Rachid Idir Aadnani is a Moroccan-born, American photographer and academic who took up photography after coming to the United States. He archives samples of his work on his website atTizi.org, and his photography has been published on a number of websites and other publications.
Rachid is affiliated with the Program in Middle Eastern Studies at Wellesley College where he teaches Arabic language and literature. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and Translation Studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton, an MA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, and a Masters in Foreign Language Pedagogy from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Meknes, Morocco. His academic work is focused on the languages, cultures and literatures of North Africa and the Middle East.
"The Maalem was loath to play the liara; he considered it a poor substitute for the rhaïta, which was only natural, as the latter is a much more evil instrument and requires far greater musicianship. However, I finally persuaded him to oblige me with a piece for liara, although he refused to make it a true solo, insisting that he must have a second instrument with him. Fortunately the Maalem was possessed of an extraordinary versatility in so far as instruments went: he was an expert kamenja-player, a superb performer on the rhaita, and, I think, an unusually competent man on the liara, although I should have liked him to unbend a bit and play something which permitted a little more personal expression. However, he was a fanatical classicist, and for that I suppose one should be thankful. Also, the presence of a dozen or so soldiers sitting with their guns across their knees at a few paces from the players undoubtedly put an effective damper on any possible flights of musical fancy. (One must remember that Moroccan musicians were subjected to having their repertory thoroughly scrutinized by politicians a few years ago, and have not forgotten the experience.)
It is interesting in number one to note the similarity of both melody and rhythm to a jig or a hornpipe. Some centuries ago it was the custom for the acrobatic dancers of the Souss (which region still furnishes such specialists to small circuses in Europe) to travel to the British Isles and performed there as wandering minstrels. The entertainment was called Moorish dancing, which term is said to have been transformed colloquially into Morris dancing. I am unable to vouch for the authenticity of this report, but it occurred to me when I listen carefully to portions of “El Rhyna Darifa Sidi Habibi,” in its instrumental version."
Bowles, Paul F. "Arcila." from Folk, Popular, and Art Music of Morocco.
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection. Washington,
DC: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1959-1962.
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection (AFC 1960/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Courtesy of the Paul Bowles Estate and Irene Hermann / Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies