This world is a land of fairs, feast days and festivals. This world is the land of diversity and different communities that belong to different races, cultures, and traditions. Therefore many festivals are repeatedly celebrated every year.
The Second Edition of The International Festival of Ibn Battuta with this year’ theme “Travelers, The Ambassadors of Peace” designed to disrupt, inspire and unveil the most significant event that people look forward to. This festival is not just about celebration but in fact filled with profound significance. The International Festival of Ibn Battuta is to promote peace through travel and to honor the extraordinary character of Ibn Battuta playing an vital role to improve our human structure on our social lives, connect us with our families and backgrounds and give us inspiration to live with his legendary characters, his humility, and respect for others.
This is also an excellent opportunity to pass the legends, knowledge, cultures, and traditions onto the younger and next generations as most of the new generation travelers are millennials, all are avid and experienced travelers who use their time off for personal growth whether spiritual, physical, intellectual, traditional or cultural.
This will surprise the travelers’ world on the 9th – 12th November 2017.
As the festival will bring together people from international travel communities to engage in different meaningful discoveries, some International performers, artist, musicians, speakers, backpackers, bloggers, authors and festivalgoers from inside and outside the travel sphere will gather in Tangier, Morocco to commemorate the legendary journey and to honor the world’s greatest traveler of premodern time, Ibn Battuta and to continue keeping his legacy alive. Highlighting the legacy of renowned traveler Ibn Battuta, the Festival has been organized to celebrate the Morocco’s rich culture and heritage, promote travel, and engage people from different parts of the world. Inspired by the great Ibn Battuta, his journey, and his special character: Travel is the language of peace.
Characteristics of Ibn Battuta traveling
A Muslim scholar from Morocco named Muhammad Ibn e Battuta was a great traveler. He started his journey for almost 30 years and went on the excursions that are called Rihla. The travel included almost the whole Islamic world as well as the Indian and Chinese subcontinent. After this entire traveling, he came back to the homeland Morocco and provided the details of his complete journey to Ibn Juzay.
He is the only traveler who is famous for visiting every land of Muslim ruler at his given time. The most significant of these places are Byzantium, Ceylon (Sri Lanka at present), South Russia and China. The overall traveling distance covered by him was almost of 75,000 miles. This was the area that was not covered by any other traveler by that time. He spent his whole life in traveling and made a valuable contribution to the world of traveling.
Start of journey
He started his journey by setting out for Makah to perform Haj. He was a Muslim and to perform religious duties he left his home. It took almost one year to reach Saudi Arabia. The journey included the visit to Tunis, Palestine, Algiers, Syria, and Egypt and then towards Makah. There he spent three years of his life and then started off for Yemen through the sea. After making a long journey to Aden and East Africa, he subsequently went to Oman and then makes a pilgrimage towards Makah again in the year 1332. This travel included the countries of Bahrain, Hormuz, Yamama, and Siraf.
He made a plan to visit India but due to the unavailability of the ship, he could not execute it. After that, he visited Cairo, Syria, and Palestine. After visiting Asia Minor named Aleya through the journey of Sea, he traveled through Sinope and Anatolia. Afterward, making a visit to black sea and passing through the south of Ukraine, he entered Constantinople.
Leaving loved ones
He dedicated his whole life to only traveling and fought his desire to visit the loved ones. This is a practice not followed by most of the people. People travel but also give time to their family. Ibn e Battuta was a dedicated traveler who found peace only in traveling. His first pilgrimage was from the year 1325 to 1354 that make up the total of almost 30 years. This was the long period for which he abandoned his whole family and parents.
The book written by him was Rihla that described all the details of his traveling. In Arabic language, Rihla indicated “journey” and “traveling” to different parts of the world. This is because the book included the details about his wandering around from country to country. This is provided as a gift to the people who wander in cities. He visited all these places to get knowledge in his fields of interest. This book was a great contribution to the field of traveling because it was the start of travel diaries and is considered to be among the very first travel journals. Mostly it is believed that he came back to his homeland and provided all the details to his friend Ibn Juzey. Then his friend completed all these details to make a final form of Rihla. This is the gift for the people traveling the world, and at that time it was considered to be the only book comprehensively containing all the information about a maximum number of countries.
