What a joy it is to be able to welcome our friends to Fes once again!

This reunion has been made possible thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and the mobilisation of everyone involved. In particular, I’d like to thank the authorities and institutions that worked so hard during this unprecedented crisis.

Despite some short delays, the Spirit of Fes Foundation teams have been getting on with the task of overcoming this challenge, spurred on by their desire not to let another year go by without rekindling our destination of Fes and responding to the wishes of thousands of festival goers. While compromises have been necessary, the spirit of the Festival is truly alive and well.

Fes is therefore presenting the 26th Fes Festival of World Sacred Music from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 June 2022, with the theme Architecture and the Sacred.

This edition of the Festival will take us on a voyage across the world and through time. We will explore how people of all faiths have expressed their quest for the sacred through architecture. The exploration of some of the most symbolic religious buildings in the world will lead us to the long, rich dialogue of humankind with the divine.

This is a story where synagogues, churches, mosques and temples are not simply the material manifestations of beliefs, but also witnesses of great historic movements such as migrations, conquests, and philosophical, artistic and architectural revolutions.

Morocco, as one of the oldest kingdoms in the world, brings this philosophy to life perfectly. Its history is marked by the creation of magnificent buildings of faith and knowledge such as the great Hassan II Mosque, the Karaouine, the Grand Mosque in Taza, and in Tinmel.

These exceptional places have engendered a spirit of tolerance and openness that is characteristic of our country.

‘The Moroccan people’s cultural traditions are rooted in our citizens’ abiding commitment to the principles of coexistence, tolerance and concord between the various components of the nation …

The complete restoration of the synagogue is testimony to the richness and diversity of the Kingdom of Morocco’s spiritual heritage.’

Extract from the speech given by HM King Mohamed VI at the inauguration of the restored Slat El Fassiyine Synagogue in Fes.

The programme for this year’s festival features groups of artists from more than fifteen countries including the Sultanate of Oman, Kazakhstan, India, France, Italy and Senegal.

The opening concert takes us on a voyage from Fes to Jerusalem stopping off in Tibet, at the Taj Mahal, Notre Dame Cathedral and ending in Casablanca at the Hassan II Mosque.

We pay special homage to the musical traditions of Fes and Meknes during an evening at Bab El Makina. Highlights such as Ibrahim Maalouf and l’Haïdouti Orkestar, the Roohani Sisters and many others will make for an emotion-filled experience.

The Fes Forum on 11 June will welcome a number of national and international participants who will explore new perspectives around the theme of Architecture and the Sacred.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants, elected officials, institutions, authorities and sponsors for their care and support that has enabled this Festival to reach for magnificent heights once again.

I wish you a splendid festival.

Abderrafia Zouitene