Marrakech Chaabi

14/04/2024 -
19/04/2024
Marrakech, Morocco
World music
Laïla Amezian
Small group - 14
£ 2090 - based on 2 sharing
£ 340 - single supplement

Illustrations by Rosanna Tasker

Amurakouch and the Croc

‘Marrakech’ comes from the Berber ‘Amurakouch’, meaning ‘land of God’. As I cycled through this incredible city’s flea market on my way to take what seemed like millions out of the cash machine, I pondered my ‘holy’ surroundings.

The sun had scarcely risen, and the traders had already laid out their knick-knacks in the shade of the Medina walls. Their goodies included one rather sad-looking Croc whose white plastic upper basked in a lucky shard of tangerine brilliance from the early morning sun. Nature’s spotlight gave this solitary shoe five seconds of fame in the vain hope of securing a soulmate. I felt sad for that Croc. So sad I was mentally scribbling down a few ideas for a Croc Tinder profile. ‘Nonbinary Croc with PVC fetish seeks similar. Hobbies include walking, standing, more walking and wading through puddles. Only size 42 need apply. Loves cheese.’

The rest of the market included the usual beaten-up tin pots, some hand-dyed colourful cloth, two bottles of unrecognisable cleaning product from twenty years ago, old bolts, tools, nails…To you and me it all looked like rubbish, but to the men and women of the souk, it was pure gold.

I reckon the patrons and merchants of that flea market are the most eco-friendly people in the world. Nothing is wasted there. Everything is recycled and reused again and again. It’s all treasure.

Like the items they sold, the patina of each vendor’s face narrated a story of hardship. However, I didn’t see any stress, and strangely, given how frenetic the Medina can be, I became aware of their inner calm. While we’re all busy staring into our smartphones, they move through their lives connected with grace. Each step deliberate, and each sale vital.

I stopped again to take it all in. A donkey looked at me with the same stoic eyes of endurance I’d already witnessed in the craggy faces of those who sat cross-legged behind their treasures.

As I was about to push off, a one-legged man picked up my Croc!

‘Maybe this really is Amurakouch’, I thought to myself.

Not so Chaabi

In April 2024, we’re going to let the magic of Marrakech penetrate deep into our souls as we bathe in its incredible culture, people, food and music.

We’ll be singing and performing North African Chaabi songs with the utterly brilliant Laïla Amezian. Laïla describes our forthcoming Marrakech singing holiday far better than I can, so here she is in her own words.

‘During our morning workshops, I will invite you to discover the traditional repertoire of northern Morocco sung in Darija (Moroccan dialect). These popular urban songs with rural, folkloric or Arab-Andalusian influences are traditionally sung in unison and offer rich and colourful poetry dealing with love, everyday life and the universe. They are constantly imbued with mystique.

We will approach these songs in the very spirit of what makes them specific, namely the repetition, the chant, the call, the lament and the rhythm tending towards trance. But the exceptional touch will be the added principle of polyphony, an approach that does not exist in North African music, giving these songs a new sound’.

Kbour Chou Courtyard

Kbour Chou Courtyard

Kbour Chou Bathroom Two

Kbour Chou Bathroom Two

Kbour Chou Bedroom Two

Kbour Chou Bedroom Two

Kbour Chou Dining

Kbour Chou Dining

Kbour Chou Bedroom One

Kbour Chou Bedroom One

Kbour & Chou and Dar Shariq

Riads always remind me of a Frances Hodgson Burnett secret garden or a C.S Lewis wardrobe. Behind inconspicuous walls, they hide themselves from the outside, concealing a paradise of hidden wonders.

When you enter Kbour & Chou or Dar Shariq, being met by a mythical faun wouldn’t be totally out of place. There’s the same contradictory sense of arrival as you slip through an increasingly dark, narrow passage and pop out into an exquisite, luminous kingdom.

The smell of Jasmine, the trickle of water and the refracted light of a Moorish shade all conspire to create a magical scene that dances with your senses.

Each bedroom in both riads has its own unique character, and the detailed touches don’t go unnoticed. The feel is an exotic mix of cosy refuge and homely charm, and they are the perfect counterpoint to the wonderfully chaotic Medina on the doorstep.

