In commemoration of the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the city of Fez, al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco and La Fondation Esprit de Fès organized an international conference in 2008 to explore the universal and global dimension of the city through a multidisciplinary lens; this first meeting of several Moroccan and international scholars in Ifrane triggered an intense intellectual debate that extended several months afterwards and culminated in the publication, in 2011, of Fez in World History.
This book aims to shed light on the history of the city of Fez using a two-fold perspective: Fez in World History and Fez in World Literature. The former explores how different historical forces have contributed to making the city of Fez part of an interconnected network at both the regional and global levels. The latter investigates the place of the city in world literary and artistic production, including travel narratives, fiction, and poetry. The book chapters include, Marinid Fez: The Economic Background of the ‘Quest for Empire’, Le Mellah de Fès: Genèse et évolution, Fez in British Writings: Imperial City Space Between Historical Remoteness and Tourist Geography, and Beyond the Frame: Fez in Edith Wharton’s ‘In Morocco’ and Pierre Loti’s ‘Au Maroc’ to mention but a few.
Twelve hundred years ago (808 CE), Idris II built the city of Fez. Probably no one imagined at the time that the small dynastic capital at the foot of the Middle Atlas Mountains would grow to become one of the most important political, economic, spiritual, and intellectual centers of the Muslim World. The excellent choice of the site contributed to a large extent to this growth; Fez is located at crossroads leading to the Mediterranean ports to the north, the Atlantic coastal plains to the west, the Central Maghrib to the east, and in the south, across the Middle Atlas, to Sijilmasa the gate to medieval sub-Saharan gold trade. In the past century, the city’s population has grown from 70,645 inhabitants in 1921 to over a million inhabitants today; over one hundred thousand of them are living within the confines of the historical quarters (medina) alone. In 1981, the Medina of Fez was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
LONDON CELEBRATING FEZ
6.45 pm : Launch of the book “ Fez in World History ”
7.30 pm : Cocktail reception
8.05 pm : An exclusive concert performed by
the Andalusian Orchestra of Fez
8.55 pm : Event ends