Sitting on the beach in Restinga looking at the Mediterranean I imagine Phoenicians sailing their galley ships across from Lebanon to Morocco. The oarsmen could rest on a windy day like today as they sailed their ship westward towards Tingis, modern day Tangiers.
The vibrant colors and abstract ornament that characterize Moroccan design find voice in the many music festivals celebrated in Morocco each year. If you visit Morocco this summer, expect to hear the sounds of music in the streets as music festivals around the country celebrate diversity and promote peace. From Whitney Houston and Ziggy Marley to trance-inducing Gnaoua musicians there will be something for all musical tastes in 2008. Each festival includes an intellectual component with seminars and conferences exploring musical history and cultural diversity.
2008 Music Festivals in Morocco
I imagine Hamlet could hang-out in a city like Essaouira. The air in the coastal town felt particularly damp after the desert drive from Marrakesh. The sky was overcast, the fishermen wore knit caps, and the Portuguese fort overlooking the water had an air of melancholy. As I walked the fortress looking out at the ocean, thoughts of Shakespeare vaguely formed in my mind, interrupted by sounds of chanting and music. I looked down to see Thuya wood artisans crafting inlaid tables. Young apprentices were busily working on their project and stopped to bring the older men mint for their tea. The men played drums while one man made music with his work by chiseling wood to the heavy beat.