Rabat - Fez, the intellectual capital of Morocco, hosted a significant spiritual music festival from 4 to 12 June, based on a message of coexistence, peace and purity of soul.
According to its website, the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music “represents the spiritual heart of Islam – peaceful, pluralistic, generous and cheerful. It honours all the world’s spiritual traditions and it dissolves musical boundaries.” The festival provides people with a place to meet and discuss music, poetry and Sufism at well-known historic locations throughout the city — as well as listen to amazing music.
Some of today’s most popular spiritual and religious music groups from around the world came together in Fez for the festival’s 16th annual celebration. Performances by musicians of different religions and nationalities accentuated the potential for openness and dialogue between people.
The Fez Festival was begun by the Moroccan anthropologist Faouzi Skali in the aftermath of the first Gulf War to help people from different spiritual traditions learn from each other without prejudice. Today, it is considered one of the most significant festivals aimed at instilling peace, security and dialogue between civilisations, according to the United Nations. It is organised primarily by the Message of Fez, an organisation which provides the festival with financial and material support.
This year’s theme was “Perfection in Purging the Soul”, coined by Ibn Arabi, a 13th century Arab philosopher. According to organisers, Ibn Arabi’s work represents the will to rid oneself from rigid, exclusive dogmatic beliefs and instead instil the principles of tolerance and mutual respect among civilisations, which the festival aims to do through music.
This spirit of coexistence is evident, with the musical traditions of different religious communities … more
1 review about Spiritual Music Festival in Morocco
This article is fabulous. I have highlighted a few of the most important passages so if you do nothing else, read those!
After reading this article, the power of music is obvious. Music can be tied to one's culture, community or religious affiliation (to name a few). Peoples in this region of the world focus so much on that aspect rather than seeing the bigger picture- which the Moroccans learned to do here. Music is the umbrella, the over-arching, COMMON theme which unites them- despite having different religious hymns or cultural songs. This relates to what SFCG is trying to do by using television, radio, and music as means for connecting and educating people of their common ground. The benefits Morocco enjoys from this music festival are vast- not only is it having an effect locally, it is changing the way the world views the country as a whole! By highlighting the musical traditions from different cultures, the festival was a huge success! In my opinion, other countries should adopt the model for this festival. It will not only open eyes as to the gap music can bridge, but will also showcase new music that will be great to sing along with and to dance to! :)
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