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“TBOURIDA” – UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity




“TBOURIDA” – an exhibition by Mustapha Meskine, the Kingdom of Morocco and presentation of the book “The Authentic Horse of Morocco” by Driss El Kerri, Afifa Hassainate, Mustapha Meskine during the 14th EUROPEAN MONTH OF PHOTOGRAPHY 2023 was officially open in the Natoinal Palace of Culture by H.E. Zakia El Midaoui Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria.





UNESCO inscribed Morocco’s “Tbourida,” also known as “fantasia” into its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 15, 2021.

Unlike historical sites or artifacts, UNESCO’s Intangible Culture Heritage refers to practices, beliefs, customs, and other nonphysical cultural attributes. Tbourida performance is deeply rooted in Moroccan culture and is often associated with traditional and regional festivities.

The equestrian performance dates back to the sixteenth century and simulates a succession of military parades, reconstructed according to ancestral Arab-Amazigh conventions and rituals, UNESCO noted in a statement.

The “tbourida” highlights multiple dimensions of intangible cultural heritage, including rituals, skills, and traditional knowledge relating to dress, craftsmanship, and the richness of the country’s culture.

Tbourida, which is known internationally as “fantasia,” is a type of horseback riding in which equestrians fire guns and ride in synchrony. Each Tbourida performance is carried out by a troupe made up of an odd number of riders and horses, usually between 15 and 25.

The leader of the troupe rides in the middle and gives directions to fellow horse riders to perform a parade composed of two parts.

The first part of the show, named the hadda (Arabic for salute), the riders enter the course to perform an acrobatic arms drill before repositioning themselves at the starting point again to begin the second part of the performance.

The talqa performance comes second in which the troupes fire a round of blanks from their rifles, simulating a collective departure for war.

Although each region has its own particular traditions and ways of celebrating, the practices remain the same as it all holds to a single historical story of pride, identity, and a history to cherish the uniqueness of Morocco’s cultural heritage.

Speech of H.E. Zakia El Midaoui Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria, during the opening ceremony of the photos exhibition under the theme “Tbourida/Fantasia(Sofia, 6th June 2023)

Dear Mr. Yuri Treyman, President of the Board of the National Photographic Academy Association "Janka Kyurchieva,

Dear members of the Board of the National Photographic Academy Association "Janka Kyurchieva,

Dear Presidents of the Rabat-Lumières International Photography Festival,

Dear Ms. Representative of the Moroccan Image Association,

Excellencies, Honorable guests,

On behalf of the Moroccan Embassy in Sofia, I would like to thank you Mr. Yuri Treyman and your team for being partners of this photos exhibition and also for your cooperation, which we highly appreciate, thanks to which this Moroccan exhibition takes place today in your beautiful city of Sofia.

This initiative contributes to the promotion of culture, which is a food for the spirit, a factor of emancipation of the people and a tool of opening on the world.

I am sincerely grateful to the Moroccan delegation of artist photographers present with us tonight, and particularly to the artist photographer, Mr. Mustafa Meskine, who realized such beautiful photos about Tbourida, the Moroccan equestrian art, also known as "fantasia", which is inherited from an old warrior tradition, and which is listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. This spectacular cavalry charge, that ends with a synchronized musket fire, is associated with the major national Moroccan festivities and celebrations.

You certainly know that Morocco is a Kingdom that inspired many national and foreign artists and travellers, including photographers, this is why our Moroccan artist photographer Mustafa Meskine decided to share with you his photos, through this exhibition called Tbourida, which contributes to spread the wealth of the Moroccan culture diversity in your welcoming city.

This exhibition presents selected shots taken by Artist photographer Mr. Mustafa Meskine about the traditional Moroccan equestrian art. This featured photos of the exhibition will introduce visitors to colorful and impressive people, horses and traditions from the Kingdom of Morocco. Transformed through the lens of artist photographer Mustafa Meskine, the shots convey the spirit of this exotic and colorful Tbourida that retains a strong spiritual dimension, because it puts the horse, the sacred animal of Islam, at the center of a breathtaking and impressive spectacle and that dazzles the Moroccan and international public.

