Ramadan Notes 2011

TALIM - Rachid Tefersiti Musique Andalouse N. Akbib - TALIM 064
Photo by Rachid Tefersiti

Perhaps I should say Ramadan Notes 1432 (A.H., not A.D.).

We marked Ramadan in the traditional ways the Legation has ever since my predecessor Thor Kuniholm established the pattern.  We started the week with our Moroccan NGO partners FTAM (the Fondation Tanger al-Madina) and the distribution of foodstuffs to needy families in the medina.

And then last night, with our Andalusian music concert at the Legation.  It was a real crowd-pleaser.  As last year and years previous, it was Nabil Akbib (photo, with violin at left) and his ensemble that provided the music.  This year, the lineup was only slightly different, with an electronic organ (!) but minus the qanun and the rebab.

We were very happy to have as part of the ensemble the rising Tangerois oud player Younes Fakhar, whose solos got warm applause.  Younes Fakhar, on the right in the photo above, is apparently as at home with jazz as he is with the tarab Andalusian tradition.

And we got several minutes' worth of national Moroccan TV coverage on the nightly news (interviews, views of the Legation, and of course the music).  Helps burnish our cultural diplomacy credentials, and end the first week of Ramadan on an upbeat note.

Gerald Loftus

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