Storytelling is an integral part of life. It’s a way to transport you to other worlds, destinations, and realms through words and expressions. Stories also bring out emotions we never knew existed. A really great story often results in a bellyful of laughter or an overwhelming burst of emotions. Elders share our family history with insightful stories passed down through generations. Storytellers are magical and healing, therefore we must protect them at all costs. 

The need for storytelling is stronger than ever as we return to a sense of normalcy post-pandemic. This is why events like the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival are vital to preserving and carrying on the art of storytelling. 

This February, over 80 storytellers from every continent will journey to Morocco for the second edition of the festival. This year’s theme is “Ancestral Voices” and will feature storytelling in public spaces, museums, monuments, cafes, and restaurants, as well as riads around the country. 

The Marrakech International Storytelling Festival is completely free. So, all you have to do is book your flight and accommodations. It’s also the perfect reason to explore what the city of Marrakech offers and those attending should do so during their stay. All of the festival’s partner riads will host a storyteller. Riads are the ideal storytelling atmosphere with their intimate courtyard gardens and hospitality. 

Photo by Thiébaud Faix

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What is the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival?

The festival was created during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Red City of Marrakech. Since launching, the festival has hosted over two hundred storytellers and poets from every continent. 

Marrakech, Morocco
Photo by Angela Marin

Attendees can expect performances by some of the best storytellers in the world in local cafes, historic riads, and museums. Stories will be told in English, Amazigh, and Darija languages. 

During the week, you can also expect workshops, networking with storytellers and other attendees, educational outreach, and more. 

Explore Marrakech

You can’t attend the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival without exploring the Red City. According to the Time Out Global Index 2022, Marrakech ranks as the seventh-best city in the world. Not only is Marrakech visually stunning, but it is also a city filled with world-class restaurants, boutiques, culture, history, and more. 

After a day of immersing yourself in storytelling, unwind with an afternoon pastry and cocktail at Bacha Coffee House. The afternoon coffee includes a choice of hot or iced coffee, freshly squeezed fruit juice, a choice of cake, and homemade churros with chocolate sauce. 

Explore Marrakech’s art scene with a visit to MACAAL and MCC Gallery, which features work from contemporary African artists. Fashion lovers should definitely pay a visit to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, located next to the infamous Jardin Majorelle. The museum pays tribute to the life, legacy, and work of designer Yves Saint Laurent. Discover the museum’s permanent display of couture pieces during the designer’s 40-year career. 


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If you love shopping, head to one of the city’s many markets to stock up on spices, dates, rosewater, stunning leather shoes and bags, and more. 

The country’s capital of culture has so much to offer. Come for the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival, and stay for the splendor of the Red City. 

The second edition of the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival will take place in Marrakech, Morocco, February 12-19. The festival is asking visitors, listeners, and storytellers to bring spare clothes that will be collected and distributed throughout the city and in surrounding villages by Zouhair Khaznaoui, a local storyteller and co-founder of the Marrakech International Storytelling Festival. Learn more about the festival here.

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