The city of Meknes will host the first edition of the National Festival of Aissawa Art under the theme “Heritage as a Mainstay for Advanced Regionalization” on February 24-25 at Faqih Mohammed al-Manouni Hall of the Regional Directorate of Culture starting from 6:30 pm.
The festival’s organizers revealed on Tuesday the rich program they set for the event. More than 30 Aissawa orders will participate, such as Ouald Sheikh Kamel from Meknes, Ahl Touat Dar Damana from Ouazzane and Taaifa al-Aissawia from Fez, in addition to the great artists Abderrahim Souiri and al-Asri Orchestra.
Under the framework of the festival, a seminar will be held on “Forms of Popular Expressions in the Issmaili City: Issawa Order as a Model,” with Prof. Mohammed Amine, Prof. Mostafa Benfaida, Prof. Muley al-Hassam al-Bouyahyaoui al-Idrissi, Prof. Mohammed Amine al-Alaoui. The seminar will take place on Saturday, February 25, at 3 pm, in the meeting hall of the headquarters of the Council of Meknes-Tafilalt region. At the same time, there will be an art gallery for the prominent artist M’hammad Jacky Belhaj at the gallery of al-Manouni Hall.
The festival comes as an occasion to introduce and celebrate Aissawa art in Meknes and shed light on the cultural diversity and artistic richness of the city. It’s a festival that celebrates the genuine heritage and history of the region. The festival aims to reposition Aissawa art as a unique authentic art form that should be preserved and cherished by honoring its pioneers and professionals. At the same time, it seeks to encourage creative youth who are interested in this ancient artistic heritage.
Aissawa heritage is considered as one the most important local popular art forms. It not only characterizes the cultural and civilization diversity of Meknes-Tafilalt region, but also marks the lives of Moroccans as a means of expression and a tool of communication that is loaded with values of co-existence and tolerance. This cultural heritage has been maintained and passed on by countless generations throughout history.
Morocco World News By Nidal Chebbak
Fez, February 24, 2012