Fes World Sacred Music Festival
Muslim Halal Travel in Morocco
"Fez is all sacred and All sacred is in Fez" is the them we invite in for the upcoming 2016 World Sacred Music festival. This World Sacred Music festival is a yearly event where lover s of world sacred music gather in Fez for ten days Music bonanza from around the world. World caliber sacred musicians come from all over the world to celebrate the sacredness we share as human beings. 2016 will be the year of sacred music so much needed in our world. Over 26 different concerts will be held for ten days Music festival all in Fez not to forget the Fez symposium as global conference on spirituality , mysticism and devotion we share. Come and live these days and nights among us in Fez Morocco sharing some the most inspiring music of all times.
The 21st century has marked our human history by a materialistic race which perhaps has reached its pinnacle. The rapids of this fast-paced life have swept people away from what is really of great value in their lives. But as we are all blessed by our conscious and sense of reason we always return to reevaluate our acts as we exist. The new millennium has arrived and the rebirth of the sacred is happening. Welcome to a World class event of sacred music from around the globe.
May 4: Arrive to Casablanca Airport - Excursion and Historic Tour of Rabat
Once you land at the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca, your guide will meet you at your arrival gate to take you immediately to check-in to your hotel in Rabat. This is a wonderful short drive of about 45 miles through the lush farms and exotic plants.
You will reach Rabat, a city styled in a spaciously elegant European grid, yet slightly aware of its modernity. Rabat and its twin city Sala Colonia are separated by only a river but are historically worlds apart. They have an ancient legacy that spans hundreds of generations. Each civilization that has inhabited each of the cities has left its mark, resulting in a wide variety in architectural styles, including those from the Phoenician and Roman eras.
You will spend your afternoon discovering the delights that Rabat has to offer. Your guide will take on a historical and lively city tour, starting in the old city Sidi Makhlouf quarter, the 12 century ramparts are best seen from this landmark. Walk up to Bab Chellah in the medina and cross Sidi Fateh St. This will lead you to the traditional Souk Laghzel (Yarn market). Your guide will introduce you to the importance of this guild that makes Rabat special in traditional handmade textiles production especially Rabat Carpets.
Proceed with your historic visit of Rabat to the citadel of the Oudaya Kasbah entering from its 12th century main gate to explore an extraordinary Medieval Moorish marvel overlooking the delta of Bourgreg River. You will have the opportunity to visit the old-fashioned Moorish Gardens, stop in a traditional coffee house for mint tea, and in between explore the Oudaya museum of tribal arts and crafts. A docent will introduce you to traditional Berber Textiles.
Your guide will take you to the exiting the Oudaya Kasbah and up the hill to visit the Hassan Tower and Mohamed the V Mausoleum, an emblem of the real Moroccan architecture at its finest. You will reach the Royal Palace and the Necropolis of Chellah at the end of your tour. At the end, you will return to the hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
May 5: Travel to Fez visiting Meknes, Volubilis adn Moulay Idris
Today is an excursion for early History of Morocco, a day of time travel! This journey will take you from imperial Rome to the ninth century A.D. Unlike the movies, this temporal voyage will take almost the entire day at a mild pace. (Of course there will be stops along the way in notable places.)
The first stop will be the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Volubilis was a critical city in the imperial Roman department of Mauritania (modern day Morocco, and the Western Sahara) during the reign of Caracalla. Volubilis is impressively well preserved and the genius of Roman urbanism is still intact. The two central integral streets in every Roman castrum, the Cardo and Decumanus, are prominent. The cardo is the boulevard which runs north-south and the Decumanus, east-west. The intersection of the two is the heart of every roman city. There you will find the ruins of the ancient forum.
On the other side of the hill, just few minutes away you will visit with your guide the venerated citadel of Moulay Idris, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idris Al Akbar, grandson of the Prophet Mohamed (s.a.w.s). This citadel is considered to be both the cradle of Sufism to Moroccan society as well as the first Islamic capital for the premier Arab dynasty. The city was created primarily for the indigenous population that migrated with Moulay Idris from the Middle East.
You will drive around 15 miles to the next stop, the imperial city of Meknes. A guided historic tour of Meknes is yours. Meknes is a 17th Century city built by Moulay Ismail to rival Fez. It is also considered to be the Versailles of Morocco.
Congratulation, you have reached your final destination of the day, the ninth century city of Fez. In the evening, your guide will get a taste of the greatest of the Imperial Cities. You will visit the sights on the outside of the Medina, ancient walled city, including the ramparts, the gates, and the Borjs (Moorish Forts). After this introductory visit aperitif to Fez, you will dine in your hotel and prepare for day three: Fez!
May 6: Walking guided Tour of Fez
Evening Festival Grand Opening
Full day will be devoted to your historic walking tour of Fez. Undeniably fascinating, Fez stimulates the senses with its haunting yet beautiful sounds, visual splendor, and evocative smells. The most ancient of the imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city of the Islamic world, Fez is reminiscent of a city suspended in time, unfazed by the constantly evolving world outsides of its walls. Fez owes nothing to the modern world, save electricity. Fez is not only the heartbeat of Morocco but a world heritage of humanity.
