Friday, September 30, 2016

"Hymn for the Sahara" - Festival in the Desert

"Hymn for the Sahara" is an exciting 3 day festival under the stars in the desert of south Morocco. It will take place on the 28th, 29th and 30th of October 2016 in M'Hamid El Ghizlane, in the province of Zagora

The organisers aim to celebrate nomadic heritage and world music. In addition the festival will feature the 3rd edition of the Peace Caravan promoting peace and stability in the Sahara and Sahel. This is a festival where visitors can relax in the dunes, listen of music & poetry, dance under the moon and enjoy art or participate in workshops about the fragile environment of the desert.

Festival Taragalte – 7ème édition «Hymne au Sahara» - 28 au 30 octobre, 2016  - M’Hamid El Ghizlane, Maroc
«L’Oasis, source de vie au cœur du Sahara»

Célébration de la Culture nomade et des musiques du monde -Conférences, ateliers, expositions, artisanat et projections de film.

A month to go - and the work has begun

The festival sprung from a team of young local Moroccans who, in their words, "had a dream to make a contribution, no matter how modest, to the development of the Sahara region of Morocco". The team is already hard at work transforming the site in preparation for the festival.

This team, coming from a traditional Saharan Nomad background, wished to contribute especially to the preservation of the ancestral heritage of this region.

Expect tents and a lot of carpets

Taragalte concept was born out of a partnership between the local team with local foundations as well as national and international institutions, all wishing to make a contribution to genuine development of this region.

Taragalte concept not only wants to make an economic contribution to the region, but also to strengthen the cultural exchange between people. To stimulate the cultural exchange, the initiative aims to strengthen the connection between the different communities, already present in the Sahara when the great trade caravans were still running, to increase awareness and preservation of their cultures. The organisers say that exchanges are not only important between local people, but also for people passing through, among each other and with the locals.

Performers include:
Oum, Morocco
Tinariwen, Kel Tamasheq / North of Mali
Sahmaoui Aziz, France / Morocco
Kaira Arby, Mali (representing Festival Timbuktu)
Awek, France
Imerhan N'Tinezraf, Algérie
Hamid Ekawel, Niger
Hassani Group, Mauritania
Mohamed Dorentie (representing Festival Segou, Mali)
DJ U.R.S.N Suisse
Groupe Amazigh Amediaz Band Morocco
DrâaTribes, Morocco
Generation Taragalte, Morocco
Chabab (young) M'hamid, Morocco

Groupe en résidence «Caravane Culturelle pour la Paix» Maroc / Mali: Mariam Koné /
Samba Touré / Benzabo / Cheik Sikasso Ahmed Ag Kaedi / Said Jardouj / Ibrahim Laghferi

Groupe en résidence «Ecole de musique Joudour Sahara/Playing for change»
Pjeunes talents de M’hamid encadrés par:
- Nabyla Maan Morocco
- Fadimata Walt Oumar du Disco / Tartit Mali
- Samira Dainan Netherlands
- Susie Ibarra Philippines / USA

For more info check website:
The full programme as a PDF can be downloaded here: Taragalte Festival


Monday, September 26, 2016

Moga Festival in Essaouira - Oct 14,15, 16

After the Electronic Dunes festival success amidst the Star Wars sets at the heart of the Tunisian Sahara, the natural scenery of the Game of Thrones series in Essaouira will provide the backdrop for the first edition of MOGA,  a festival of music and electronic cultures. The venture is a new initiative from Panda Events and the Runtomorrow Moroccan collective

For three days, festival-goers will be treated to what the organisers say is "an experience out of time, an unprecedented escape in Essaouira, the old "Mogador", punctuated by intense moments of music, discussions and parties".

 Between the Medina, the beach and guest houses and in the heart of the argan forests will be musical brunches, workshops, exhibitions and digital video installations.

The nearby town of Ida Ougourd, festival-goers can take a walk in this typical riad architecture of the region of Essaouira and enjoy the music. This is the main stage  and is open from 4:00 am to 19h.

Contemporary Music and Digital Arts

Programming: October 14
Bella Sarris [Techno House / Desolat / Australia]
Chaim [Deep House / BPitch Control / Israel]
dOP live [Live Band Techno / Circus Company / France]
ETSU [Techno / Morocco]
SIS [Groovy house & Wild Techno / Cocolino / Germany]
Kali.G [Deep Techno & Ethnic / Wind Horse - Are Serious? / Morocco]

Programming: October 15
Live Soul [House / Innervisions / Germany]
MANDY [Techno House / Get Physical / Germany]
Culoe De Song [House / Innervisions / South Africa]
Shaun Reeves [Techno House / Visionquest / USA]
Driss Skali [Deep House / Casbour, Death by Analog / Morocco]>
Madjy & Massimo [Morocco]

Programming: October 16
Dj Tennis [Deep Techno / Life & Death / Italy]
Magda [Minimal Techno / Items & Things / USA]
Mind Against [Techno / Life & Death / Italy]
Koddi [Deep Techno / Runtomorrow, PWFM / Morocco]
Renaat [Techno & more / R & S / Belgium]
Secret 47 [Deep Techno / Y Serious? / Morocco] Pool party at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador 15 and October 16 Festival-goers will delight in the lush vegetation overlooking the ocean. A superb and huge pool areas, ideal for a "day party" memorable, from 12:00 to 20:00. Programming: October 15 Lee Burridge [Techno House / All Day I Dream / United Kingdom] Gorje Hewek & Izhevski [Techno / All Day I Dream / Russia] Yokoo [Deep House / All Day I Dream / France] Sweet Salty [Deep House / Coco Beach, French Kitchen / France]

MOGA Website and ticketing


El Jadidia to Host 9th Salon du Cheval

Under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the 9th Salon du Cheval (Horse Show) will be held at Exhibition Park Mohammed VI in El Jadida, from the 11th to the 16th of October 2016

Since its creation in 2008, the Horse Show Association aims to promote the horse industry, and highlight the heritage and ancient equestrian traditions of the Kingdom. It contributes to economic and social development of rural areas and brings together the efforts of various operators and professionals in the equine industry in Morocco

A range of different activities highlighting all aspects of the horse: sports, culture, crafts, fun, economical ... and the equine industry: saddlery, farriery, armoury, riding and driving. For the edition 2016, the Organising Committee held a press conference yesterday to present this year's programme.

Under the theme "Traditional equestrian arts", the 9th edition showcases Morocco's equestrian arts such as the famous Tbourida (Fantasia). Troops of the various regions of the Kingdom will compete for the Grand Prix of Tbourida from His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

The 9th edition will feature a number of important breeds including Purebred Arabian and the Moroccan Breeders' Cup for Arabian Horses, the National Competition for Arab-Barb horses, the International Championship of Bearded Horses, as well as an international jumping competition counting towards qualification for the World Cup.

In order to sustain Morocco's equestrian culture, the show dedicates a range of activities for younger children with a competition for ponies and an art event for young talent in a special village for children.

Horse displays will be held daily and will highlight equestrian excellence through the participation of leading international figures.

Lectures on scientific and cultural topics will also take place in order to exchange information about important current topics such as "stem cells in veterinary medicine" and "Tbourida art among Moroccan traditional equestrian arts."


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tangier's El Minzah Hotel in Trouble

The El Minzah is not only a hotel but also an iconic monument. Since it was opened back in 1930,  it has numbered the rich, the famous and the notorious amongst its guests. Now, it is struggling to survive

Following an inspection by the tourism commission of control, the El Minzah has been stripped of two of its five stars.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, inspections revealed serious shortcomings, particularly in the kitchens where they found lack of maintenance as well as a severe lack of hygiene and food safety. Several shortcomings and deficiencies were also found in accommodation.

The Commission decided to grant the hotel fifteen days for it to comply with the hygiene and food safety requirements. Failure to meet the standards within this time will result in the hotel being closed. In the meantime it is reduced to a three star hotel.

El Minzah is now only 3 stars

Opened in April 1930 by  Scottish aristocrat,  Lord Bute, this hotel is distinguished by its Moorish style. Over the years El Minzah and its famous Caid's Bar have played host to the actors Rita Hayworth and Rock Hudson, the designer Yves Saint-Laurent and writers Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles. Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci shot part of his Bowles inspired film The Sheltering Sky in the halls of El Minzah, as were some scenes of the recent Spanish series The Time Between Seams.