Press: AMBergh Education highlights F7ALI F7ALEK

AMBergh Education is an international language course provider. The organization notably offers special group classes around the world, providing students an opportunity to study languages where they are spoken natively. AMBergh’s December 2012 Arabic newsletter highlighted with an excerpt from a piece written for the popular Fez-based culture blog Culture Vultures Fez.

Click the photo below to see the full PDF file.

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The team at F7ALI F7ALEK hopes everyone is having a great holiday season. Thanks to everyone who has supported and followed this project. We have some big news in store for 2013. Stay tuned!

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Press: Tangier-based magazine Ping Pong covers F7ALI F7ALEK

F7ALI F7ALEK recently made its second appearance in print. Be sure to pick up a copy of Ping Pong magazine to check out the coverage!

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What’s next?

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After a terrific weekend in Fez, the F7ali F7alek team is finally heading home. We performed in former King Mohamed the Fifth’s school in Fez, an old riad with antique carvings and mosaics, stayed in beautiful restored riads (check out the sponsors page to see the houses), and had a delicious post-show dinner at Resto7. Producer Tom Casserly is flying back to New York, Digital Media Director Eric Branholm is back in Florida for a spell before heading north to Chicago, and director George Bajalia is packing his bags in Tangier. Several trains later, the actors are all home safe and sound in Tangier, Tetouan, Rabat, and Casablanca.

So what’s next? Well, we’re not quite done yet. We’re currently planning more performances, hopefully with stops in Rabat, Casablanca, and maybe even Marrakech. Check back here soon for more updates, and for photos from Fez, Tangier, and the rehearsal process! In the meantime, head over to www.facebook.com/F7aliF7alek to see what people are saying about the show!

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Thank You to our Sponsors in Fez

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Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors in Fez, we are able to host our cast and crew in some of Fez’s best guesthouses for the weekend. All of these houses have been restored to their traditional splendors, with contemporary touches added in for comfort and style. Head over to the new “Sponsors” section of our site to check out our favorite places to stay in Fez, and catch a glimpse of all that the beauty that this imperial city has to offer!

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Special thanks to Hafid El Amrani and www.FesMedina.com for their generous sponsorship, for all of their great work promoting and coordinating guest houses, riads, and dars, in Fez.

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Les Echos features F7ALI F7ALEK

F7ALI F7ALEK made its debut in print this weekend in Les Echos. Jihane Bougrine spoke with some of the team about our project and her piece covered a full page in Les Echos’s Weekend section. Photos by Omar Chenaffi.

«F7ali F7alek» ou la passion tangéroise à vif

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Quand Tanger raconte l’amour impossible «en darija», elle s’inspire d’un classique : West Side Story. C’est ainsi qu’un projet novateur et animé d’une passion pour le théâtre voit le jour : une histoire combinée à du talent auquel on ajoute une touche locale et de l’âme. «F7ali F7alek» est né il y a un an de cela, comme un rêve éveillé que le chercheur Fulbright, George Bajalia, traînait depuis longtemps et qui se voit concrétisé lorsque le Centre américain de langue de Tanger décide de le sponsoriser.

You can read the rest of the piece at Les Echos’s website, here.

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Press Release: F7ALI F7ALEK comes to Fes

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Morocco’s own tragic love story, inspired by the classic American musical West Side Story, is coming to the Fes medina. Under the same sky as Romeo and Juliet, Tony and Maria, and Morocco’s own Isli and Tislit, two unlikely lovers find themselves caught between rival gangs in modern-day Morocco. After a successful four night run at the Kasbah Museum in Tangier in November, the F7ALI F7ALEK team is excited to bring the Moroccan Arabic language production south to Fes. Director George Bajalia, a Fulbright grantee and a Chicago-based theatre artist, and New York theatre producer, Tom Casserly (2012 Tony Nomination, Peter and the Starcatcher), teamed up with Tangier’s Zakaria Alilech to breath new life into an old story. Featuring some of Leonard Bernstein’s iconic songs, as well as contributions from local Andalusian musicians, this performance on Saturday December 8th at the Cultural Complex Sidi Mohammed ben Youssef is sure to be unlike any other. Entry is free and the performance will begin at 8:15 pm.

In association with the American Language Centers in Morocco, F7ALI F7ALEK is sponsored by a U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs grant to the American Cultural Association. This performance in Fes is made possible by ALC – ALIF.

Check out Joe Lukawski’s review of the show for The View From Fez, as well as the video he put together about the performance with the help of Hugo Massa. Click here to watch the video in French.

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F7ALI F7ALEK performs at MACECE 30th Anniversary Gala

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As some of you might know, our director, George Bajalia, came to Morocco as a Fulbright grantee to research cultural globalization and its effects on the performing arts in Tangier. The Moroccan American Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange (MACECE), an autonomous organization born from a 1982 agreement between the Moroccan and American governments  to promote and facilitate academic and cultural exchanges, administers this grant. In many ways, F7ALI F7ALEK is an extension of Bajalia’s research and it is safe to say that this project would not have been possible without help from MACECE.

Our team was honored when MACECE asked us to perform selections from our show at their 30th Anniversary Gala. Last Thursday, November 29th, at Le Centre d’Accueil et de Conférences de la Fondation Mohammed VI in Rabat, the team performed for figures such as Minister of Higher Education Lahcen Daoudi and United States Ambassador to Morocco Samuel Kaplan. This performance was unique, with Bajalia appearing on stage to guide the audience through the show and with live accompaniment on the banjo from Fulbright grantee and ethnomusicologist, Chris Witulski.

In addition to sharing our story with an audience of such distinguished guests, it was especially rewarding to have the whole team back together and on the road for the first time. F7ALI F7ALEK cannot thank MACECE enough for this opportunity to share our Moroccan – American collaboration at an event celebrating a history of cultural exchange between the people of our two countries.

Stay tuned for an announcement of another on-the-road performance of F7ALI F7ALEK very soon!

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