On Monday, September 14th, Café Clock and local master storyteller, Mohamed Mokhlis, met for the first time with 18 students and young professionals who answered the call to help preserve Morocco’s hikayat tradition. Café Clock opened in Marrakech in February of 2014 and inaugurated this program, which gives local youth the opportunity to learn Moroccan stories. Participants endeavor to ensure that aging Moroccan story tellers have the opportunity pass their stories to a younger generation. Marrakchi master storyteller Ahmed Ezzarghani (who performed outside of Bab Boujloud in Fez in the 1950s) is dedicated to passing on the volumes of stories in his head and shares stories with four to six apprentices every Sunday. The apprentices translate these stories to English and perform along side Ezzarghani every Thursday night at 19:00 at Cafe Clock Marrakech. Ezzarghani’s apprentices have included Fassi Mohamed Enouichi and El Ghali Guennouni.
Present at the informational meeting on Monday was an apprentice of the Marrakech program, Jawad Elbied. He said, “it was a great start to the program thanks to the many people who turned out to learn more about the program. Mokhlis seemed to really hit it off with his new apprentices. It’s very exciting to see the program expand to Fez. I’ve learned so much from Haj [Ezzarghani] and the other apprentices. This is a great opportunity for everyone involved, and it’s great for storytelling!”
Mokhlis and his apprentices have now begun meeting twice per week and hope to begin performing at Cafe Clock on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014. Mokhlis teaches the apprentices stories dating back almost 1,000 years. Some of the storytellers will translate their stories to English and perform in English, while other storytellers will perform in Moroccan Darija.