Zainab Afailal, a Moroccan singer born and raised in Tetouan before moving to Tangier in order to join the university and then moved to Zaragoza, Spain, to pursue her higher studies where she is working on her doctoral thesis in industrial chemistry.
During her childhood, everyone around her sensed a great love for music, as she loved to sing classical Arab songs. Zainab’s parents registered her at the National Institute of Music in the city of Tetouan, where she studied solmization and then joined the choir of Mohammed Larbi Tamsamani headed by Mr. Mohamed El Amine El Akrami who was and still considered as her artistic Godfather. For generations the Andalusian music was considered an exclusive domain for men, which made it Zainab’s mission more complicated. However, with her talent and perseverance, she was able to become the main singer of the band and to make her name prominent and associated with the Andalusian culture.
Concerts & Festivals:
As the years went by, Afailal became one of the most famous names in the Andalusian music at the national level. With Morocco’s increasing interest in creating major cultural art festivals in the last two decades, heritage music in general, including Andalusian troupes, became very important and an audience came from many cities to listen to the enchanting Andalusian performances. Zainab Afailal’s participation in national festivals such as the Fez Festival, the Tetouan Festival, and the Chefchaouen Festival of Andalusian Music, the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, the Andalusiat Festival, Asilah Cultural Festival and the Atlantic Andalusian Festival in Essaouira. These festivals, in all their editions, have very impressive attendance ratios, both from Moroccan and foreign audiences. Afailal has also participated in many cultural concerts organized by artistic associations. Given the fondness of the Algerian public of Andalusian music, Zainab Afailal has been requested to take part in various festivals in Algeria over the years. She also performed in a concert in Gabon in 2018 at the invitation of the Moroccan community residing in the country.
Because music is a universal language, Zainab Afailal has performed in historical and prestigious theaters in Europe such as the Royal theater of Amsterdam, The Arab World Theater in Paris, as well as different participations in various cultural and artistic events in Spain and Portugal, where a large presence was recorded not only for the Arab communities but also for the European ones.
The Moroccan public has known the artist Zainab Afailal through the Andalusian shows presented by the National Radio and Television Company of Morocco, namely the first Moroccan channel and the Radio of Tetouan, where Andalusian recordings are broadcasted. Perhaps the most prominent appearance of the artist Zainab Afailal on the Moroccan media is through a program presented by the artist Abdessalam Khaloufi, where she met her audience as a young singer through his programs devoted for music of heritage that is called “A Tone and Tea”, “Melodies We Loved”, “Sing it Moroccan”. She also participated in the program of Houssam Eddine Nasr: 60 Minutes Art.
As for the radio, Zainab Afailal was a guest on the Mediterranean Radio “Midi 1” with the distinguished Radio Presenter Abdullah Al-Muntaser, Sawt Al-Arab Radio from Cairo with Mohamad Al Nasar, Monte Carlo International Radio with Abeer Nasrawi.
On the Arab level, the Moroccan artist Zainab Afailal is the first young singer specialized in this type of music to appear in Arab channels such as the Middle-east Broadcasting Center (MBC) in 2013, where she was invited to participate in “Kalam Nawaem” program presented by Rania Barghouth, Nadia Ahmed and the late Dr. Fawzia Salama and then in the program “Bayt Lkassed” in 2016 with the great poet and presenter Zahi Wahbi on Mayadeen channel. These events were an opening for Afailal to the Middle East, as she was invited by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to participate in the Al-Kamandjati “The Violinist” Festival in Jerusalem in 2017. Shortly thereafter, she was invited to take part in the prestigious International Music Festival in India in 2018.
The singer Zainab Afailal has a collection of special songs based on Andalusian music composed and written by Mr. Mohamed El Amine El Akrami which are as follows:
The poem “Fez”.2010
The poem “Tetouan”.2011
The song “Essaouira”.2013
Afailal dedicated these songs during a group of festivals hosted to these cities.
Zainab Afailal participated in shows of a different nature from the usual Andalusian type:
A Show entitled “Councils” 2014 where she sang in Arabic and Spanish;
“Places” at the Pirates Festival 2016 where she sang Arabic and Turkish;
Artistic “Epics” most notable of which is “Mine is the religion of love”, “Starry skies” and “Water and Holy” at the opening of the Fez Music Festival in 2013, 2016 and 2017.
Biography of Glee in the opening of the Andalusians Festival 2015.
Cinema & Movies :
Zainab Afailal has many contributions at the level of documentary and feature films which are as follow:
The film “Mawal”: Moroccan production in 2005 *
The documentary “Between the Two Banks”: Japanese Year Production 2008
The novel “Time of the Companions “: Moroccan production year 2008 *
The documentary film “Strike of gold and light”: by a French-Moroccan coproduction Directed by Izza Jnini on 2009
The film “Small Joys”: Moroccan production in 2016 *
Moroccan films directed by Mohamed El-Sherif Tribeq.
Honors and Awards:
In the year 2016, Zainab Afailal received a certificate of competence in Andalusian music by her teacher Mohamed El Amine El Akrami. She was also honored at the 21st session of the Andalusian Music Festival in Fez. As well as honors delivered by various cultural and artistic bodies.