In many ways, you couldn’t imagine an accommodation being any better than Kbour & Chou or Dar Shariq. They have something no luxury boutique hotel could ever hope to replicate (much as they may strive). They ooze effortless bewitching warmth. They possess qualities that come directly from the owners and the genuine friendships formed by those who work there.

To be invited into either one of these homes is to be welcomed into a family within a hidden corner of Amurakouch.

A little bird told me

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Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews
Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews

We are thrilled to have received an average rating of 5/5 through independent reviews on Feefo & Google, and been awarded three Feefo Gold Trusted Service Awards. We sincerely thank all those who took the time to share their positive experiences and recommended us to others. Your trust, satisfaction and friendship are invaluable, and we remain committed to providing the best possible experience.

Summary

Price

£ 2090 GBP

Based on two sharing a twin or double room.

£ 340 GBP

Single supplement.

Date

14/04/2024
19/04/2024

Everything but flights

The price quoted includes everything except flights and drinks outside mealtimes. From pick-up to drop-off, we’ll be on hand to take care of every expense and every need.

Included

  • Transfer from the designated pick-up and drop-off point (normally the destination airport).
  • Any group transfer during your holiday.
  • Any group trips or events within the timeframe of your holiday, unless otherwise specified.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of your trip).
  • All tuition.
  • Accommodation.
  • Concert promotion.

Experts

All of our experts are obviously outstanding, inspirational artists, however they’re also lovely human beings. Their priority will always be 100% on you and your development. They are an integral part of the week, so be prepared to make new friendships.

Friendship

You can expect to be among like-minded people who love to sing. You can expect a supportive, non-judgemental group and many laughs.

Nurtured and taken care of

Témi and Alex organize and run every Singing Holidays event. Unlike most holiday companies, we’re with you from first contact right through to our sad farewells at the end of your stay. There are no reps, no faceless office staff, no strangers picking you up from an airport. Just us.

Food and accommodation

Témi and Alex spend weeks recceing each holiday, so you can get the very best from your stay. Nothing is by chance — we check every restaurant, we eat every menu, we jump on every bed, we take a toothbrush and magnifying glass to every bathroom, skirting board and wardrobe. When you arrive, you can relax in the knowledge that we’ve well and truly done our homework.

Direct contact

From first encounter to said farewells at the end of your holiday, you’ll be in direct contact with either Alex or Témi. Singing Holidays has been running events in Italy and beyond since 2010, and one of our core values is to also keep things small and contained, so we can give you the best experience.

Insurance & data protection

Singing Holidays Ltd has full liability insurance cover with First Underwriting Ltd. We adhere to GDPR to protect your privacy and any data you submit via our website or sister website singingnest.com is secured with 128-bit SSL encryption.

Covid-19

Booking a holiday during a pandemic isn’t for the faint-hearted. However, if you book a Singing Holidays event, and then you are unable to travel due to mandatory country restrictions, then you will be eligible for a full refund (including any ‘non-refundable’ deposit payment).

Kbour & Chou
& Dar Shariq
13 Derb Najem
Marrakesh-Safi
Morocco

Call us on +44 20 3920 8636

Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews
Feefo Gold Award Singing Holidays 2023
Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews
World Land Trust - Sustainable Travel with Singing Holidays.

Sustainable holidays with award-winning service. We are contributing to global reforestation and repairing damaged ecosystems. Every time you book a singing holiday, we’re busy planting trees and buying up land – helping to mitigate climate change.

A Loopy Soup Company
© 2024 Singing Holidays™ Est. 2009
Singing Holidays Ltd. No. 11691653

Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews
Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews
Feefo Gold Trust Award - Singing Holiday Reviews
World Land Trust - Sustainable Travel with Singing Holidays.

Sustainable holidays with award-winning service. We are contributing to global reforestation and repairing damaged ecosystems. Every time you book a singing holiday, we’re busy planting trees and buying up land – helping to mitigate climate change.

A Loopy Soup Company
© 2024 Singing Holidays™ Est. 2009
Singing Holidays Ltd. No. 11691653