanied by percussion rhythmic songs.

Ouarzazate Festival Awash Musicians

Also featured is Ahwash music.  Ahwash music and dance is a local village folk dance performed by Berbers  and a significant part of Amazigh culture in Atlas and the Souss region of Morocco. Ahwash incorporates  the dance, poetry, songs with varied rhythms, and is different among each tribe.

The festival is organized in partnership with the provincial council of tourism (CPT) of Ouarzazate and the Moroccan national Office of Tourism (ONMT).

Best Places to Stay in Ouarzazate : Ouarzazate Riads

Ksar Ighnda – A 5 Star Kasbah with great charm and unique architecture in the Ait Benhaddou region, just 25 minutes from Ouarzazate city center. French owned the property offer the perfect experience for Southern Morocco combining location with out door swimming pool, cozy places to sit back and read a book and good food. Located just 5 minute walk to Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah.

Le Temple Des Arts – A 5 Star luxurious Riad in a restored villa offering rooms decorated with a film inspired theme. Perfectly located in Ouarzazate’s city center this relatively new property is theme oriented and ideal for warm months with its shaded interior. It is Moroccan run. Service is good.

Riad Dar Chamaa – A 4 Star boutique Modern Moroccan style hotel with majestic views, swimming pool and great charm. Moroccan – Spanish owned. The perfect place to stay with those on a limited budget. Located in Tabount, just 10 minutes from Ouarzazate city center.

 

Where to Eat in Ouarzazate:  

Le Kasbah Des Sables – A gastronomic experience with a menu that combines the cuisine of Fes, Meknes, Tangier, Arab and Berber with 5 class fare.  This restaurant offers a museum- quality atmosphere as its’ decor has been hand stitched together and is filled with Berber, Morocco traditional furniture and art that was hand crafted by local artisans in the Ouarzazate region. Each section of the restaurant offers an intimate environment and the opportunity to eat on tables that are hand painted and adorned with silver fibulas, Amber and other regional jewels.

Chez Dmitri – This restaurant is a landmark in Ourazazate and was the first one to open in 1928. This family restaurant’s reputation quite simply comes from its memorable international cuisine, as one may choose from a vast range of exotic dishes. The walls are decorated with photographs of many actors who have dined here while filming.It has gained an illustrious reputation and maintained it well. The restaurant is frequented by both tourists and locals who are looking for a quality meal in a charming, French-Moroccan atmosphere. Chez Dmitri offers authentic international cuisine and a wide variety of alcoholic drinks.

For more information about the Ouarzazate Music Festival or Ouarzazate Tours 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.
 

Moroccan Door Knockers,Treasures of the Medina,Your Morocco Tour Guide

Marrakech, Door Knocker

In the ancient medinas of Morocco old Riad doors have become much sought after items by tourists and collectors along with new riad owners. Riad doors are in particular famous for their unique architectural design and colors in Marrakech,Fes and Essaouira. Other Moroccan cities in the North such as Asiliah and Chefchaouen also have medinas with charming door knockers that standout against their rich blue doors and city backdrop color. In Marrakech these doors they can be found in antique door specialists, craft shops and at the Bab el Khemis or Thursday market by the northern medina gate.

Once a prized door has been negotiated and purchased, the adorning piece to complete it is an ornate brass knocker which in itself is now a sought after collector’s item created by skilled craftsmen in brass or wrought iron. Door knockers in Morocco are an important part of the character of the medina and a symbol of divine protection for the home. They are an important expression of Moroccan cultural traditions and symbolism. The first contact with the riad or house you are entering in the Medina is the brass knocker which you tap to gain entry, it’s a refreshing change from the world of door bells and entry phones.

Essaouira, Door Knocker

Often the solid brass or caste iron knocker will take the palm shape of the Hand of Fatima often referred to as the figure five for the fingers and thumb of the right hand, Khamsa in Arabic. It commemorates the Prophet’s daughter Fatima Zahra and is believed to ward of the evil eye. It also appears in Levantine Christian mythology as the Hand of Mary and in the Jewish tradition the Hand of Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron. The five fingers that appear on a Moroccan door knocker or a Khamsa refer to the  five books of the Torah to Jews, the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunni Muslims . The symbolism of May, (fifth month in the year and sacred to Mary for the Christians). The fingers of a Khamsa may point up or down. There are Jewish mellahs in all Morocco’s  medinas as Morocco had a sizeable Jewish population for centuries until the 1960’s and Essaouira’s Jewish community made up 40% of the total population in the early 19th century. Jewish symbols decorate the Mellah and Jewish craftsmen and artisans, particularly the silver jewelry have influenced Moroccan metal work for generations.

Asiliah, Door Knocker

Moroccan door knockers develop a green patina which resists corrosion. Other designs for Moroccan door knockers include an ordinary clenched hand or an eight pointed star. Sometimes you will also see a lion’s head although Islamic art generally avoids the depiction of animals

Morocco’s skilled craftsmen are renowned for their brass work and if you have a copy of a design you would like to use they can usually make it for you. Door knockers in Morocco’s magnificent royal palaces have also played their part in the exotic traditions of door knockers. Moroccan metal craftsmen in brass and caste iron  are a source of skilled invention drawing on ancient traditions and design which draw their inspiration from as far a filed as Damascus with its legendary metal work. Marrakech in particular is also the home of highly original Moroccan and European designers who blend ancient and modern.

Whilst there are very few articles on Moroccan door knockers they are on sale on the internet on a number of different websites  such as Tazi Designs in San Francisco which is a sure sign of their popularity.

For more information about Moroccan Tour Knockers or a Marrakech Tour

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

 

Souks Outside Marrakech, Your Morocco Guide

Souk-Amiziz

By  visiting local souks outside Marrakech you can experience local Berber country life and absorb the character of the marketplaces where they meet each week. This is an important social occasion where local producers sell their wares including, fruit, vegetables and livestock. Merchants from Marrakech sell essentials such as: tea, coffee, sugar, packaged foods, cooking items, clothing and electronics. You can also come across carpets, jewelry and pottery generally cheaper than in Marrakech. There are many things available to buy from the souk: henna, spices, rugs, Berber slippers and sandals, pottery, Berber djellabahs for men, dresses for women and handmade wooden kitchen utensils.

Amizmiz has the best Berber souk  in the region on a Tuesday as well as sampling the local wares, it is a good starting off point for treks in the surrounding Atlas Mountains and meeting the Berbers in their home environment for mint tea and a meal served in their homes.

Set against the majestic backdrop of the High Atlas, the picturesque village of Tahanaout attracts visitors with its landscape and attractive sturdy Berber red clay buildings.  The village which is 30 km from Marrakech is surrounded by olive groves, orange  and lemon trees. Its souk is also held on a Tuesday. Pottery making and cooking demonstrations are on offer from the inhabitants of Tahanaout,  you  can learn how to make homemade bread, makoda, couscous and other traditional regional dishes.

There are good opportunities for bird watching whilst strolling along the riverbanks, where you can see  Moroccan wagtail, white stork and cattle egret. You can trek to the Ouirgane, N’Fis and Ourika Valleys and the waterfalls at Setti Fatma. You can also ride donkeys or hire a 4X4 cross country vehicle. If you want to stay in Tahanaout  you can book into the Terres d’Amanar an extensive eco lodge with gardens and stunning mountain views on the outskirts of the village. The Kasbah Angour is also nearby both establishments can arrange local tours including trekking on foot or by donkey and  4×4 overland vehicles for further afield .

Other centers for weekly souks include  Tnine Hem on Monday, Sidi Ghiat on Sunday and Aghmat with its ancient ruins on Friday. Asni  also has a large market on Saturday, Ijoukak on Wednesday and  Khemis Ouirgane on Thursday. Ouirgane itself is a delightful place to spend a few days for trekking and relaxation. It is close to the Tiz N’Test pass, Mount Toubkal, Toubkal National Park and the Tassa Ouirgane National Park. This is trekking and ecotourism country at its best. It is possible to travel around by 4×4 but if you are up to it by foot, donkey or horse is best. The air is clean the mountain scenery and the Takherkhoute forests are enchanting.

Chez Momo Ourigane

One of the of the best places to stay in Ouirgane is the idyllic Domaine de la Rosaraie, set in sixty acres of  parkland with a  large garden filled with roses .

Domaine Malika is new on the scene in Ourigane and for an upscale and chic mountain experience there is none better than the Domaine Malika. .

Chez Momo is a charming auberge, Moroccan country style home overlooking the High Atlas. They are also known for the excellent cuisine and elegant dinner setting. If staying in Ourigane dining at Chez Momo is a must.

Au Sanglier Qui Fume  has been in existence since 1945. It started by catering to Foreign Legion soldiers working on the bridge and acquired its distinctive name because it was used by wild boar hunters. Its restaurant has great character including the heads of wild boar hanging from the walls. The food is a blend of French and Moroccan cuisine. It remains a classical French establishment.

The Tassa Ouirgane National Park and the Toubkal National Park provide great trekking opportunities in amongst the valleys and local Berber villages hamlets and fields with the Atlas mountains towering above them. You can visit the salt mines at Marigha. Here the Berbers have been mining salt by their traditional method unchanged for centuries. They transport the salt by donkeys and sell it locally.

For more information about Souks and a Marrakech Tour

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

 

Vacation in Sidi Ifni On the Shores of the Atlantic, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Sidi Ifni, Seacoast View

Sidi Ifni is some two hour’s drive from Agadir and is unique because of its much admired Spanish Art Deco buildings built when it was a Spanish enclave from 1934-1969. A vacation in Morocco’s Sidi Ifni on the shores of the Atlantic of Agadir is a great way to pass the summer months. The cliff top views of the sea at Sidi Ifni and the beach are impressive. There are two buildings built like ships with portholes near the steps down to the beach and there is a striking lighthouse overlooking the sea. A former church now the law courts and a former Spanish consulate with its windows bricked up lie around the Place Hassan II, formerly Plaza de Espana along with the governor’s house which is now a royal palace.

A number of the old Spanish buildings have undergone some renovation and have been freshly painted in white and blue. In July and August a sea mist sometimes shrouds the sea and the cliff top caused by the colder sea hitting the sun baked shore.

 

Sidi Ifni, Art Deco Architecture

There are long avenues and Spanish streets still with their original street names like Calle Gomara and Calle Ceuta as they were when the Spanish population left the town in 1969. Just off the beach is the former cable car rigged up to ferry supplies up the cliff to the town. The old cable car can still be seen and was an ingenious way to deliver supplies to the town from Tenerife. There is also a disused airfield which now hosts a lively souk with bric a brac displays of old antiques reminiscent of such seaside haunts as Brighton in the UK. There are also displays of carpets, kelims, Berber jewelry and other handicrafts along with many vegetable sellers . Sidi Ifni is also a market town and the Berber Ait Baamrane tribe are the inhabitants of the surrounding agricultural region. The streets of the Moroccan built part of the town lies under a large hill and are lined with pavement sellers and cafes and there is relaxed atmosphere combining a rural market day on Sunday with the town’s attraction as a seaside resort . There is also a covered souk selling Moroccan dresses and djellabahs as well as other handicrafts and toys. Sidi Ifni has an important fishing industry with a special fishing port and there are many different types of fish for sale in the souk’s municipal fish market.

Sidi Ifni Beach

In the late 1950’s the Moroccan Liberation Army which fought in small guerilla bands waged a determined war against the Spanish Foreign Legion winning back Laayoune and the south and finally most of the Sidi Ifni region. The Sidi Ifni war was called the forgotten war but it involved the Baamrane tribe and the region in sustained fighting. On my trip to Sidi Ifni via Tiznit from Marrakech I travelled with a Moroccan friend and his family. We stayed at my friend’s uncle’s farm in the Ait Baamrane countryside in a valley surrounded by mountains. Beside the farm was a well constructed well which had been left by the French who had stationed a battalion there whilst pacifying the area. The rest of the camp had been erased. My friend told me that his father fought with the Moroccan Liberation Army from 1955-7. He recounted how a Spanish patrol forced their way into his father’s house looking for him but he was not there. His mother and the two older children, then very small were frightened but unharmed. His father eventually joined the Moroccan Army and ended up as a senior sergeant at Army headquarters in Marrakech. He retired and died earlier this year, I had known him for over 20 years. His name was Jama Ait Bausakif. With the years of fighting and the suffering and losses involved in what is still living memory, it is not surprising that Moroccans are reluctant to remeber their colonial past and refurbish the Spanish Art Deco buildings. In fact a number of buildings have been renovated but more remains to be done and it is expensive.

Travelers do like the Art Deco buildings and the town’s administration understand this. Hopefully they can be seen as a delightful architectural experiment, part of Morocco’s heritage from a bygone era. When the French left in 1956 the writing was on the wall for the Spanish inhabitants of Sidi Ifni and they left in 1969 following international pressure from the UN. Sidi Ifni became a sad ghost town. Now it is an enchanting seaside resort and local market town which all can enjoy. The Hotel Suerte Loca and the Hotel Bellevue are recommended and the restaurant Café Nomad. There are even two bars on the beach which is also good for surfing. Ten miles north of Sidi Ifni is the much larger Legzira beach at Sidi Ouarzik and the nearby small town of Mirleft between Tiznit and Sidi Ifni has several fine beaches for surfing and several low cost hotels. There is even an English run bed and breakfast, Sally’s Bn’B and a pub, the Sunset cafe just off the main street.

Where to Stay in Sidi Ifni:

Legzira Beach Club
Phone: +212.670.522.800
Web: www.legzirabeachclub.com

Logis La Marine
Avenue Moulay Abdellah 1,
Sidi Ifni, Maroc
Phone:
+212 6 41 76 60 96
Web: www.logismarine.com

Where to Eat in Sidi Ifni:

Café Restaurant Nomad
Located in the heart of “art deco” of the Spanish colonial city area of Sidi Ifni. Local Moroccan cuisine and seafood.  Beautiful shrimp, sole and  chicken bastilla. Good olive tapenade. Reservations Recommended
Address: ‪5 Avenue Moulay Youseff, Sidi

La Paella de la Playa
An intimate restaurant with homemade cuisine of local falvor. Excellent paella, pulpo- octopus, pasta and the best pesto in the region. Divine fresh fruit juices and  service of the heart describe this restful and well appointed restaurant in Sidi Infni..
Address: ‪Playa de Sidi ifni | ‪Entrada Camping El Barco, Sidi Ifni
Phone: +212 648346594

Café Restaurant Mar Pequena
A vegetarian family friendly restaurant. Serves up good kefta tajine and wonderful fruit juices. Female friendly for those traveling solo.
Address: 20, Av. Elmowahidine, Sidi Ifni,

For more information about Sidi Ifni, Agadir and Morocco’s Seaside Communities 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Fes Festival of World Sacred Music 2014, Your Morocco Tour Guide

20th Annual Fes Festival of Sacred Music

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with the theme Conference of the Birds: Journey of Cultures. It has been twenty years of a musical, spiritual and artistic journey exploring the cultures and traditions of the world, revealed in ever greater depth through concerts, exhibitions, film screenings and debates. It takes place in Fes, Morocco from June 13th – 21st, 2014.

PRESS RELEASE – FES FESTIVAL OF SACRED WORLD MUSIC

The seven continents are represented by superb artists, grand masters renowned for their art: from Europe, one of the greatest tenors of our time, Roberto Alagna, presents a show created specially for the Festival; in addition to Tomatito, who works with Paco de Lucia at the top of his field of flamenco guitar. Representing Africa is an encounter between Youssou N’dour and Johnny Clegg in a tribute to Nelson Mandela; along with Rokia Traoré. From Asia is the prestigious Arab singer Kadem Saher and Zakir Hussain, the most celebrated Indian tabla musician.

Morocco is represented by a number of artists during the opening concert and also in an Arab-Jewish-Andalusian evening showcasing the greatest Moroccan artists both Muslim and Jewish, presenting their magnificently rich cultural heritage. Luzmilla Carpio from Bolivia represents South America, and Buddy Guy from North America, the great legend of Chicago blues who will be visiting Morocco for the first time with his ensemble, presenting the mythical music of this Afro-American culture.

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and the Fes Forum, founded in1994 and 2001, are dedicated to the traditions of knowledge, art and spirituality of the city. The Fes Festival was designated in 2001 by the United Nations as one of the major events contributing in remarkable fashion to the dialogue between civilizations.

Faouzi Skali

Forum Director and Founder, Faouzi Skali introduces the Festival and Travel Exploraiton Morocco is proud to present the 2014 program here.

The opening concert of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music features the premiere of a work specially commissioned for the Festival. It is a feast of stagecraft and the visual arts that encompasses music, dance, song, video and poetry.

The opening concert at 21h00 on 13 June at Bab al Makina entitled Manteq at-Tayr in Arabic, Conference of the Birds : Journey of Cultures. This work encompasses the journey of different world cultures in their quest for direction and of their transformation as they encounter various exchanges. Performance inspired by The Conference of the Birds by Farid Ud-Din Attar, translated by Leili Anvar and published by Diane de Selliers.

They take place throughout the Fes Festival as a fitting finish to the day’s events in a warm atmosphere full of spirituality and conviviality.

It’s a perfect moment to be shared by all, in the gardens of Dar Tazi in the heart of the Fes medina.

Medina Nights Performers from June 16th – 18th:

Breezes of the Atlas & Jews Harp from China, The Choir of Saint Ephraim, Majils Triom Atlan Ensemble, Leili Anvar, Marifat, Khalil Abu Nicola, Tomatito Sextet, Nouhalia El Khalai, Mor Karbasi, Zakir Hussain

Festival in the City Concert Program:

The Festival in the City brings together all the great traditions of sacred music, spiritual music, and world music. As part of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, it offers free daily concerts in popular city squares for the people of Fes, Morocco and from abroad.
These large public concerts are free and take place at Boujloud Square at 18h30 (except saturday June 14th at 22h30 – 10:30pm) and at the Jnan Sbil garden at 16h.

Saturday 14 June
Jnan Sbil garden 16h : Ensemble Takht al Arabi, Aziz Liwae

From Bab Boujloud 18h : 2nd RACE TO THE RHYTHM OF WORLD SACRED MUSIC with traditional folkloric groups from all over Morocco will perform along the route.
Bab Boujloud 22h30 Chant d’Ahidous de l’Atlas / Badr Rami (Syrie)

Sunday 15 june
Jnan Sbil Garden  16h : Songs of the group Aisawa, Said Berrada
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Musa Dieng Kala (Sénégal) / Jil Jilala

Monday 16 june
Jnan Sbil Garden 16h : Feminin orchestra of Fès
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Luzmila Carpio (Bolivia) / Ouled Al Bouazzaoui (Songs of  theAïeta )

Tuesday 17 june
Jnan Sbil Garden 16h : Nasr Migri
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Ribab Fusion (Amazigh’s songs from Souss)/Sefrawa Fusion (winner of the Tremplin Fé Riad 2014)

Wednesday 18 june
Jnan Sbil Garden 16h : Roudaniyat, women from Mèknes
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Laabi Orchestra

Thursday 19 June
Jnan Sbil Garden 16h : Amina Ben Souda
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Raza Khan (India) /Abidat Rma

Friday 20 june
Jnan Sbil Garden 16h : Songs of Melhoûn, Mohammed El Hadri/ Amazigh poetry reading: Omar Taous
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Hot 8 Brass Band (USA)/ Saïda Charaf

Sunday 21 june
Jnan Sbil Garden 16h : Ihsan Rmiki
Bab Boujloud 18h30 : Kadim Al Sahira

Free entry Dar Tazi: Sufi Nights from 23h00

These outdoor samaâ concerts are open to all, and give a glimpse into Islamic culture through the richness and creativity of its artistic and spiritual dimensions.

Saturday 14 June : National Tijani group of Rabat directed by Mohcine Nawrach, with sama’a and madih

Sunday 15 June : Group from the Darkaouia Zaouia, Essaouira

Monday 16 June : Group from the Sakalia Zaouia in Fes, directed by Haj Mohamed Bennis

Tuesday 17 June : Group from the Naqchabandia Zaouia directed by Noureddine Tahiri

Wednesday 18 June : Group Rouh of Meknes directed by Yassine Habibi, with Sufi sama’a

Thursday 19 June : Group from the Harrakia Zaouia, Rabat
F 

Friday 20 June : Group from the Ouazzania Zaouia of Ouazzane directed by Fouad Ouazzani

Saturday 21 June : Group from the Hamdouchia Zaouia of Fez directed by Abderrahim Amrani

For more information about the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music or Fes Tours  

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Travel Exploration Morocco Awarded 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

 TRAVEL EXPLORATION MOROCCO AWARDED 2014 TRIP ADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

Recognised as a Top Performing Travel Exploration Morocco as Reviewed by Travellers on the World’s Largest Travel Site 

Travel Exploration Morocco today announced that it has received a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Travel Exploration Morocco and Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site.

Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Travel Exploration Morocco and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said, Alecia Cohen, Director of Travel Exploration Morocco and Expert on Berber Culture and all things Moroccan. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s customers.

With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

Travel Exploration Morocco is an in-country Morocco tour operator and maintains offices in Marrakech and Ouarzazate, Morocco. Travel Exploration specializes in private tours to Morocco’s Imperial Cities, the Great South and Sahara Desert regions and Jewish Heritage tours. Travel Exploration is a key member of (ASTA), the American Association of Travel Agents.

Our staff has lived and worked in Morocco for over twelve years and ensure our Morocco travel clients a carefully planned, smooth vacation. Travel Exploration Morocco designs each Morocco holiday step by step with our guests. Our detailed Morocco itineraries can be found on our website at www.travel-exploration.com and will offer a variety of Morocco tour possibilities for people of all ages.

For more information about Morocco Private Tours with Travel Exploration  

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.