Rabat – The curtain fell last Sunday on the 14th annual International Festival of Amazigh Culture in Fez.
Organized under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI by the Association Fes Saiss and the Center South North organization in partnership with the region of Fes-Meknes, this festival was marked by its vibrant homage to the great writer Tahar Ben Jelloun and several tributes to prominent Amazigh musical figures.
A dozen concerts at the historical site of Bab Makina set the tone for a colorful event, as varied programming attracted lovers of Amazigh and “popular” music.
The great artist Aicha Maya and the sublime Faisal orchestra performed beautifully on the prestigious opening stage of the festival. The second evening featured the artists Fatima Tachtoukt, Sami Ray, and the group Ahidous d’Oulmès. For the Sunday closing, the Catalan band Marea Flamenca, Houssa 46, and the star of the Moroccan song, Dounia Batma, revealed their unique musical talents.
The other major event of the festival, the International Forum, served as a platform to discuss the Amazigh culture and the future of democracy in North Africa. The discussions focused on the importance of democratic culture and intercultural dialogue for human development, peace, and social cohesion.
In parallel, theater, writing, and painting workshops, as well as poetry readings, art and book exhibitions, and an Amazigh carpet fair were on the program.
Many big-name writers, poets, and journalists participated in the festival: Driss Mdaghri Alaoui (Morocco), Nouzha Skalli, Hassan Aourid (Morocco), Jean-Marie Simon (France), Noha Bakr (Egypt), Johan Goud ( Holland), Tarik Mira (Algeria), Juliane Tauchnitz (Germany), Mino Vianello (Italy), and Youssouf Amine Elalamy (Morocco).
The 14th annual International Festival of Amazigh Culture at Fez released the following recommendations:
1) Emphasize the central role of the Amazigh language and culture as vectors of universal values of democratic culture and living together.
2) Strengthen respect for gender equality and the preservation of social integration.
3) Through education, sensitize individuals, especially young people, to the values of democracy, modernity, and peace.
4) Encourage democratic culture in the family, school, community, and cities, at local and national levels.
5) Encourage self-criticism and critical thinking, and work on developing open mentalities as a means of conflict prevention.
6) Separate religion from politics and consolidate the separation of powers.
7) Strengthen the values of social justice and freedom, and strengthen cooperation among North African countries to achieve democracy and sustainable development.