Born and raised in the city of Tangier in Morocco in the year 1304, Ibn Battuta was born and raised from a Muslim family of legal scholars. At the young age of 21 in 1325, he decided to leave and went for a pilgrimage in holy site of Mecca eager to learn, explore and seek for adventure. He traveled far and wide along Northern Africa’s coast on the way to Egypt riding a donkey all by himself.
When Ibn Battuta reached Tiemcen city, he heads out on a pilgrimage trail where he may have passed through valleys without seeing any towns for many days, just camel herders and Berber camps. Ultimately, he encountered a group of travelers who are also pilgrims.
Just like Ibn Battuta, the pilgrims included in the caravan are all excited and thrilled about their hajj, it was a really big study tour of the World of Islam. For the former, it is a chance to gain awareness of law and religion and to interact with other Muslim scholars. In Dar al-Islam, he may also have considered looking for work as an Islamic judge after getting education certificates from great scholars of that time.
After arriving at the port of Algiers, the travelers camped at the city walls and waited for other pilgrims to join the group. Next, they headed to forests before getting to Bijaya city where Ibn Battuta got sick yet he continued with the journey.
Constantine’s Gifts and Ibn Battuta
It was in the city of Constantine where Ibn Battuta became acquainted with the governor who offered him money and a quality cape made of wool. It is the first of the many significant gifts from devout Muslims which would make him quite wealthy at times.
His group traveled light at maximum speed, continuing nonstop due to concerns of Arab rebels. Eventually, Ibn Battuta became sick again, so sick that he needs to be tied up to his saddle so he won’t fall over.
Ibn Battuta and City of Tunis
The group then arrived in the city of Tunis, a big city with more than a hundred thousand populations and fascinated with art and education. The area is also a seaport with trade markets that vary from leather, wool, cloth, hides, olive oil, wax, and grain. The city was a market of products coming from Sub-Saharan Africa such as ivory, ostrich feathers, slaves, and gold. The place has impressive mosques, palaces, colleges, and gardens. It is in this part of the trip that Ibn Battuta felt really homesick.
Then again, he stayed in Tunis for 2 months and lived in a madrasa or college dorm where he met high positioned judges and scholars.
Ibn Battuta finally left Tunis in a bigger caravan of pilgrims and he was even signed up as qadi or Islamic judge that settles disputes for the pilgrimage caravan. This was quite an achievement considering his age. They were therefore accompanied by horsemen troops and archers from the government to keep them safe from Arab rebels.
In celebration of the Kingdom of Morocco’s vibrant culture, the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is organizing a unique travel and cultural event for its second edition of Ibn Battuta International Festival under this year’s theme entitled “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace”. The event is scheduled to take place on 9-12 November 2017 in the city of Tangier, Morocco.
Founded to mainly celebrate and promote the story behind the legendary Ibn Battuta as a traveler and its contribution to mankind, the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta seeks to connect the visions of past explorers to the modern day travelers.
Travelers as Ambassadors of Peace
Some parts of the program will cover major activities that will surely inspire the youth of this generation to discover the world that lies beyond its country’s borders. By means of traveling, people will have a better knowledge of the diverse culture of other nations and be able to carry out a better understanding of the world that’s beyond them. When there is an understanding amongst people from all nations, there is peace.
The approach to a cultural awareness which is also an integral goal of this festivity contributes to understanding, a path that leads to healing and peace flourish.
Activities will include some interesting highlights such as Ibn Battuta Carnival, a street parade of school youth from across the globe. There will also be music shows, art exhibitions that will take us back to medieval time, a film showing particularly the documentary of the journey of Ibn Battuta.
Being home to Ibn Battuta and other famed artists and writers, the event will also celebrate the journey of other world famous travelers and will be depicted into a colorful street art exhibition. Building walls will be painted with profiles of these travelers, translated as works of art by selected painters. This also offers a good chance to know more about travelers coming from other parts of the world.
Meet the World
Since this is a global event, groups from different countries, artists and musicians are participating in presenting their stories and talents during scheduled performances where a mixture of solo and musical ensemble will be presented onstage. It will be an entertainment showcase of world-class cultural performances where performers get to represent the country visited by Ibn Battuta himself.
Moreover, the event will host theater plays. Actors presented in the spotlight will re-enact the story of Ibn Battuta in honor of his journey. This show may take place throughout the duration of the festivity in any of Tangier’s stage.
In line with this, the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is inviting people from all across the globe, travel enthusiasts, art aficionados, outdoor adventurers, cultural experts, students, and professionals to come to visit Tangier this year. The second edition of Ibn Battuta International Festival happening from November 9 to 12 promises a unique travel and cultural 4-day immersion to discover more about why and how Travelers can be Ambassadors of Peace.
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