David R. Adler


Sacred Fusion: Jewish and Muslim Melodies Mingle Easily at Moroccan Music Festival

By David R. Adler

Sacred Fusion: Jewish and Muslim Melodies Mingle Easily at Moroccan Music Festival
Earlier in the life of this historic city, it wouldn’t have been odd to hear a Sephardic Jewish melody and the Muslim call to prayer ring out and interweave simultaneously. Fes, widely considered Morocco’s spiritual and intellectual capital, was once home to Maimonides himself. One still can walk through the Mellah, or Jewish section, of the ancient walled city and see synagogue facades, a Jewish cemetery, doorways with diagonal slots that once held mezuzas. Yet, today’s Fassi Jews number between 150 and 200 and dwell in the Ville Nouvelle, a French colonial creation with sidewalk cafés; cell phone ads; modern, tree-lined avenues, and even a McDonald’s. Roughly 5,000 Jews remain in the country as a whole. Here and elsewhere, it has become hard to imagine Muslims and Jews building a common civic culture, thriving despite differences, as in the Arabo-Andalusian world prior to the expulsions of the late 15th century.Read More



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