Finally, I am pleased to introduce to you our professional photographer Mustafa Meskine, who has won several awards at prestigious national and international competitions notably the Award of the International Society of photographers of United States of America; the Trophy of the gold festival of Arab-European Union of photographers; the Prize of National Geographic; the Prize of Sheikh Mansour Ben Zayd Al Nahyane of Arabian Horse and the Gold Medal of the “Arab Photo Award», to quote only those.

Once the opening ceremony is over, I invite all of you to enjoy the Tbourida exhibition and savor the Moroccan tea with mint as well as the specific Moroccan pastry.






Discours de Son Excellence Zakia EL MIDAOUI, Ambassadeur Extraordinaire et Plénipotentiaire du Royaume du Maroc en République de Bulgarie, lors de la cérémonie d'ouverture de l'exposition de photos sous le thème « Tbourida/Fantasia »

(Sofia/INDIKA, le 6 juin 2023)


Cher M. Yuri Treyman, Président du Conseil d'Administration de l'Association nationale de l'Académie photographique "Janka Kyurchieva,

Chers membres du Conseil d'Administration de l'Association nationale de l'Académie de photographie "Janka Kyurchieva,

Chers Présidents du Festival International de Photographie Rabat-Lumières,

Chère Madame la Représentante de l'Association Marocaine de l'Image,

Excellences, Honorables invités,


Au nom de l'Ambassade du Royaume du Maroc à Sofia, je tiens à vous remercier Monsieur Yuri Treyman et votre équipe d'être partenaires de cette exposition de photographies et aussi pour votre coopération, que nous apprécions hautement, grâce à laquelle cette exposition marocaine a lieu aujourd'hui à votre belle ville de Sofia.

Cette initiative contribue à la promotion de la culture, qui est une nourriture pour l'esprit, un facteur d'émancipation des peuples et un outil d'ouverture sur le monde.

Je suis sincèrement reconnaissant à la délégation marocaine des artistes photographes présente avec nous ce soir, et particulièrement à l'artiste photographe, M. Mustafa Meskine, qui a réalisé de si belles photos sur Tbourida, l'art équestre marocain, aussi connu sous le nom de "fantasia", qui est héritée d'une ancienne tradition guerrière, et qui est inscrite au patrimoine culturel immatériel de l'UNESCO. Cette spectaculaire charge de cavalerie, qui se termine par un tir de mousquet synchronisé, est associée aux grandes fêtes et célébrations nationales marocaines.

Vous savez certainement que le Maroc est un Royaume qui a inspiré de nombreux artistes et voyageurs nationaux et étrangers, dont des photographes, c'est pourquoi notre artiste photographe marocain Mustafa Meskine a décidé de partager avec vous ses photos, à travers cette exposition baptisée Tbourida, qui contribue à diffuser la richesse de la diversité culturelle marocaine dans votre accueillante ville.

Cette exposition présente une sélection de clichés pris par l'artiste photographe Mustafa Meskine sur l'art équestre marocain traditionnel. Ces photos présentent aux visiteurs des personnages, des chevaux et des traditions colorés et impressionnants du Royaume du Maroc. Transformés à travers l'objectif de l'artiste photographe Mustafa Meskine, les clichés traduisent l'esprit de cette Tbourida exotique et colorée qui conserve une forte dimension spirituelle, car elle place le cheval, animal sacré de l'Islam, au centre d'un spectacle époustouflant et impressionnant et qui éblouit le public marocain et international.

Enfin, j'ai le plaisir de vous présenter notre photographe professionnel Mustafa Meskine, qui a remporté plusieurs prix lors de prestigieux concours nationaux et internationaux notamment le Prix de la Société Internationale des Photographes des États-Unis d'Amérique ; le Trophée du festival d'or de l'Union arabo-européenne des photographes ; le Prix de National Geographic ; le Prix du Cheikh Mansour Ben Zayd Al Nahyane du Cheval Arabe et la Médaille d'Or du « Arab Photo Award », pour ne citer que ceux-là.

Une fois la cérémonie d'ouverture terminée, je vous invite tous à profiter de l'exposition Tbourida et à savourer le thé marocain à la menthe ainsi que la pâtisserie spécifique marocaine.








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