Category Archives: Moroccan music

Bluegrass, Moroccan-Style


Last week a few American friends and I attended a bluegrass concert at the Centre Culturel Sidi Belyout. A Moroccan bluegrass band had been touring Morocco with a couple of musicians from the states with thick but very charming southern American accents. This kind of event is put on for free by various American associations and the State Department in an effort to promote appreciation of American culture. (insert obvious and misinformed joke about the US’s lack of true culture, har har)

As much as I loved reminiscing about Fourth of July barbeques and basking in nostalgia with my American friends, here is what really blew my mind: a bluegrass take on a hugely popular Andalusian song. The lyrics–the refrain at least, which a friend taught me and which has been playing in loop in my head ever since–basically ask, “Why worry? God will take care of me.” This was a great choice for the finale. The audience, mostly Moroccans, sang along. The combination of American folk music and Moroccan (Andalusian) folk music was breathtakingly beautiful.

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Filed under American culture, cultural understanding, Moroccan music, Moroccan-American Studies, Uncategorized

adjusting…’imik simik’


Classes have started, there’s work to be done at Sister Cities, I’m attending Rotaract meetings, and last week I met my first Rotarians outside of Mr. Mazoz. In the midst of so much activity, all of a sudden, I’m faced with the possibility of not finishing everything I want to do this year. Surprise, surprise…

I’ve entered some kind of phase of culture shock, though it might be easier to identify once I’ve moved on to the next phase. In any case this one can be characterized by homesickness (made all the more intense by the fact that I recently saw my family in France) and a feeling of insignificance in the face of so much to absorb and learn, understand and interpret. This is why I haven’t posted in awhile, though tonight I resolved to post something, anything, to get back into the rhythm.

You’ll notice that I’ve added a banner signifying that this is one of Go!Overseas’s top ten Morocco travel blogs. I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to give them the free advertising, but figured that in light of the advertising this does for me, it’s a pretty fair trade. (Go!Overseas is a site that assembles information on how to study, work, or volunteer all over the world.)

In time, I’ll offer more details on what has made me so busy—starting, soon, with my classes. In the meantime, in keeping with the theme of the blog and my mantra for times like these: a video of Hindi Zahra singing “Imik Simik.” The title means, you guessed it, “little by little” in Tashel7it, one of the Amazighi, a.k.a. Berber, dialects of Morocco.

Translation (translated from this article):

– imik simik : little by little
– afoss rofoss : hand in hand
– wink d winou : yours and mine
– ira nftou : we’ll go
– lir tssfa tassa inou lir tsssfa oualine inou : when my faith becomes clear, when my eyes become clear
– lir toumzète affoss inou arar aoui yi dik : when you take my hand, just take me with you

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Filed under cultural shock, Moroccan music

music in my street


This afternoon I woke up from my nap to the sound of music in my street. A small group of performers (in blue) were making their way down the street, pausing in a few spots so that people could drop coins from their windows.

(Turn your head sideways. Why? Because I’m an amateur, that’s why.)

My friend Alli remarked that the cool thing about this scene is that the musicians aren’t in a touristy part of the city. They’re walking down a residential street to perform for regular Casaouis. This is a nice moment for us in that we can just be gawkers, and not feel like gawking tourists necessarily.

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Filed under Moroccan music