Friday, May 9, 2008

A Night in Tunisia

I had never been to Tunisia before, when I went there in March this year. In fact, I knew very little about the place. Of course, I knew that the great runner, Mohamed Gammoudi came from there, but that was about it. I also knew of a Jazz classic called, "A Night in Tunisia." But when I listened to it before I left, I did not get any feel of a real country that lived and breathed within its melody.

The Harmony run has its own music of course. The torch carries you forward to meet many people, and to have many surprising and fulfilling experiences.

We had just finished the run in Tunis and were about to head off to Spain the next day. We had been on the road for about a week, and by then heard lots of local music, but nothing that captured, at least for me, the true heart of Tunisia.

On our last night in Tunis we were staying in a sports complex on the outskirts of the city. We were shown around the place, and saw all of its facilities. As we went from room to room, some haunting music began to grow louder and louder. When the door opened to this small room, I found these 6 men playing and singing traditional devotional music. It was like entering another world. It also felt like these men were sharing, through their music, the heart and soul of this wonderful country. I cannot remember the name of their group, but I cannot forget their music.

videographer Mario Komak

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