By Hassan Benmehdi
The city of Agadir lit up once again Saturday (October 6th) with the Concert for Tolerance on the city’s beautiful beach, celebrating intercultural dialogue and respect for others.
Artists of all faiths and from all over the world made the trip just to partake in the event.
Ahmed Soltane, a young native of the town of Taroudant in Morocco, told Magharebia he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a show that advocates peace and tolerance.
“My first album came out in 2005 and was called ‘Tolerance’. That’s how much I believe in it. I personally consider myself Moroccan, as well as an African Arab and a Muslim,” he said. “But I still have an open mind.”
The French band Tryo’s reasons for participating were equally ideological: “The reason we’re here is because we believe in tolerance, a humanistic value we’ve been singing about for years.”
Jessy Matador, a singer-dancer of Congolese descent, believes that tolerance doesn’t end with a show or a concert: “It goes beyond the media, it’s an everyday thing. It’s daily,” he said.
His friend Dookkali, a native of the town of El Jadid and also a friend of the band, agreed. “We sing about tolerance because it is part of our belief system but also because the issues of integration and immigration are still very much in the French headlines,” he said.
On the beach, organisers announced that over 200,000 people had attended this year’s concert.
For Zahida, a young local, the city is now used to this annual pro-tolerance event: “It warms my heart to see all these people brought together by the same universal human value.”
Abdelali and his friend Merouan were not shy about their admiration for Algerian singer Khaled: “We love Khaled. That’s why we’re here.”
On stage, Khaled expressed his commitment to peace and respect: “It’s important to be here tonight, to accept each other’s differences and to live a life of love.”
The stage of the Concert for Tolerance 2012 saw numerous artists such as Garou, Enrico Macias, M. Pokora, John Mamann, Julian Perretta, Nossa, Khaled, Tryo, Mazagan, Moroccan singer Vigon, Youssoupha, Passi and Laza Morgan perform.
Every year, the Concert for Tolerance attracts a large local and international crowd with the objective to listen, discuss and promote a cross-cultural dialogue in a festive setting.
For the 2012 edition, organisers surprised Moroccans with various fantastic duos, including Khaled-Macias and Vigon-Garou.