Morocco

 

Join The Tree of Life Mystery School
with Joseph-Mark Cohen for
 The 13th World Sacred Music Festival
   Fez, Morocco,
 May 31-June 15th, 2008 
 
 
turkey triptych

 
May 31:  New York / Casablanca

Depart on your overnight Royal Air Maroc non-stop flight leaving New York (JFK) at 8:30pm and arriving Casablanca Mohamed V airport at 7:10am.  Dinner & breakfast served on board.

June 1: Casablanca / Rabat
Upon your arrival at Casablanca airport and after formalities, you will find your host waiting for you to greet you and then escort you to Rabat.  Rabat is an imperial city with a rich history of kingdoms that have swept through it for many centuries; leaving behind a collage of different architectural styles and a unique legacy. Afternoon sightseeing will highlight the Mellah (Jewish quarter), the Mohamed V mausoleum, the Oudaya Kasbah and the Andalous gardens. Dinner at the well centered Hotel Chellah.

June 2: Volubilis / Meknes / Fes
Travel to Fez via Volubilis, the Roman capital of Northwestern Africa.  Walk through the narrow streets of Moulay Idris:  this venerated 8th century citadel is considered to be the first islamic for the first Arab dynasty and the cradle of Sufism  to the Moroccan society.  Founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idris Al Akbar the grand son of Prophet Mohamed.  Ultimately for locals, the  Holiness of this city makes out of it a pilgrimage place for those who can not afford to make it to Mekkah for the Hajj Duty.  Continue exploring the region on to Fez, exploring ramparts, gates, and the Borjes (Moorish Forts) upon your arrival to town. Dinner at the Hotel.

June 3: Fez
Start your day with a colorful Mediterranean buffet breakfast, then take off to  explore the largest and most authentic Medina in the world. The historic tour will feature the mellah, the King's  palace, the walking tour of the Medina, the fascinating walled city with its incredible maze of medieval twisting alleys, blind turns, mosques, shrines, fountains, workshops and every conceivable kind of traditional market. After lunch in a typical Moroccan restaurant, you will continue visiting and shopping. Dinner at the hotel. Evening, Festival Grand Opening.

June 4: Fez / Moulay Yacob 
Morning optional excursion to the venerated hot springs of Moulay Yacob - known for their healing powers -  located  in a small, charming Berber village at the foothills of the Rif mountains (admittance to the Spa is optional). Return to Fez for afternoon concerts.  Dinner at the hotel then Evening: Festival events.

June 5: Fez / Sidi Ahmed Barnoussi / Fez
Morning excursion to Sidi Ahmed al Barnoussi shrine in the Rif mountains for a typical couscous lunch in the open air with local scribes. A picnic over the red hills of poppies flower to treasure for a life time. Return to Fez for the afternoon festival activities.  After dinner we will go out for  evening festival events.

June 6: Fez
Morning at leisure. Afternoon concerts. Evening: Festival events.
 

June 7: Fez / Volubilis / Fez
Morning excursion to Volubilis for the Festival concert, after lunch we will visit the Roman  ruins of Volubilis -- ancient capital of Mauritania Tingitana dating back to 300 BC. Then the site of  Moulay Idris Zerhoun, the first Islamic city in Morocco and home of many Sufi orders. A small city hidden in the hinterland surrounded with centuries-old olive groves that have supplied the country with the best olives oil since the Punic time.

June 8: Fez
Morning Film screening.  Afternoon and evening: Festival events.

June 9: Fez / Sefrou / B'Halil / Fez
Optional excursion to the ancient Jewish city of Sefrou, this city predates Fez for a thousand years. It has played a large role in antiquity as the last stop of subsaharan caravans transporting goods for the European markets, then a visit to the shrine of  Sidi Lahcen Al Yussi a well venerated Sufi master considered to be the custodian of this ancient outpost.  Other Rabbis Mausoleums and synagogues will also highlight this journey to antiquity.  On our way back to Fez we will stop to visit the ancient Christian village of Bhallil known for its fascinating troglodytes dwellings. Evening:  Festival events.

