Marrakech, 9 February 2022 – Excitement is growing as more than forty storytellers from five
continents gather for the first edition of the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival, from 12 to
20 February. A week-long series of events respecting and building on a tradition of storytelling that is
as old as the Red City itself. Guest of Honour will be Haj. Ahmed Ezzarghani the most revered of the
master storytellers in the Marrakech tradition.
The festival is multilingual with telling in English as well as many other languages including Darija and
Amazigh. It is supported by several partners including the British Embassy Morocco, the Marrakech
Storytellers Union and The Al Muniya Association, in addition to twenty-four Marrakech Riads
providing complimentary accommodation for international tellers. There will be storytelling in all
these “Maisons d’h te” as well as nine festival venues. Three workshops are planned including a
session on women in storytelling. All events will be unticketed and free of charge to make them as
inclusive as possible. A full schedule is attached.
A highlight of the festival will be on Wednesay 18th February with a procession from Dar Bellarj to the
Jemaa El Fnaa square. Throughout the evening five storytelling circles will operate simultaneously,
each overseen by one of the five surviving master storytellers of Marrakech. All the festival tellers will
participate as well as some honoured guests.
“We are delighted to join this crossroads of cultures, hosting renowned storytellers and offering the
opportunity to curious minds to travel through stories and explore different cultures.” – Simon Martin
– British Ambassador to Morocco.
Jaafar Kansoussi President of the Al Muniya Association commented “Popular culture is transmitted
mainly orally in the circles of the Halqa, this unique open-air pulpit”.
The festival is a launch event for a new World Storytelling Cafe located at 9 Souk de Fassis near to the
Ben Yussef Madrassa. This follows a renowned online project which broadcast more than a thousand
hours of storytelling during the pandemic. Lucie Andersen-Wood founder of the Cafe commented “We
believe storytelling has a powerful potential for connection, healing and education, we aim to
establish our venue as a tourist attraction as well as an ongoing resource for the local community.”
Venues include: Jemaa El Fnaa, Al Muniya Centre, Caf Clock, World Storytelling Caf , Caf Arabe,
Dar Bellarj, Henna Caf , University Cadi Ayyad, Complex Mohamed VI de Habous.
Storytellers include: Abderrahim AL-Azzalia, Mohamed Bariz, Mohamed Rguibi, Ahmed Bouchama,
Oujbair Mohamed, Aiachi Benjakan, Sef Townsend, Zahra Afsah, Baden Prince, Amy Douglas, Eamonn
Keenan, Gary Cordingley, Chip Colquhoun, Paul Jackson, Maria Gillen, Shane Ibbs, Riika Palonen, Maria
Credali, Dave Tonge, Norman Perrin, Juliana Marin, Colin Urwin, Clare Goodall, Dawn Ellis, John Row,
Zouhair Khaznaoui, Sara Kchirid, Mariam Cannan, Mustapha Lhanch, Brahim Daldali, Mohamed
Koucham, Latifa Amghare, Hajiba Makouri, Youness Makouri, Abderrahim Aggouram.