By Oumaïma Fassi Fihri
Rabat – The coastal city of Essaouira will host the 15th annual Atlantic Andalusia Festival from October 25-28 to promote Muslim-Jewish intercultural exchange.
“Andalousies Atlantiques d’Essaouira,” as it is called in French, will host twelve concerts featuring international and Moroccan Muslim and Jewish artists.
The organizers, the Essaouira-Mogador Association, offer a rich and diversified program with artists such as Anass El Attar, Ahmed Marbouh, Benjamin Bouzaglo, Hay Korkos, and Sanaa Marahati. The event will also feature covers of many Jewish-North African classics by artists such as Salim Halali, Samy Al Maghribi, and Albert Suissa.
The festival will also celebrate the Maghreb with a joint concert between Moroccan artist Hayat Boukhriss, Algerian artist Rym Hakiki, and Tunisian artist Syrine Benmoussa.
The event will present some classics of Moroccan and Andalusian music, such as “Al Ala,” “Gharnati,” or “Chaabi.”
The Moroccan Jewish and Arab-Jewish culture will be at the centre of the festival with many Jewish artists. The band “Andaloucious” will revisit “Melhoun,” “Chgouri,” and “Matrouz” in Judeo-Arabic. The band “Hapiyout” will sing the 19th century poems of Rabbi Yaacov Abouhaitzeira from Tafilalet in eastern Morocco.
The popular singers Hajja El Hamdaouia and Raymond Bidaouia will also perform a duet together for the first time at the festival.
Poems by two of the most famous Andalusian poets, Ibn Arabi and Ibn Gabirol, will be sung by Said Belcadi, a “madih and samaa” Moroccan singer, and Curro Pinana, a “minero” Spanish singer.
The festival will also present Hanna Assouline’s documentary “Les Guerrières de la Paix” (The Women Warriors for Peace).