Two Montrealers organize a festival in Mauritania

    MONTREAL, Jan. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - On February 7 and 8, an unusual event
will be held in Ivigaren (official name: Ifedaren; pronounced Ividjaren),
Mauritania: the 1st Ivigaren Nomad Festival.
    Quebec is been the breeding ground for cultural Festivals.
    It is in that spirit that two Montrealers, Ur Jakob, originally from
Switzerland, is a well-travelled entrepreneur and hotelier who is fascinated
by the desert, and Ould Atigh, a restaurateur and a story-teller founded this
major African gathering as a Mauritania Bedouin cultural celebration in
    Following the relocation of the Paris-Dakar Rally, the two organizers
wanted to create a new event in the desert linked to the customs of West and
North Africa and featuring camel-related activities.
    The Ivigaren Nomad Festival will take place at a nomad camp located 119
kilometres south of Nouakchott and some five kilometres north of the Route de
l'Espoir (Road of Hope).
    For centuries, Mauritanian nomads have been regularly watering their
animals at Ivigaren, which is an important meeting point for their people. The
festival is a continuation of this tradition. It will allow nomads to
coordinate their journeys through the region so that they are all able to meet
once a year and take part in activities related to their customs and way of
    The various activities add up to an extraordinary celebration of nomadic
life: conferences and debates about nomadic people and the desert; a Camel
Rally and camel-handling contest; Mauritanian music and dancing, including the
éné-gur or stick dance; and evenings devoted to storytelling, which, along
with poetry, is the art most appreciated by Mauritanians and serves, among
other things, to educate children and pass on knowledge to them.
    The event will be covered on Mauritanian radio and television and in
national newspapers. Internationally, it will be broadcast on the Al-Jazeera
    Mauritanian officials, delighted by the creation of the Ivigaren Nomad
Festival, have offered their assistance to ensure that it runs smoothly. They
have promised support in the form of security and emergency medical services.
    The organizers are relying on a host of activities related to camels and
the nomadic way of life to ensure the success of the festival's first edition.

For further information:

For further information: Press Relations: Annexe Communications, (514)
844-8864, ext. 204; Sources: Urs Jakob,; Ould Atigh,

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