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La Khaima Restaurant Hosts Montreal Nomad Festival, Oct. 12-17th

Posted by Amie / October 11, 2010

Atigh-Ould-La-Khaima-RestaurantThis festival is mostly about hospitality, but food certainly plays a large role in welcoming a stranger into your home. That's the concept behind the Nomad Festival, where 6 days of home-made bread, hibiscus juice, baobab, couscous (yes, you make it. It isn't just born in a cardboard box), baklava, tajines, and, of course, tea unite everyone with an interest in Nomadic traditions, Mauritanian culture, North African music, food, dance, film, and just about anyone who's ever immigrated, moved, or commuted (to work, to school, by bus, by car...or by camel) under the "Nomadic Tent" - "La Khaima".

Play Interview | Click here or stream above for an interview I did with Atigh Ould, owner of La Khaima restaurant and Nomad Festival organizer.

Atigh Ould, the owner of La Khaima Restaurant (142 Fairmount West, at Waverley), returned to his home country of Mauritania two years ago to create a similar festival, except that one was mostly about camel racing and building tents made from the animal's hair.

La Khaima: The Tent of Mile-End (2010) [English subtitled version] from One Light Cinema on Vimeo.

Music and food are what the Montreal version and the Mauritania version of the festival have in common. I can't really imagine a few thousand camels on Fairmount Avenue...and there won't really be a tent competition since Atigh's restaurant will have the only one, but he ended up with 6000 people in Mauritania, and if that many people were involved in the festival's events next week he'd be happy.

Reasons to check this out:
1. Slow-food Vegetarian Brunch, Sunday, October 17th ($25 in advance) - he wouldn't tell me what was involved, but I'd wager there will be couscous, vegetarian tajines (spiced stews, to put it very loosely), Moroccan salads, home-made bread, and baklava.

2. Atigh's own bottled hibiscus juice in between a panel discussion at McGill on nomads in the postmodern world, and a film screening and discussion of the documentary "Footsteps in Africa" - Tues. October 12, McGill University, Leacock 232: panel discussion 4:30-5:30; refreshments 5:30-6:00; film 6:00-7:30

3. Fresh couscous - Thurs. Oct. 14, 7:15pm-9pm: "Day in the Life of Nomadic Women; Jewellery, Makeup, Henna and Food preparation"; 148 Fairmount West, at Waverly

4. A Mauritanian spice workshop (hibiscus, baobab, and nigella) - Sun. October 17, 3-4pm

Pretty much every night of the festival ends in a tea ceremony back in the nomadic tent (inside the restaurant itself if the weather's bad, but otherwise in the alley where the tent is set up). There's also a huge concert on Friday night at Cabaret du Mile-End ($10 if you buy your ticket in advance from La Khaima restaurant). Starts at 8pm and features Latin American, North African, and Spanish music, Alexandre Lane from Ecole Nationale de Cirque, Patricia Perez, Estelle Lavoie, Diely Mory, Tounkara, Sadio Sissoko, and DJ Nene, Griot. Probably a good idea to dance off all the bread and baklava...

Festival Nomade, October 12th-17th
For the complete schedule, see the festival website:
Tickets can be purchased in advance at La Khaima (142 Fairmount West)



Rashed / October 13, 2010 at 01:57 pm

Thanks for giving this festival so much coverage. I know Atigh, and I'm sure this will be a great educational experience for everyone.

I just wanted to point out that, in Point 4 of the "Reasons to check this out" section above, you "A Mauritian spice workshop". The adjective "Mauritian" refers to Mauritius (, while Mauritania (where Atigh is from) is described by the adjective "Mauritanian".
Amie / October 13, 2010 at 05:13 pm
Thanks for the correction!
Intissar / November 5, 2010 at 01:17 pm
Cher frere,
Ayant l intention de créer pour Avril prochain un musée de l Islam dans mon village andalou à 60 km de Granada en Espagne où je vis, je voudrais avoir 10 khaima de bonne qualité, neuve ou de bonne occasion.
Si vous pouviez me dire où m adresser pour les acheter à un bon prix car je dois faire beaucoup d effort pour en acheter, je vous serez très très reconnaissante.
Merci d avoir la gentillesse de me répondre en urgence car j'aimerai ouvrir ce musée dès Avril prochain, in sha Allah.
sachez aussi que j'ai la baraka de Mawlana Sheikh Nazim de Lefke mon Maître pour ce faire.
Merci de me repondre le plus vite possible avec tous les renseignements demandés.
par ailleurs je vais vous envoyer le descriptif du musée afin que vous ayez l'amabilité de l'envoyer au plus grand nombre de gens amis ou conaissance, musulmaéns ou non. Cette explication a aussi pour but d'obtenir des sadaqa, pour la seule satisfaction d'Allah.
Encore merci
Votre soeur
Intissar. wa Salam alaykoum.
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bgoedjitm / February 11, 2017 at 03:10 pm
La Khaima Restaurant Hosts Montreal Nomad Festival, Oct. 12-17th
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