“Maalem Al-Raqi” .. the dean of Moroccan storytellers awaits the pledge of a decent life
The “teacher” Al-Raghi Al-Yassini entered the world of art through the gates of the “Hulk” in 1948 in the city of Marrakesh, where he was born in the Sidi Al-Zouin area, and his blessed memory to this day still keeps a huge reserve folk tales and the “balanced speech” he created over decades of time, and his appetite still helps him to be creative, although his age has exceeded two centuries.
However, Al-Ragaji’s teacher Al-Yassini, known to his admirers as “Al-Qira”, lives in a social situation that does not match what he has given Moroccan folk art for seventy-five years. , since he has neither a pension nor a regular income, but lives only on what he receives for participating in some festivities, on his rarity, or on what friends give him; He sums up his meanness by saying, “I’m very lost.”
The path of the Moroccan “Dean of Storytellers” began on the path of folk art, accompanying him with “Rama”, a group of men who go on hunting trips lasting from five days to a week. They set up tents in which they have parties for entertainment, and did not find a single popular storyteller or comedian who energized them better than Al-Ragragi … This was in the forties of the last century, when he toured various parts of Morocco.
Later, Al-Ragragi’s “teacher” returned to settle in his original home: Marrakesh, and there he began to engrave his name in the prominent characters that are still inscribed on the pages of Moroccan folk art to this day, beginning with the famous Djemaa. El Fna Square, where he excelled and made tens of thousands laugh in spontaneous theatrical productions, and he also performed in the 1950s at the Kasbah of Oudaya in Rabat, where he currently resides, in the popular area of Yacoub El Mansour.
Despite the weakness of his bones, Al-Ragragi claims that he is still capable of giving back and creating, with the same enthusiasm with which he was creative in his youth, but his position in society worries him, and he feels some injustice, because all his life he carried the banner of the Moroccan folk tale, but received nothing in return, no matter how much he was worried. The fate of the huge stock of oral heritage stored in his memory, if it is not documented soon, before the ray of life disappears .
And the folk artist expresses what is happening in his chest with the words: “Az-Zayn is like overwriting poverty, and a person is like overwriting it with a lack of something.” with Hespress: “I’m an artist and I have a mangol and sofas without supper for some fits. Ha, art, where is the income? The fact that we sell other than five words lives me. Special art, Diyala, is recorded and benefits us. I have the treasure and the goods, but I’m gone.”
And on Al-Raragi’s chest hangs a yellow metal medal, which he wore at one of the meetings of the “Festival of Moroccan Fairy Tales”, and this is all that he has from his “moral merit”, in addition to letters of thanks … He is proud of his orphan metal medal, as well as 35 letters of thanks that he received on various occasions. However, he does not hide his dissatisfaction with the fact that they do not pay attention to him financially and his artistic balance, which is threatened with fading, and he swears: “Hey- God, there is no one who would answer me a single riyal, not that I moved, and the words are lost.
And the “teacher” confirms that he is not begging for alms, but for an income that gives him the right to a decent life, and does not mind working in return for this, despite the fact that he is already over a hundred and two years old. old. “We are countering, Fifty-fifty, I give words and they save me,” he says, asking, “I don’t know why they don’t call me on TV?”
Since the beginning of his career, the famous Marrakesh storyteller has sought to make his audience laugh and at the same time convey messages aimed in particular at young people related to various aspects of life, and he also has the ability to address political and social events; He says, “I have no words for shame, but I have words for life. The words you want are from God. I gave words that matter to young people that matter to marriage, life and friendships. People lead me to talk, and let them not forget.”
Between the Rama tents, the Jemaa el-Fna square and the Udaya kasbah, the voice of ar-Ragraji al-Yasini is still heard: “But I did not go to lunch.” He says, adding, “Whoever asked him to tell you about al-Kira is a well-known artist. I’m known, but not for toxicity, matter and alo.