Knowledge gained by this traveling
Ibn e Battuta was not only the traveler but also a scientist, researcher, and chemist who had the desire to know about the details of the things he had interest. He made a lot of research in the field of medicine and made a considerable addition to that literature also. All the aspects of nature, history, politics, customs, geography, and personality were covered in it. The Islamic aspects were also covered in his journey because he performed Haj twice during this whole time. He met a lot of people and even had a cultural shock in the western world because of the liberalism practiced by women of the west. He was not very fond of the practiced people followed in the western world.
Coming back to his homeland
At first, after completing the journey of 30 years, he came back to his land in Morocco and spent some time with his family. But this was against his nature; he loved traveling and could not live without it. So, he again set out to visit some areas that were not visited before. When he came back to his homeland, people did not believe that he visited all these places. He provided a comprehensive description of all the places visited by him. The evidence from the early travelers was also provided to him.
Problems in journey
At that time, traveling was not an easy task to do. There were not many facilities, and it took a lot of time to complete the journey. He was also attacked by some of the serious diseases. Many diseases were also transmitted during this whole time that leads to serious illnesses. Once he was even trapped on a ship for many days, with a lot of effort, he succeeded to escape and then came back to rescue his companions.
After coming back to his home and completing Rihla, he was employed as a judge in the local court that was his family duty. After serving his duty for some years, he died in the year 1368. He was then buried in Morocco. Rihla also contains some of the information from the 14th century that was edited after his death. He was without any doubt the best traveler who made a lot of efforts to provide this world with something as meaningful as Rihla.
Amazing Ibn Battuta stories
Ibn Battuta is one of the greatest travelers of all times. The road of traveling that he started from a pilgrimage turned out to be what he did in his entire life. He traveled the entire world and wrote about what everything he learned and observed. These writings turned out to be a great source of learning for the generations to come. They became a form of stories. The epic tales of Ibn Battuta are still read by million as stories and enjoyed thoroughly. His stories were all about his travels. He noted down every detail about the place he visited. He observed the culture and traditions of that place. Picked up the customs of that area and wrote it as a piece of his travel diaries. There is a great deal to learn from the stories of Ibn Battuta. It gives us a sneak peek inside the history of nations and their historical traditions. Above all his stories are a remarkable way of learning what was in the past.
After completing his travels when Ibn Battuta returned to Morocco, the Sultan listened to everything he had to say. After listening to the accounts of his travels, a new book writing started. Although travel books and pilgrim accounts were quite a famous thing at that time, the Sultan wanted his stories to be written for the amusement of his friends and family. He wanted these people to take a little fun out of the stories from around the world. However, the book later became marvel for the world. Even centuries later these books and stories are read not only for amusement but also for knowledge and learning. Through the stories of Ibn Battuta, we can learn how people from different parts of the world lived centuries ago. We can learn everything about the food they ate, the clothes they wore and the way they went about their everyday lives. Most importantly, the stories written in Rihla are an excellent source of information for travelers. They get to learn the art of traveling and adjusting to diverse environments. It is fascinating for them to read how a traveler from the medieval era with very little facilities manage to travel around the globe and pass through so many different cultures on his way. Nonetheless, Ibn Battuta entertained a lot of people with his stories, which is not hard to believe. Even in this era listening to the tales of someone who had travelled the world is quite fascinating so we can only imagine the goosebumps people got from listening to his stories at a time when there were no traveling facilities whatsoever, camels or horses were the means of travel and it took years to travel from one country to another with food and water resources also insufficient.
Some interesting stories
The stories of Ibn Battuta are filled with little tales from different parts of the world and the encounters he had with different players.
