Fatmas de Belgica

A women’s choir inspired by the chaabi tradition to perform a contemporary, polyphonic repertoire. Led by Laïla Amezian, the Fatmas de Belgica build on traditional elements such as the lamentation, poetic texts in the Moroccan Darrija dialect or trance-like rhythms. Together with Western vocal elements, they process them into polyphonic arrangements.

All over the world, traditional stories and customs are passed on orally from generation to generation. The Chaabi, an umbrella term for popular music from the cities of Morocco, was brought to us through oral transmission by women of the first generation of migrants.

Through the Fatmas de Belgica, we want to highlight this unique heritage that Belgian-Moroccan women have been developing for four generations. But we also want to transform this repertoire so that it can become part of our common identity. A multiple identity in the image of a metropolis like Brussels, both anchored in our origins and evolving through encounters and exchanges with others.

The choir is directed by Laïla Amezian (Les Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi, TriOde, In the Name of). Together with her, we reinterpret fragments of traditional, unison songs with a colourful poetry and imbued with mysticism. We retain unique elements such as the repetition, the lamentation or the rhythm that evokes a feeling of trance. With polyphonic arrangements, we transform them into new songs that result in a contemporary repertoire.

Artistic coordination
Laïla Amezian

Info & booking
Koen Stynen –

Rehearsals take place at MetX on Tuesday evening from 18h30 till 20h15.

Knowledge of Darrija is not mandatory. Fatmas de Belgica welcomes singers of all artistic levels and horizons.

For more info contact HalfmoOn asbl –

Fatmas de Belgica is a project by HalfmoOn asbl, MetX & Vaartkapoen. With the support of de Vlaamse overheid voor Bovenlokale Cultuurprojecten, VGC Erfgoed, Samenwerkingsakkoord – l’accord de coopération culturelle Vlaamse Gemeenschap et la Communauté française, COCOF Service Culture-Musique and FWB – Un Futur pour la Culture.

Photos © Lara Herbinia & Georges Morleghem

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