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Fez, Morocco –Fez, the fabled city of the Maghreb and its ancient landmarks, was the perfect stage for “The World Sacred Music Festival” that has taken place for the last 22 years and is firmly interwoven into the urban fabric of the city.
The cultural cross-pollination of sacred music and artists from across the world continues to engender the original ideals for which the festival began: Peace, harmony and understanding through the language of music.
As a backdrop, Fez, and particularly Fez el-Bali, the old part of the city home to the world’s oldest and continually inhabited medieval medina, plays its own distinct melody with the rhythms of daily life providing the link, the staging and inspiration for much of the festival.
This year the theme “Women Founders” paid tribute to Moroccan women who have left their mark on the country’s history. Morocco’s first university, the Karaouine, a centre for Islamic education and religious study, was founded by Fatima El Fihriya. It has been the beacon of the spiritual capital of Morocco since the middle ages.
Another prominent figure is Kenza al-Awrabiya who helped secure unification of the Amazigh and the Arabs. Fez el-Bali has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1981 and continues to undergo an ambitious restoration programme.
In its own way, the World Sacred Music Festival contributes to that journey of preservation and regeneration through enhancing Fez’s cultural renaissance.