On his arrival in which is now called Multan, a part of Pakistan, he borrowed some money from area’s local moneylenders. From the money, he borrowed he bought some presents for to the Sultan of Delhi. He was setting out to meet him, but before he did, he sent a letter to make them aware of his arrival. It took him fifty-five days to reach Delhi. The note, however, had reached in five days.
Traveling in those times was indeed a difficult task to do. It was not like present times where we can board our cars, planes or ships and reach our destination. In those times traveling from one place to another involved many risks. This is exactly what he experienced on his way to Delhi. He was attacked on his way with a group of infidels. He had to fight his way across them.
Once he met the Sultan of Delhi, he was appointed as a judge by him based on his pious character. Although he landed himself into trouble on having links with a mystic Sufi, he was spared after he fasted and recited the Quran. He also fell prey to an epidemic, which was considered to be fatal, but he survived. After that, the Sultan as his ambassador sent him to China.
It is through the stories of Ibn Battuta that we learn how cruel the Sultan of that time was. He states that a man was fed human excrement forcefully because he refused to eat the food the Sultan sent him after fourteen days of imprisonment. He was later beheaded as well. With such stories, we learn the trends and conditions of the people of that time who belonged to different cultures and traditions.
It is interesting to read is stories when he talks about Damascus, which was under Muslim rule at that time. He experienced multiple things that we can learn now. It is also a reason of the remarkable advancement in that area. He states that some endowments there were unbelievable. There were endowments for those who wanted to travel to Makkah or those who were sick, for those girls who were getting married and could of afford the expenses and even for the travelers.
Even his description of the roads of Damascus, which he states had pavements for pedestrians even at that time, is quite interesting to learn.
The stories of Ibn Battuta are filled with such tales about numerous countries, their cultures and traditions and their rulers. One can learn a great deal with what he tells his stories. His stories are a great account of the history and comparative cultural studies. His journey gives us all something to learn.
How are volunteers contributing to making Ibn Battuta Festival a successful Event?
Your volunteer journey begins at the Second Edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta: “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace: where you can be a part of the world’s leading festival featuring the exciting range of cultural, musical, carnival, conferences, forums and exhibitions and much more to promote peace.
Volunteering is about giving, contributing, and helping other individuals and the community at large. It is working with others to make a meaningful contribution towards a successful event.
People volunteer for an endless variety of reasons. Many people want to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people, or expand their network of contacts as a way to get a new job or start a career. Others just want to give back to their community, to help a friend or promote a worthwhile activity. They do it because it makes them feel good.
Volunteers who would like to share their time and motivation to help out with a variety of roles like: Front of the house / Tour guide volunteers /Hospitality/Ushering, Digital Concierge, Marketing/Group Connections, Public Relations, Community Managers and Social Media Experts, Media / Journalists and Live Bloggers, AV Specialist /Production Manager/Technical and Creative Director, Light and Sound Technicians, Props and Backstage Crew, Costume and Wardrobe Staff, Make up artist and hair stylist, Photographers and Videographers, Peace and Order / Traffic and Crowd Control Volunteers, Logistics, Translators and Interpreters, Exhibit Hall Volunteers, Doctors and Medical Assistants, OVERALL EVENT COORDINATOR, Clean up drive volunteers and many more that will fit into your field of expertise.
Volunteers will undoubtedly have a wonderful time working with the organizers. The Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta are extremely encouraging everyone to participate in whatever area that interests you to make the most of your volunteer practice by gaining experience, learning and enjoying at the same time.
The First Edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta
People are quite excited about the second edition of the International festival of Ibn Battuta because the first edition went perfectly. The first edition held from 24th to 26th of February 2017 in the current year mesmerizes every festivalgoer. The Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta organizes these festivals to revive the traveling traditions alive. The first International Festival of Ibn Battuta successfully offers a mixture of artistic and live performances about the life of the great traveler. There were lots of interesting activities that took place in that festival. These activities include awarding ceremony, scientific discussion, a musical show and a musical parade. This event ends beautifully and successfully with a mouth-watering dinner. People appreciated this festival and kept throwing positive words about this international festival. Everything about the event was spellbinding which not only highlights the extraordinary journey of Ibn Battuta but also entertain people with a magical music and plays. This event translated his entire journey into amazing activities. Knowing the tradition through some activities is actually the best way to mark an impression. Today, you will find very few people who like reading, so celebrating such event is the ideal way to take people back to the medieval times. That was the first international festival celebrated in Morocco to revive the tradition, some people had less expectation, and they missed the event. That is why those tourists want the organization to celebrate such festival again with some innovative ideas.
The second edition of this international festival is coming with more versatile and mesmerizing activities. They can perfectly hit the digital world with many smart activities. They revealed some activities, but there is still more to it. A person who loves traveling will never miss a chance to learn about the culture and tradition of Morocco.
Ibn Battuta stories are known in every culture. It can be considered a traditional as well as the global event where everyone can enjoy. The learning it brings is unmatchable. Ibn Battuta festival 2nd edition will help in upbringing the real essence of traveling. No one can ignore the true contributions of a legendary Ibn Battuta, so this festival will reflect it with an amazing art exhibition, theatrical plays, carnival, movies and much more. Visit this event and enjoy the world of Ibn Battuta.
About the Organizer
In collaboration with the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta and their unconditional commitment, The 2nd Edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta is being planned and in the process of strategizing on bringing all the creativity with the aim of promoting peace, the wider adaptation of universal values and intercultural understanding. Inspired to continue with more enthusiasm and greater speed to realize the dream where life becomes a celebration and world will become one family.
Mohamed Dekkak greeting His Majesty King Mohammed VI on the occasion of 18th anniversary of the enthronement of King Mohammed VI at Marchane Palace Tangier
Having waited for more than one month for a nice weather, Ibn Battuta together with a small group embarked on an ocean trip crossing the Black Sea. Terrible storms hit the ship, causing panic but they, fortunately, arrived safely in Kaffa.
Kaffa is an Italian community that has 200 ships on the dock. It’s a place where traders coming from Venice, Genoa, Russia, Egypt etc. resides. Mainly because majority of those living here are Christians, there was just 1 mosque.
At the Black Sea ports, Ibn Battuta notice the products being traded – timber, salt, grain, fur, honey and wax. In addition, there are also products imported from Persia and China. Sadly, young slaves can also be seen being traded here.
During this period, the Black Sea ports had been part of trans-regional trade networks for more than two thousand years. At present, aside from being a host to modern-day ship routes, the region of Black Sea contains oil drill areas as well as well known holiday resorts.
Having arrived in al-Qiram, the group learned some good news! They were just in time to carry out the 700-mile journey to the Volga River with protection from King of the Golden Horde who has traveled just a few days ahead. To catch up, their group bought 3 wagons and animals to pull them.
Soon after Genghiz Khan passed away, the Mongol Empire was divided into 4 “khanates” for his sons and grandsons. The northwestern khanate which includes most part of the East Europe and Russia was taken by the Golden Horde. But not like the Mongol’s invasion of Persia where they resided in cities and embraced the Persian culture, the Golden Horde maintained their nomad customs on the Russian steppes.
More About Ibn Battuta
Recognized as one our history’s great travelers, the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is organizing a 4 day event in celebration of his legacy. There will be fun and exciting outdoor activities including parades, carnivals, cultural and musical shows, street art exhibitions and a lot more. The event is the second edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta with this year’s theme entitled, “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace”.
This is set to be a huge travel and cultural event which also supports the city of Tangier to become a cultural tourism destination. Other great world travelers in our history will also be honored and presented during conferences, movies and exhibitions.
You can take part in this huge event. The organizers are calling out for volunteers, sponsors and partners. Recently, a Call for Papers was recently launch inviting writers to submit their original works under the conference theme. Furthermore, nationalities most specially from countries where Ibn Battuta traveled are encouraged to come and see this festivity. The event will be held from 9 to 12 November 2017. Visit https://ibnbattuta.ma/ for more info.
