Fez Music Festival Builds Bridges

June 27, 2008

Author: Magdi Abdelhadi

Source: BBC News


The week that Saudi Arabia held its first ever conference on interfaith dialogue, Morocco was hosting its 14th festival of World Sacred Music.

Artists from all over the world converged on its ancient city of Fez, to the east of the capital Rabat. While the Saudi gathering was made up of only Muslim clerics discussing a framework for future dialogue with Christianity and Judaism, Morocco has for years been opening its arms to musicians from all over the world.

The aim of the Fez festival is to promote better understanding between cultures and faiths through exposure to some of the most sublime expressions of faith - sacred music.

The difference between the Saudi and Moroccan approaches to dialogue between faiths could not have been more stark, a reminder that notions of the Muslim or the Arab world are in fact an oversimplification of what is fundamentally a complex and heterogeneous reality.