Eleventh Edition of the Mata International Equestrian Festival

The Mata International Horse Riding Festival returns for its eleventh edition, celebrating the ancestral equestrian heritage of the northern region of Morocco. The event highlights the traditional equestrian competition “MATA” and offers exhibitions of crafts and local products. The festival promotes the economic and tourist development of the northern and southern regions of the country. The previous edition attracted more than 200,000 visitors and brought together more than 240 riders from different tribes. It is a cultural and convivial meeting place which celebrates the equestrian heritage and the centuries-old traditions of the region. The Mata International Horse Riding Festival organized by the Alamia Laaroussia Association for Social and Cultural Action, in partnership with the UNESCO International Festival of Cultural Diversity returns for its eleventh edition from June 02 to 04, 2023 in Zniyed, ciada/commune of Larbaa de Ayacha, provincial district of moulay Abdessalam ibn Machich, province of Larache, wilaya of Tangier-Te touan-Al Hoceima, under the sign: A new edition which confirms the commitment of Mr. Nabil Baraka president of the international festival equestrian Mata to promote this authentic intangible heritage from northern Morocco and preserved by Late Sidi Abdelhadi Baraka Naquib of Alamiyine chorfas and our late grandfather Late Sidi Hadj Mohamed Baraka Naquib of Alamiyine chorfas. Open to the continents, Mata is today a space of conviviality and cultural, social and economic exchange, declares the president of the festival, Mr. Nabil Baraka and explains: “This annual meeting, the cornerstone of which is the equestrian competition MATA , contributes to preserving an ancestral immaterial civilizational heritage and revives centuries-old traditions of the region. The event which promotes the place of the horse in the North region and pays tribute to its riders, also promotes the economic and tourist development of the North and South regions of the Kingdom by highlighting their multiple assets and the promotion of products of their rich and varied terroirs and crafts, which are now renowned worldwide » As in previous editions, a program rich in activities is planned on site. During the 3 days of the event, guests and national and international visitors will be able to travel in history thanks to a magnificent competition of ancestral tradition “MATA” and discover the exhibitions of local products and Moroccan crafts. The Festival also offers its guests a series of evenings of Sufi songs and local and national folklore shows, in addition to various activities set up during the three days: awareness campaign on respect for the environment, games for children, etc. . “The fair of local products and crafts is now a highlight of each edition of the international Mata horse-riding festival. The southern provinces, permanent guests of the festival, exhibit their products alongside the cooperatives of the northern region and allow our guests to discover the variety and richness of our respective local treasures. It is a demonstration of our commitment to the promotion of tourism, cultural and social dynamics and our support for human development” continues Mrs. Nabila Baraka, president of the Alamia Laaroussia Association for social and cultural action. The 2022 edition recorded the participation of more than 200,000 people between national and international visitors. The MATA competition, meanwhile, attracted more than 240 riders from different tribes. 60 cooperatives from the South and North of Morocco as well as from Mauritania were also able to exhibit their products; A music festival hosted by renowned artists such as L7OR, Abdelali Taounati, Houssa 46, Ouafae senhajia and Hanae elmrini. The music festival program of the eleventh edition will be surprising and rich in varieties of Jebli and popular music, as well as a highlight to pay tribute to great cultural and sports personalities. “MATA”, a world heritage All around Jbel Allam, the peasants welcomed spring by playing a particularly original game that calls for courage, skill, flexibility, delicacy, intelligence and skill. finesse of those who devote themselves to it. It’s a game where horse and rider, in perfect symbiosis, celebrate a legendary bond and above all the ancestral culture of an extraordinary region. This game, the “jbalas” baptized it with the name of “MATA”. Each year, the tribes of Bni Arous scrupulously preserve the tradition of the “MATA” game in the region of Jebala in Morocco. The women of the tribe participate by accompanying the operation with songs, dinghies and traditional instruments. They also make the coveted doll, made from reeds and fabrics. The bravest riders compete to seize the doll, riding bareback and dressed in traditional outfits. According to tradition, the winner of the “MATA” game wins the doll and is rewarded by marrying the most beautiful girl in the tribe. This tradition reflects the strong cultural specificity of the region in terms of breeding and training horses. The “MATA” game is probably inspired by Bouzkachi, a similar but more violent game, imported, according to legend, by Moulay Abdeslam lbn Mashich during his visit to Ibn Boukhari. . The bouzkachi practiced in Afghanistan has as its stake the corpse of a goat that the horsemen fight over in brutal jousts which leave many injured. This annual meeting celebrates an ancestral culture through which is expressed the rehabilitated sense of honor, rooted faith, patriotism as a Sufi school and spiritual and universal values, all the humanist heritage bequeathed by the great Quotb Moulay Abdeslam Ibn Mashich to the Chorfas Alamiyines, the Tarika Mashichiya Shadhiliya and the inhabitants of this exceptional region.