Sunday, May 02, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sufism's unique perspective on the modern world reverberated in music and poetry during the 4th Fes Festival of Sufi Culture, which concluded on Saturday
"The idea is to show how spirituality can recreate, or regenerate, contemporary thinking, which can help us see the world in a different way, and to come up with solutions," festival director Faouzi Skelli said.
Musicians from four continents performed and others read poetry during the eight-day festival, but the event also focused on direct social development efforts. The week's goals were primarily educational, according to the organisers, concentrating on fundamental Sufi values such as morality in modern life, tolerance and acceptance.
The festival aimed "to develop thought into concrete action," Skelli said. "This led, for example, to a workshop devoted to the environment, looking at the need for individuals to transform their relationships with themselves and the world, leading them to consider changes in their behaviour concerning nature."
Other workshops promoted a positive image of Islam.
The sessions stressed "that Muslim civilisation brings love, knowledge and solidarity, and is open to dialogue between cultures and religions from all over the world", Islamic education teacher Moussa Badrani said.
"The idea is to promote the role which spirituality can play in the modern world," he said. "In this way, people can draw on Islam's civilising aims, its calling to come up with responses to present-day challenges, both globally and locally."
The sumptuous Batha Museum hosted evening shows by various groups of Sufi musicians, each well-known in their field. Mohamed Badaoui Ali Cheikh, who came from the Comoros Islands, said that through song and poetry it was possible to promote messages of peace and openness.
Poetry played a central role at this year's festival. Organisers staged readings "to broaden the field of our awareness and thinking, and to present a different view of a society where political aims, allied with the quest for beauty, may lead to a new type of poetry in civilisation," according to the Association of the Fes Festival of Sufi Culture.
"The festivities help Fes fulfil its calling as a spiritual city and allows residents to discover the culture and arts of other Sufis," said Othmane Berrada, a young student.
Vice-mayor Allal Amraoui said that the city's culture must be preserved even as Fes opens itself up to other civilisations.