Time spent in Fez will reveal much about the sophistication of the Moroccan artisan, providing an unparalleled learning experience to those who cross its path. Your morning will be spent visiting the Medina. Our specialized guide will take you on a historic discovery of the city of Fez starting at the King's Palace and its Meshwar with ramparts and majestic gates.
Then, we will drive to the Merinides hill to visit their necropolis. Here you will enjoy the best panoramic view on the old walled Medina, brimful with its countless minarets to call for the prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries. Drive down the hills to the gate of Bab Guissa to leave your vehicle and enter an ancient world. Fez has preserved its Medina as it was centuries ago. Not even a bicycle is able to be used as tool of transportation. Only donkeys, mules and horses are able to help moving all what the city produces and needs as supplies.
The first guilds you will immediately encounter are the cobblers, the saddlers and black smiths interlaced by some caravansaries for tribesmen who come from the surrounding areas to trade and supply their needs. Down the hill to Juteya you will encounter all sorts of crafts but noticeably carpenters and leather workers as one of the traditional tanneries is not far. This walk will lead you to El Ashabine square with its variety of activities. From there, you will wind your way to the Sgha square which will lead you to Attarine then Souk el Henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris, the founder of Fez. Next to it, you will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain, its guild of carpentry and the museum of folk arts at the Fondouk.
You will walk to the tannery and on to visit the great Mosque university of Al Quarrawiyyine, passing by Shemma'ine, the market of dried fruits. After that, you will visit the Medersa Attarine and walk to Sbetryyine, a guild of book binders, which will lead you to the Seffarine Square, where the tapping of metalworkers is still deafening passerby as it was the case for centuries. You will break for lunch then continue exploring the marvels of Fez Medina. These will highlight the Dyers souk, Foundouk Tetouani and the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani. You will end your walking tour and retreat to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations. After Dinner we will all go to Bab Makina for the festival Opening Concert.
May 7: Excursion to Moulay Yacob hot Springs
In the morning, there will be an optional trip to the hot springs of Moulay Yacob. Located in a small, charming Berber village at the foothills of the Rif Mountains, the springs are famous for their healing powers. The legend affirms that Moulay yacob was a Sufi master with the power of healing different diseases especially muscular and skin disorders. The sanctuary is in the heart of this hilly village where you find herbalist and traditional healers still curing locals and visitors as the tradition holds. In their small workshops and even in the streets around the sanctuary these healers are still selling herbs and pouches of compounds in the old fashion of a medieval time. Across the valley from the village you can spot a mausoleum crowning the hill called Lalla Shafia (Literally Madame Healer). It was indeed her name as a saintly healer who has inherited the power of healing from her father Moulay Yacob. Even today many women come from remote areas in North Africa seeking her Baraka. It is a venerated area and a spa for the poor and the wealthy. The traditional baths are down the hill where these hot springs pomp 138 degree hot water from as deep as 470 feet under. There is of course another spa bath with all modern amenities where you can enjoy all kind of treatments or simply get inside an indoor domed pool for a hot bath. After a pick nick lunch, you will return to Fez for the afternoon concerts, followed by dinner at your hotel and the Festival's evening events.
May 8: Excursion to Sidi Ahmed Bernoussi
Your morning will be spent on an excursion to the Rif Mountains, where you will visit the Sidi Ahmed al Barnoussi shrine and enjoy a picnic lunch over the red poppy fields with local scribes and a typical couscous meal. The Jajouka musicians and dancers will enchant you with haunting sounds of their oboes and drums - a ceremony that you will treasure for the rest of your life. Sidi Ahmed El Bernoussi (Zerrouq) Born in Fez in 1482 - 1534 AD. He took from many scholars and sheikhs of his time mainly in at the Quarawiyyine especially Sidi Abdellah Fekhar and Lalla Oum Hani Abdoussia. He traveled on Sufi journey to Mekkah and studied there then Cairo with many sheikhs. He was a master in Tafssir and numerology and alchemy. He contributed to the Moroccan intellect a vast number of books and essays, his best work is the foundations of Tassawuf. Many of his desiples have followed in his footsteps and became eminent sheikhs as Sidi Al Hattab al Kabir, Imam Shaarani and the Quotb Abul Hassan Bekri. He was a scholar, an imam, a moufti, a poet, a sheikh, a fequih and a faquir. At the end of his life he left Fez for Sabrata west of Tripolis where he is buried. His school and retreat sanctuary is still in function in the out skirts of Mount Zalagh overlooking the Old city of Fez. His Mureeds are still holding on the tradition faithful to his wadhifa up to our days. No sheikh in this tariqua has ever claimed his Sirr. So Sidi Ahmed El Bernoussi remains the sheikh of his mureeds up till now. After lunch, tea ceremony and closing prayers, you will return to Fez for the afternoon Festival activities, dinner, and evening events.
