It’s not my first time with Sami Youssef. But it’s the first in my beloved city of Fez

On Friday, 24 May 2024, the 27th edition of the Fez Festival of World Music kicked off with an exceptional opening ceremony entitled ‘Zeryab and the Fifth String’, which was held under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa graced the opening ceremony held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, giving it a special elegance and deep cultural symbolism. Under the theme ‘Longing for the spirit of Andalusia’, this edition, which runs until June 1, will feature a special celebration of Spain as the guest of honour.

A musical journey through time

The inaugural concert, titled ‘Zeryab or the Fifth String’, was a captivating musical journey through the inspirations of Andalusian music, travelling between heaven and earth, mountains and palaces, with a number of renowned artists from around the world taking part in this extraordinary journey.

Inspired by the worlds of philosophy and music

The concert was inspired by the rich worlds of Arabic-Andalusian music, specifically the legacy of ancient philosophers such as Ferdowsi and al-Kindi, who in turn were inspired by the ideas of Pythagoras and Plato.

Zeryab: Tunes that embrace civilisations

The melodies of the Kurdish-born poet, singer and musician, Abulhasan Ali ibn Nafi, also known as Zeryab (black bird), took the audience on a magical journey through time and space, from the sky and mountains to the Umayyad Palace of Emir Abd al-Rahman II in Cordoba.

Artists from various countries such as Uzbekistan, Iran, Syria, India, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Armenia, France, France and Morocco took part in this musical journey, embodying the rich cultural diversity that characterised the Andalusian civilisation.

The opening evening featured a host of exceptional musical performances by renowned artists, including Rabih Kati, Sanaa Marhati, Smadj, Loop Barrow, the Juan Carmona Quartet, and the Maddalena Group.

A festival that promotes cultural dialogue

Fez World Music Festival is an important cultural event that promotes dialogue between cultures and civilisations. Through its diverse musical performances, the festival aims to introduce audiences to the richness of Arabic-Andalusian music and highlight its role in communicating between peoples.

The Fez Festival of World Music is a musical journey through time and space, and an invitation to celebrate the spirit of Andalusia and its ancient history.

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