Marrakech dances to the rhythm of popular music | Saad Guerraoui

MARRAKECH – On Sunday evening, spectators enjoyed an electrifying atmosphere in various places in the Moroccan ocher city of Marrakech which hosts the 51st edition of the National Festival of Popular Arts (FNAP) after two years of pandemic lull of the coronavirus.

Thousands of Marrakchis and tourists flocked to the iconic Jemaa Lfna Square to watch several Moroccan troupes perform, including Ahwach Demnate, Tkitikat and Gnawa, braving rising COVID-19 cases to come see the musicians

“This festival is a break for us here in Marrakech. It’s a joy to watch this traditional folk music and dance to its vibes,” said Hanane, who came with her baby daughter.

“We also came out of the bubble of our daily stress and our fight against soaring fuel and food prices,” she added.

Mahfoud El Hussain, the leader of the Ahouach Afoulki group of El Houaz, thanked God for the resumption of cultural activities after two difficult years due to the pandemic.

“This is my third participation in the festival. The crowds have always been amazing and vibrant,” El Hussain said.

“Marrakesh is a special place. The atmosphere, the organization and the interaction with all the other musicians from all over the country are invaluable,” he added.

At El Harti Square in the upscale Gueliz district, the crowd was amazed by a thrilling performance by the Laabat troupe led by Saida El Ghouli from Marrakech.

“We have been attending this festival for almost 27 years… We want everyone to enjoy their time, laugh and leave happily,” El Ghouli said.

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