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Mohamed Dekkak Chairman and Founder of Adgeco Group and H.E Dr. Mana Saeed Al Otaiba the Private Advisor to H.H Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan UAE President – UAE ABU DHABI RACE DAY MARRAKECH. Course De Pur Sang Arabe. Hippodrome De Marrakech.
It is my great honor to attend the prestigious event and three-day conference and I made sure that I never missed any opportunity brought by The World Arabian Horse Racing Conference: A three days of convention and roundtable discussion in Marrakesh, Morocco under the patronage of the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Festival is a major factor in the increased diversity of the activities of pure-bred Arabian racing horses. This year, over 400 delegates from 86 countries attended the 3-day event, followed by the ‘UAE Abu Dhabi Day’ racing at the Hippodrome Marrakesh.
At the press conference at Adam Park Hotel on Wednesday, HE Mohammed Al Yamahi, The UAE’s Charge D’ Affairs to Morocco, acknowledge HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for bringing this great event to Morocco.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees, also acknowledged HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the first time in the history of Marrakesh, the World’s latest racecourse being inaugurated yesterday and highlighted the Festival’s four inaugural races.
The three-day event started when the guests arrived at Adam Park and Le Jardin d’Agdal on 2nd May, followed by General Assembly of IFHRA members. During the General Assembly, Ms Lara Sawaya proclaimed that the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) has decided to carry on to classify between amateur and apprentice jockeys, as it has been disorienting in the equine fraternity. This step was needed because many countries have different guidelines which administer their amateur/apprentice races. The executive board of directors will meet in London on August 11 to outline the rules and regulations for the amateurs and apprentices, as their main agenda.
The World Arabian Horse Racing Conference took place at the Four Season Marrakesh Ballroom on 4th May and attended by the distinguished speakers: HE Dr. Abdulla Alraisi – Director General of National Archive, Mr. Ahmad Al Qubaisi- Director of Marketing & Communications of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Emirates Racing Authority, HE Sami Al Boenain-Chairman IFAHR, Mubarak Alnuaimi – Director of Overseas Promotion TCA Abu Dhabi, Mr. Omar Skalli – Director of General Sorec, Miss Khalid Al Nuaimi from National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC.
Seven different topics were discussed per session as follows: Breeding Session, Racing and Training Session, Jockeys’ Weight Control and Nutrition, Social Media, PR & Communication Session, Rules,Conditions and Regulations, Women in Racing, Future in Arabian Racing and a Workshop conducted by Lara Sawaya and Derek Thompson.
The night was delighted as Gala Dinner followed at Palais Namaskar. The Festival and the conference have succeeded in bring all horse racing officials of Purebred Racing under on one stage.
The Conference and activities were also attended by HE Saqr Al Raisi, UAE Ambassador to Italy, HE Mohammed Sultan Saif Al-Suwaidi, UAE Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman and many other important officials, sponsors’ representatives along with Moroccan officials.
WAHRC 2017 was made possible because of the support of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC, who said are please to be a partner for two successive years.
Associated by the National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers. In cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare
Sponsored by: The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Ayadi LLC, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Wathba Stallions, Emirates Falconers Club, Laboratories Fadia, Karam Cosmetics,
Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), YAS Channel,Al Wathba Centre, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Awani General Enterprises, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Karam Cosmetics, Racing Post, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Paris Turf, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club,
Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves SPA, and Resort.
I am extending my deepest gratitude to: His Highness Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan – The Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak – Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Ms Lara Sawaya – Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees, and all the sponsors for giving me the privilege and welcoming me to this prestigious event. With my great pride to be honored and to be awarded during The Fusion Grand Orient Gala Dinner at Palais Namaskar, I am very grateful and I hope that it would ultimately result in an even larger success due to collaboration and high potential of this event.