May 9: Relaxing day in Fez - Festival Concerts
Today is to take off a bit of time from the hectic pace of this journey. You will have the entire morning at your leisure, free to do whatever you please or simply relax in your hotel to and reflect on this marvelous experience. In the afternoon, you will attend the afternoon concerts, followed by dinner and the Festival evening events. Later on for those who feel resilient and wish to explore more, a Sufi master has open the doors of his home to share with us a Sufi gathering for dhikr and chants in the Harraki order style. This brotherhood dates back to Sidi Abu Lhassan Chadhuli, born in Morocco but buried in the Idab desert in Egypt, who was a disciple of Cheikh Abdeslam Ben Mashish. The current Cheikh, who is responsible for the renaissance of the brotherhood, is Imam Sidi Nour El Houda Ibrahimi Andalouissi Chadhuli. The brotherhood is participating in the Festival with its Chadili Ensemble of Madih and Samaa, directed by Moqaddem Mohamed Bouhassoun and accompanied by the artist Mohamed Zemrani, manager of the artistic committee at the General Secretariat of the brotherhood. The style of song presented by the brotherhood is Moroccan-Andalous and eastern, with Iraki maqams, Egyptian and Hijazi influences.
May 10: Festival Avtivities
Your morning will be spent at your leisure, and after lunch, you will journey to go to the afternoon concert at Dar Batha. The evening concerts will be at Bab Makina. A night of Issawa healing music is offered to all of you to come and do Hadra circle dance to heal the world with the Sufi drummers of Issawa Tariqa. The Aissaoui order is most exciting for drumming with invocations to Allah praising all prophets and saints. Their slogan states: "Come to visit Moulay Al Hadi Sidi Ben Aissa, warrantor of his visitor's wishes". The adepts of this order use in both their private and public meetings the key phrase: "God is Eternal". "Allah Da'em".
May 11: Excursion to Sidi Harazem Thermal Springs
Your morning again will be at leisure. An excursion to Sidi Harazem thermal springs is offered in the afternoon. It is believed that this water is very cleansing to bowels and kidneys. Evening festival concert will be at Bab Makina. This will be a relaxing day.
May 12: Day Excursion to Sefrou and B'Halil
In the early morning, you will enjoy a sunrise Sufi ceremony offered over the Merinides dynasty necropolis looking East for a dramatic sunrise over the sleeping giant of the 9th century Medina. Return to the hotel for breakfast and relax. Your day will include an optional day trip to the ancient trade town especially of Caravans from the Sahara with goods to the Mediterranean market. There is a Jewish remarkable history attached to this town due to the large Jewish Berber community that one lived here when commerce was thriving. Predating Fez by a thousand years, Sefrou once played a vital role as the last stop for the sub-Saharan caravans transporting goods to the European markets. There, you will visit the shrine of Sidi Lahcen Al Yussi, a venerated Sufi master who was considered the guardian of Sefrou. In addition, you will visit the mausoleums of other Rabbis, as well as the city synagogues. On your return trip to Fez, you will visit the ancient Christian village of B'Halil, which is known for its distinctive troglodyte dwellings. Upon your arrival at Fez, you will attend the Festival evening events.
May 13: Festival Activities
In the morning, you will attend a lecture, followed by the Festival's afternoon events at the Dar Batha museum, dinner, and the evening Festival events at Bab Makina, the court of the King's palace.
may 14: Festival Closing Ceremony
You will spend your morning visiting the Andalucian part of the Medina on the eastern side of the river, where you will learn the history of the settler Moors, who arrived from Spain during the 13th century. Learn about their lifestyle that is still intact since. Shop for music instruments and other artifacts of your interest as the market of the Andalusian part is known for that. The Festival afternoon concerts with take place at Dar Batha, followed by dinner and the Festival's closing ceremony.
May 15: Travel from Fez to Marrakech
In the morning, you will depart for Marrakech via Azrou and Khenifra. As you travel across the Middle Atlas Mountains, you will visit Berber villages and wards, experience many scenic views, and explore some traditional markets. You will have lunch in Khenifra, and will find dinner and accommodations available at your hotel in Marrakech.
May 16: Historic visit of Marrakech
Your local guide will meet the group tour in the morning at the lobby of your hotel to take you walking visit of historic Marrakech. You will devote your morning to the exploration of Marrakech many historical sites, starting at the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowerbeds, reflecting the image of an exquisite Moorish edifice. It was constructed in 1866 for dignitaries, who enjoyed glorious sunsets with the ethereal Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. The pool also functions as an innovative irrigation system that is serving dry life in the desert.
Your guided tour of Marrakech will cover many impressive sites, including the Koutoubia Minaret (which is identical to la Giralda, a tower found in Sevilla, Spain), and the Saadien tombs, which demonstrate Moorish architecture at its best. The tombs consist of sixteenth-century mausoleums, which had lain walled-in and undiscovered until 1917. Next, you will explore the gardens of the Agdal then the Marjorelle. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
May 17: Drive to Casablanca Airport
You will take you to Casablanca airport to connect for your flight back home. Assist you with checking and bid you goodbye. Thank you for visiting Morocco.