Tetouan! Tetouan!

Posted in People, sports on June 17, 2012 by SA

You may have heard about the city of  Tetouan’s football (soccer) team beating Rabat for the Moroccan National title.

Well, we just happened to be in Tetouan the day of the game.  What you hear in this tape is cheering  for the team that turns into elation as the clock winds down on Tetouan’s 1-0 win.

The streets were filled for hours and hours with celebration.

Sound Portrait of Rabat’s Old City

Posted in Daily Life, Street Sounds on May 19, 2011 by Sarah Kate Kramer


A scene from Rabat in 2008. (Photo: Sarah Kate Kramer)

Our friend Sarah Dohrmann sent us this recording of Rabat’s old medina in May 2011.

It Will Happen

Posted in Daily Life, Religion, Street Sounds with tags on January 23, 2011 by sumayya33

The call to prayer in Morocco seems inevitable, like the sun rising.

In this clip one of us is with a group of people in the old city of Fes watching the clock and waiting for the call for the sunset prayer.  Someone says, ” I think it’ll happen,” and then one by one each mosque in the area begins the call to prayer, each one  coming in a little behind the other so that it seems as if they are singing in a round.

Shhh…and listen

Posted in Prayers, Religion on October 26, 2009 by Sarah Kate Kramer

It’s been a year since we were in AlMaghreb, but a friend who just returned from a summer in Rabat passed along this recording.  It’s a recitation of Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad)  that tells people not to speak while the Imam is giving the Friday sermon–so that they may get the full benefit of the sermon.

Storks at the Chellah

Posted in Daily Life with tags on September 19, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

The elegant profiles of storks dominate Moroccan skies. Like us, they seem to like the old medinas! In Fes they swoop over rooftops, in Marrakesh their nests perch like hats on the old fortification walls, and in Rabat, they’ve officially taken over the Chellah, a site with remants of both Roman and Islamic civilizations. In spring, they emit mating calls, which are noisy but cool. Here’s the sound:

Salawat on the Prophet (asking God to Bless the Prophet Muhammad)

Posted in Music, People, Religion with tags on August 28, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

Walking home on a Wednesday night in Rabat we heard from a few blocks away the sound of a party (assumed to be either a wedding or a baby naming ceremony). A group of men are singing amdah, religious songs praising the qualities of the Prophet Muhammad and asking God to bless him. The sound is coming from an apartment building where several apartments are being used to house the party guests. This clip was taped on the sidewalk outside the building.

Dayf Ullah

Posted in People, Religion with tags on August 28, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

Bab Bou Jelloud, is a popular starting point for groups touring the medina (old city) of Fes. One Saturday morning a group of about 50 Moroccan women entered the gate carrying small drums and singing a traditional Moroccan song “Dayf Ullah” which means “God’s guest” and is a term used to describe someone who shows up surprisingly or uninvited – you would still accept them and welcome them because God sent them to you. At the end of the sound clip you will hear the tour guide with a bull horn trying to get the women’s attention and explaining to them where they are at in the medina.

May Day Protest in Rabat

Posted in People, Work with tags on June 8, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

Workers protest unemployment, wages, and government policies on International Labor Day. “Lhokuma maghrebia: zero!” (trans: the Moroccan government: Zero!)

The King’s Arrival in Fes

Posted in Street Sounds with tags on April 24, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

Crowds are “gathered” by Moroccan Authorities to welcome the king during his drives through Fes. The king often visits the city during religious holidays, and this recording is from the days preceding the Maulid–the Prophet’s birthday. The crowd is composed of several different tradiional music groups, and children.

Umsiyah Quraniyah

Posted in Religion with tags on April 24, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

This afternoon Quran recitation was organized by a group so that people could enjoyably listen to different Quran reciters. Each person recites for only a minutes, and between each reciter there are short talks about the relationship and place of the Quaran in the life of Muslims. This Umsiyah was held at a meeting hall used for lectures and meetings of religious leaders. It is on a busy street across from the Royal Mirage Hotel in Fes.

Dhar Mahraz Student Protest

Posted in People, Street Sounds with tags on April 23, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

Night time protest of students from the Dhar Mahraz University in the Lidu neighborhood of Fes. The protesters want an increase in student stipends. They raise complaints about the level of luxury some of the administration is living in, while they struggle to subsist on their educational stipends.

Spinning thread, on different levels

Posted in Work with tags , on March 31, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

40 percent of Morocco’s export comes from textile makers, and the industry operates across a huge spectrum of production levels, from needle and thread to modern factories and technology. Walking through the alleys of Fes you often see boys or men with hand-held motors spinning individual spools of thread that are attached at one end to an ancient wall:


Here is the sound of the motor spinning, with the bonus of a conversation with the spooler, explaining the purpose of his work (the thread gets sewn into caftans, jelabas…) and then the common Moroccan experience of having our dialogue interrupted by a third party, who feels the need to translate, and we talk about the spooler’s uncle who lives in America, and we end with the third party beginning to talk about his personal business, selling carpets.

The next level up is a shoelace and belt making factory located behind a nondescript door in the medina, where two rooms have been crammed with German machines furiously and loudly sewing. It’s a family owned and run business.


Rote learning: a chant

Posted in Daily Life, Music, Religion, Street Sounds with tags , on March 31, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

Memorization of the Qur’an is an important and traditional way of learning the holy text, practicing Islam, and an act that is greatly celebrated upon completion. For better or worse, in Morocco, the technique of memorization has been extended into secular education, and students in the majority of Moroccan classrooms study a variety of subjects using the a rote memorization technique. Below you can hear elementary students singing as they learn.

Moroccan soccer (football) fans

Posted in People with tags , on March 20, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

People are passionate about soccer in Morocco, they play in fields, on city streets, on the beach, with professional balls or with makeshift things like cans. Coffee shops have a game on the television most nights of the week, and all the chairs are faced towards the television. Taxi drivers deck out their cabs with emblems of Spanish teams–usually Real Madrid or FC Barcelona. People support the Moroccan national team, but admit that the best Moroccan players get swept off to play for Europe. There is also soccer on the local level, and young kids root for their cities and towns. Here is an audio clip of people drumming at a game in the south of Morocco, and a video of a swarm of kids from Fes riding back on the train after beating their perennial rival, Meknes.

Tahleel near Bab Boujeloud

Posted in Prayers, Religion with tags on March 20, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

No two tahleels in Morocco sound alike. This one was recorded at a mosque near Bab Boujeloud, in Fes. The muezzin’s voice is certainly unique.

Bus Station in Ouazzarzate

Posted in Daily Life, Street Sounds with tags , on February 20, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

The sounds of a bus station: chaos, people traveling, musicians performing, large vehicles moving.

The second hand market at Bab Boujeloud

Posted in Daily Life, Street Sounds, Work with tags on February 20, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer


Songs and ululation recorded in the Rif Mountains

Posted in Music with tags on February 17, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

These singers live up in the Rif mountains above Chefchauen. They sing and ululate as they work. Excuse the sound quality–the microphone couldn’t handle the volume!

A Siidna Mohammed:

A song incorporating call and response:

A request:

In this recording, the women are singing as they scrub a carpet, listen for the sounds of brushes and water:

Whistling in the Mountains

Posted in Daily Life with tags on February 17, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer


The Rif mountains are sparsely populated, but the inhabitants cover great distances in order to graze sheep and work the land. This is a recording of people whistling to each other in greeting across a valley.

Pressure Cooker

Posted in Daily Life with tags on February 17, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

The sound of a Moroccan kitchen: