- The Mawazine Festival Rhythms of the World took place from May 18 through May 26, 2012. Seven stages scattered throughout the city hosted the concerts. Brass bands and troupes from Morocco, India, Romania, and France toured the streets of Rabat.
Highlights from the festival featuring performances by Cheb Khaled, Ibrahim Maalouf, Jimmy Cliff, Fire Of Anatolia, Lemchaheb, Azam Ali, Kayhan Kahlor, Marwan Khoury, LMFAO, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Nancy Ajram. Over two hours of fantastic music!
- Sarah Leah Whitson, Mideast director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “Morocco should be known as a haven for world music, not for locking up singers with a political message.”
- Moroccan rapper Mouad Belghouat, known as El-Haqed, or “The Enraged” was convicted on May 11 of “showing contempt” to public servants with his song “Dogs of the State” about police corruption. He is known for his political activism and vitriolic songs attacking social injustice, the monarchy and corruption." -Washington Post