Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hikayat Morocco - The Craft of Moroccan Storytelling

Here is an interesting piece from the New Statesman on a master Moroccan storyteller,  Ahmed Ezzarghani and the group of young Moroccans he trains to keep the tradition going.  They are called Hikayat Morocco and their site is here.
Meet the master storyteller keeping Morocco's
oral tradition alive in the internet age

by Lauren Razavi
30 September 2015 

The art of storytelling has been an integral part of Marrakech’s culture for generations. One of the most recognisable symbols of Djemaa el-Fnaa Square, the city’s main thoroughfare, is of animated men performing folk tales; stories about kings, families, lovers and beasts, each one meticulously crafted to educate, entertain and inspire.

But over the past decade, the number of storytellers present in the city has declined significantly. With the advent of new technologies and more lucrative revenue streams, many storytellers have retired from their profession or moved onto something new. For a while, it has seemed as if Moroccan storytelling may be lost completely. One man, however, has been fighting to keep this distinctive tradition alive in the modern world. Hajj Ahmed Ezzarghani is a master storyteller who has spent more than 60 years sharing folk tales as his profession. Now in his seventies, he’s training a new generation – a mix of university students and young professionals – in the skills of the ancient art form.