June 10:  Fez
Morning lecture, Afternoon festival at dar Batha. after dinner, festival events at Bab Makina. 

June 11:  Fez
Morning visit to the Andalucian part of the Medina to discover the history of the Settler Moors who came from Spain in the 13th century. Evening:  Afternoon concerts at Dar Batha.  Evening: Closing ceremony of  the Festival.

June 12: Fez / Khenifra / Marrakech
Morning departure to Marrakech via Azrou and Khenifra across the Middle Atlas Mounatains.  Visit Berber villages and wards, scenic views and classical Berber markets.  Lunch in Khenifra.  Dinner and accommodation at the Hotel in Marrakech.

June 13: Marrakech
Our guide and driver will help you explore the marvels of Marrakech.  Historic visit  will include the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flower beds, reflecting the image of a beautiful Moorish construction built in 1866 for the dignitaries to enjoy glorious sunsets over the snow capped Atlas mountains providing an ethereal backdrop. The pool is also a unique and functional irrigation system  that belongs to an ancient architecture adapted by life in the desert. The tour will cover several impressive sights: The Koutoubia Minaret (the twin tower of la Giralda in Sevilla, Spain), the Saadian tombs demonstrating Moorish architecture in its perfection. The tombs, consisting of splendid mausoleums built in the sixteenth century, were walled for some time, not to be discovered until 1917.

Other sites include:

The museum of Dar Si Said with the best display of Berber arts and crafts from all over the country.   The remains of the Badii Palace, a historical monument chosen to host the Annual National Festival of Popular Art,  beginning the second Friday in June. The Bahia Palace, the apogee of Moorish splendor situated in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) still hosts dignitaries today. Lunch at the hotel then a walk through the colorful souks of Marrakech in the afternoon. Conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square.

June 14: Early morning transfer to Casablanca Airport, connect to New York (JFK) with a memorable trip of a life time.

What is included:
· Round Trip from New York to Casablanca/ OW Marrakech.
· Accommodation in hotels, with Full-Board (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
· Land transportation to specified events in deluxe motor coach.
· Assistance from Sarah Tours guides and escorts.
· Fees of monuments museums and the Festival activities.
· Sufi music gatherings in Moroccan homes at the labyrinth of the Medina of Fez.
· Baggage handling, taxes in the tour restaurants.

Cost per person based on double occupancy:
Accommodations in 4 star hotel:                                                      $2,685.00
Fez: Hotel Tghat ****
Single Supplement:                                                                         $   385.00
Accommodations in 5  star hotel:                                                    $2,885.00

The museum of Dar Si Said with the best display of Berber arts and crafts from all over the country.   The remains of the Badii Palace, a historical monument chosen to host the Annual National Festival of Popular Art,  beginning the second Friday in June. The Bahia Palace, the apogee of Moorish splendor situated in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) still hosts dignitaries today. Lunch at the hotel then a walk through of the colorful souks of Marrakech in the afternoon. Conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square.

Please note that all events are subject to change.  13th  Annual World Sacred Music Festival Tour    What is included:
· Round Trip from New York to Casablanca/Fez· Accommodation in hotels, with Full-Board (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
· Land transportation to specified events in deluxe motor coach.· Assistance from Sarah Tours guides and escorts.
· Fees of monuments museums and the Festival activities.
· Sufi music gatherings in Moroccan homes at the labyrinth of the Medina of Fez.
· Baggage handling, taxes in the tour restaurants.
Cost per person based on double occupancy:
Accommodations in 3 star hotel:   $2,685.00 Fez: Hotel Tghat ****
Essaouira add on from June 14-18 is $555

Call  1-888-633-2214 or 250-229-2227
e mail joseph-mark@treeoflifeschool.com to make your registration.
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