Near Ouarzazate, known within country as the Moroccan Hollywood, within the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, lies an old fortified city called Ait Ben Haddou. The name, roughly translated, means “the clan of the son of Haddou.” Lying at the southern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and being proximal to trade routes, including access…
Yesterday, I went with my friend, Slimane, on an extended bike ride to explore some local Ksars, or Ksor to use the Arabic plural. Ksars are older, enclosed communities whose expansive structures used traditional construction methods, such as mud, hay, and palm trunks. Think of them as expanding apartment complexes that emerged organically around oases. Some…
Reason 735 Why I Love Morocco: Nearly every shop, and many households, have water jugs outside for any passersby who may need a drink.
(Compare this to the privatization of water supplies in much of the West.)
Not to be confused with the city of Agadir that was destroyed by an earthquake and later rebuilt into a tourist destination, but rather, the traditional buildings that gave the city its name. Throughout southern Morocco are the remnants of what was once a thriving Amazigh (Berber) culture that extended over most of North Africa. Before the arrival…
There is something about less visited countries that draws me toward them. I want to see a jewel in the rough, to give attention to the underdog. I want to see something rare, something fewer people have seen, something worth talking about, something that challenges me in unexpected ways. Due to a very low population,…
Reason 612 Why I Love (Rural) Morocco: To quote more than a few shop owners, who more often than not just hang a sheet or lean a broom across the front of their shop when they go home for lunch, “There are no thieves here.”
Reason 604 Why I Love Morocco: A man can look definitively masculine despite wearing what the West might see as a dress.
Reason 584 Why I Love Morocco: The hot season and the watermelon season are in near perfect alignment.
Reason 531 Why I Love Morocco: Midnight rides through the desert on a darkened bus enables an incredible view of the stars and moon without clouds or light pollution.