Festivalizing dissent in Morocco

Aomar Boum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The website of Morocco's National Tourist Office, a government organization, advertises the North African country as a land of cultural festivals and moussems. According to the Ministry of Information, about 150 such festivals take place each year. The Ministry of Tourism describes these gatherings as occasions for Moroccans to celebrate the diverse cultural identities of the country as expressed in all artistic fields. The state-sponsored cultural festival in Morocco is built upon the moussem, the country's version of the saint day. The number of moussems has fallen dramatically, but in many locales both Jewish and Muslim saints are still honored. Traditionally, different tribal groups would meet on moussems to converse and exchange goods, as well as partake in religious ritual. As in Egypt and elsewhere, many Moroccan religious scholars have criticized this form of popular Islam as akin to saint worship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMiddle East Report
Issue number263
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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