The Second Rif Cultural Day Report

Rif Cultural Day II

Agraw Club at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, in partnership with Rif Association for Solidarity and Development (ARID), organized the second edition of Rif Cultural Day on Wednesday November 26th, 2008 in Ifrane. The program of the day comprises an exhibition, a conference and a concert featuring the prominent Amazigh singer Khalid IZRI. The exhibition included a large variety of the Amazigh handicrafts from the Rif, ranging from musical instruments, clothes, Jewelry and other objects that are no long used in today’s daily life. The students of Al Akhawayn University were amazed by the beauty of our handicrafts as they are unique and original.
As it is our mission numbers one, to prove the openness of the Rif on the other regions of Morocco, we have invited an association from Agadir ( Suss region) that brought a variety of products of Argan, which enriched our exhibition. We have also invited an artist from Atlas Mountains that coloured the walls of our exhibition room with his artistic works.

Khalid Izri Concert

Khalid IZRI, a golden voice for the service of the Amazigh culture, made of the Rif Cultural day a successful one at all levels. The concert began when two presenters have thanked the organizing committee confessing their great job emphasizing the importance of such events. Afterwards, another presenter got on the stage giving a short allusion to the singer and what his music is about. As is stated above Izri’s cultural awareness was enforced by the songs he sung that night. Here is a synopsis of them all.

Khalid Izri started off the concert traveling through his marvelous song “Granada”, which is a sort of a musical journey in time and space. Through the song, Izri tries to stem back into the roots of Tamazgha bringing the audience back into history. The tunes, the voices and the instruments really coalesce the past and the present into one unity. And, the audience was just astonished at how Izri discovers history through music… For that was very evident in their warm applauses. Certainly, the song sums up Izri’s musical ontology.

In the 2nd song “Yemma”, Khalid Izri celebrates an enthralling issue which is motherhood, a universal concept that Izri implores to regain its proper and noble meaning. The song tackles the role of mothers in the upbringing of future generations, a very delicate concern through which the singer seeks the ways out to would-be auspicious hopes, the hopes that we have been excavating for decades.

Izri moved to a more festive and jovial atmosphere within his wonderful song “Tassrit” which he performed immediately after “Yemma”. The song draws upon marriage rituals in the region of Rif. To this effect, the artist tries to remind the audience of the inspiring conventions of our ancestors in the very heart of the Rif Mountains. He, also, announces the protection of such conventions such as: the brides clothing, thirawriwin, izran and so on. As far as the artistic techniques are concerned, he uses acoustic instruments (as a case in point: thamja, flute) to impart on the song a realistic hue.
In the next song, Khalid Izri reminds one of his earliest songs “Ghari Tamouath inou” which he composed when he was still a teenager in the late eighties. The song is an appeal to being proud of one’s belonging, when you hear the song, a sense of belonging jumps into your mind. Everybody inside the auditorium responded with warm handclaps and acclamation. Soon, the vice-president of Al Akhawayn University ascended the stage awarding him a symbolic gift.
The singer shifted to the 5th song “Mach Ghaneg” in a stunning tone of joviality and merriness that the previous songs generated in the auditorium. This time, the song is a kind of a big question – the question of being and the hardships that stand to fetter the progression of our lives asking “how can we mount the colossal obstacles that hinder our development as Rifians and as Imazighen”. The music was just perfectly synchronized.

Izri concluded the concert with his astounding musical piece entitled “Yiwed” where music travels across inquisitive feelings. This song sums up a bit of all what has been discussed previously ranging from freedom and culture to history and being. What is wonderful in the song is the awe-inspiring music which intertwines words and feelings.
There might not be an exclusively singular definitive word to describe such an artist. Perhaps a series of descriptive words might do the trick. Someone with this kind of talent would be not only extremely talented, but, 1) certainly professionally trained to some degree. 2) Is unequivocally devoted to music. 3) Would most likely be universally re-owned by the masses.
This concert could not be brought to the fore without the efforts and diligence of the Agraw club. Thanks to their endeavor and their resolution that such an event could be organized the way it was. Last year, Idir was invited to celebrate the first edition of Rif Cultural Day; This year Izri. Guess who would be the next?

This report was conducted by
Khalid ACUDAD, Miloud AYADI & Mohammed BOUNDA

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