2010, Mariem Hassan performed at WOMAD in New Plymouth. Within the festival all artists were invited to the the parish hall of the Maori.
After a long nasal welcome, the speeches and the dances by the Maori, all musicians were asked to contribute something too. It was wonderful, because all of them gave a very special contribution. And we were excited to see what would Mariem do...
Mariem moved with two Saharawi artists into the midst of the assembly and said:
I feel like at home here. My people, in Western Sahara, the men also enter first the assembly rooms and then the women, and our welcoming ceremonies are just as intense as yours. Your women are beautiful, impressive dancers and and as stout as our women, like Vadiya Mint El Hanevi, look, my sister and dancer here. She will dance and I will sing for you.... While Vadiya danced, the young Sahrawi guitarist, Lamgaifri, could hardly contain himself and began to dance with Vadiya and also an Algerian musician jumped up to dance with the Saharawi. At least the four danced hand and hand. The public was enchanted.
The photographer, Mark Dwyer, from the Taranaki Daily News published next day the very nice photo and we got the permission to use to photo for the cover.
Manuel filmed the scene and will publish it on youtube when the CD is ready.
Kind regards, Zazie