Classical Dhrupad singers Gundecha
Brothers are representing India at the Fes Festival 2011.
From the ancient Moroccan city of Fez, an Indian American cultural
and social entrepreneur is spreading the message of peace wafting
from the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. The nine-day festival
that began Friday "has a peace making mission and was founded
after the first Gulf War in 1994 when Faouzi Skali, the founder,
felt that the world was polarising," India-born Zeyba Rahman told
Since then the festival has brought the finest multi-faith
musicians and global audiences to Fez, a UNESCO designated World
Heritage Site, according to the New York-based Asia and North
America director of the festival.
This year's festival, with the theme of Wisdoms of the World, has
brought among others classical Dhrupad singers Gundecha Brothers
from India and Farid Ayyaz Qawwals from Pakistan.
Considered one of the world's most important festivals, the Fes
Festival presents the highest calibre musicians
representing their musical tradition from all over the world, said
Senegal's great vocalist Youssou N'Dour, Ben Harper from the US,
Francoise Atlan the Algerian Jewish vocalist are among those
showcased alongside many great, diverse, Moroccan sacred musicians
all collaborating with the traditional Arab Andalusian Orchestra
of Fez, led by Mohammed Briouel.
"My role is to bring the festival and its programmes to the
attention of the world in a variety of ways to spread its message
of peace, the importance of cooperation and tolerance so that
peoples and cultures thrive together regardless of religion or
race," she said.
Named as one of seven heroes in the world for the Dialogue Amongst
Civilizations by the United Nations, the festival has also been
honoured with the Osseimi Prize for Tolerance, previously won by
South African freedom leader Nelson Mandela.
All the concerts are held in stunning, historic settings inside
the ancient walled city, Rahman said. Its current affairs Fes
Forum, with the permanent theme of "Giving a Soul to
Globalization" holds vigorous focused discussions on the most
critical topical issues.
"Heads of state, grassroots activists, spiritual leaders, artists
and intellectuals all come together here to explore solutions,"
(Arun Kumar can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)