two days of celebration, sharing and reflection on the Sahara

two days of celebration, sharing and reflection on the Sahara
two days of celebration, sharing and reflection on the Sahara

This time, it’s done. Announced last September in our columns, the international festival of Saharan cultures will take place on May 24 and 25, 2024 on the site of the Chambray-lès-Tours racecourse, during the Chambray event in May.

It is the Jocondienne association La Saharienne which is behind the project. “It’s a Source of pride because it’s an important subject for us. We wanted to celebrate this exceptional culture, its sounds, its tales, its traditional foods and games”announces the president, Issouf Elli Moussami.

Celebrate Saharan wealth

The former Jocondian elected official confides his ” stress “ as the event approaches, particularly on the logistical aspect. “We have a delegation of twenty people who will come from Mauritania and fifteen people from Chad. We also have people who will come from Libya. We had to find accommodation for them, as well as for the music groups scheduled to give concerts”, he says. Funding for travel and accommodation is the responsibility of the invited countries. La Saharienne also benefited from subsidies from Tours Métropole and the Centre-Val de Loire region for this first edition.

For two days, “we want to celebrate the wealth of the Sahara. Here, in Touraine, people are passionate about this subject. » Political instability in the region has prevented Issouf Elli Moussami and the association’s volunteers from going there for four years, “except in Morocco. We still mobilize local networks. We have some expertise on the subject, we have already organized festivals on site (1) »he recalls.

The climate issue on the agenda
of a conference

For this first in Touraine, several highlights are planned. First, a play performed by middle school students from La Rabière and Arche-du-Lude in Joué and René-Cassin in Ballan-Miré. “We are trying to raise awareness among young people about sustainable development, who must take this subject into their own hands”, says Issouf Elli Moussami. Climate and environmental issues will also be on the program of a conference dedicated to the visible climatic consequences in the Sahara.

Camel parades are planned.
© Photo NR Hugues Le Guellec

“There is damage linked to oil companies who bury their waste anywhere. It pollutes the wells where camels and dromedaries drink”, he regrets. In this international year dedicated to camelids (2), “we want to put them in the spotlight and we will do a parade with five camels from a breeder from Touraine”, he adds. Saharans dressed in traditional costumes will ride the animals.

Next year, for the second edition, “we are considering inviting the ten countries that occupy the Sahara”concludes Issouf Elli Moussami.

May 24 from 2 p.m., May 25 from 10 a.m. Free access. Information and program on the website or at

(1) Since its creation in 2000, the association has created four nomadic schools in Niger, provided access to drinking water and health. In Chad, supported by the African state, it created the international festival of Saharan culture in 2012 and the Routes de l’or festival of Saharan cultures, in Morocco, in 2019.

(2) The living species of the genus are the dromedary and the camel, the llama, the alpaca, the guanaco and the vicuña.



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