Sorry, I Didn’t Feel Like Attending Mawazine!
By Said Benazouz
Morocco World News
Rabat, Morocco, May 25, 2012
Really, I don’t know what’s going on with Ittissalate al-Maghreb, or IAM, the main leading telecommunication company in Morocco. Every day I’m receiving many SMS messages informing me to attend the Festival of Mawazine, the world music rhythms held in the Moroccan capital, Rabat. Am I a VIP to have that great privilege?
As soon as Mawazine- hosting many Arab and international music icons like Fire Of Anatolia, Cheb Khaled, Lamchaheb and Fnaire, many remarkable celebrities in the realm of music, I myself had but to admire- is over, things change with this company. I receive other SMS messages of A-Ghany, new cars offered gratuitously to subscribers through lottery, and other kind offers. I don’t know what might come next.
This company is really violating my privacy as a Moroccan national; it is encroaching upon my individual rights also as a monthly subscriber. Whenever I yield to sleep and rest, there is a loud beep, a sharp signal, alerting me that a new message has fallen in my smartphone inbox.
As I am impatiently anticipating some SMS messages from other friends or colleagues, the same message comes again and again. It reads “You will find all actualities of Mawazine Festival in all the Smartphone Applications. For further details, consult our website: www.festivalmawazine.ma.” Suddenly, I turned into a subscriber but this time to the Mawazine festival. I simply can’t grasp it.
This is not advertisement per se. It is something like a propaganda model that the company tries to spread over Morocco about the local and cosmopolitan Rhythms. I have been to many discos and nightclubs to dance and listen soul music. But Ittisalate al Maghreb wasn’t there. So strange!
The experience was interesting, more enriching indeed. It added a lot to my portfolio. Now, I just wonder why I couldn’t receive the same SMS messages about other prestigious festivals like the Rose Festival in Kelaate M’Gouna, the Festival of Gnaoua in Essaouira or the Festival of World Sacred Music in Fez.
The Mawazine Festival is a special event I come to believe. What made it look so? Is it Waka Waka, the Sacrifice or Ma Feech Haga Tiggi Kidah, Mariah Carey? A saying I have treasured for so many years is, “If you want to measure the progress of any nation, look at its music.”
There are many musicians who are denied having a voice. Their albums are commercialized overseas and they have a huge number of fans. While music itself is a matter of taste, I think many Moroccans would love to listen to al-Haj Bajddoub, Lotfi Boushnaq, Edwardo Paniagua, Ensemble Ibn Arabi, and other pioneers of Arabo-Andalusian music we ourselves pride on as Moroccans. We are having many commonalities with Spain. I think music can help bridge the wide chasms left by politics.
In today’s world, some music has become a sort of organized noise wherein musical instruments disturb the audience instead of providing them with a room for ease, self-recollection and relaxation.
Some kinds of music are appealing to the masses, regardless of their ages and educational backgrounds. There is still another music that is corrupting the education of people, whole nations. That’s the music we must be careful of.
Given our burgeoning passivism and consumerism, we tend to repeat song refrains, whose meaning we could hardly fathom. We tend to sing blindly after the singer and we don’t know much about the circumstances in which the song was composed. Take an example, when a singer is singing about his beloved, are we obliged to sing with him? Of course not.
Some songs can really help change awful situations. They can tell much about the miseries of the masses, denounce violence, terrorism and in turn contribute to world peace all over. That’s the music we need to promote in our world.
Then, do we need songs in which the singer gets undressed to have more fans, more coins? Or dress indecently to tempt and allure huge audiences terribly? Do we need a song in which the singer shakes their buttocks to excite and tease us as listeners? We seem to be too pleased watching such videos. We had nothing but to give a strong applause at the end for the good performance we just watched. But Earth Song is worthwhile invoking in this regard. Let’s sing:
What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we’ve shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?
Personally, what I appreciate so much about the Festival of Mawazine is this amalgam of cultures brought together in our county. It’s beautiful to see the youths, boys and girls, chanting so close by the stage, showing admiration to their favorite singers. Even more beautiful is when you see the same singers taking a million dollars with them after they have sung for about a couple of minutes; thus, leaving those youths to sing their agonies alone, but this time away from the stage.
Music is a human art that can be defined as tones or harmonies. It should embrace neither noise nor indecency to be good and tasty. Also, it should not be monetary-based! Good artistic pieces like paintings, handicrafts and sculptured objects should not be sold but exposed for visitors to view taste and finally praise.
The same thing applies to music. It can endow people with inner pleasure, a moment of peace with the self. But if ever you pay from your blood to listen, then no need for that music. We can eat and eat, then let our heads themselves sing.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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