Morocco for Ramadan

Omar and I take a camel ride on the nearly deserted beach at Sidi Kaouiki
It's Ramadan again, and I'm recalling the summer we spent in Morocco last year during the Muslim's holiest month.  We rented a minivan and drove about 1000 miles during the month, starting in Marrakesh and ending in Fez. It was hot. It was also the experience of a lifetime as we saw the diversity of what the country had to offer.  I didn't know at the time that I would write a book about it, but the stories and memories of the people we'd met stayed with me, so I put it on paper.  The book is available now on Amazon and Kindle.

Before we went, people thought we were a bit crazy to drive in an African country. I think being a bit naive on my part, it was a plus.  Between cities, there wasn't much traffic, but we encountered speed traps and check points every day in every city. I saw some crazy things.  I also grew from the experience. That's the best part of getting out of one's comfort zone.  Personal growth happens.  It widens a person's perspective about people and places.  It's such a good thing. I really believe if everyone had to travel to places where they didn't speak the language or follow the same customs, the world would be a much more understanding place.

I tried to capture the places on my camera. It's a photo rich country.  Just look at the blue city alleys of Chefchaouen in the upper left photo, and then the blue boats of El Jadida on the right. There are similar boats all along the coast. Each city has different colors.

Ramadan is a time for Muslims to fast. They eat an early morning breakfast before sunrise.  Then they don't eat or drink until after sunset.  It's a very long day, and Abdul nearly always took a nap to make the time go a bit faster. We ate nearly the same meal every night to break the fast, though Omar and I weren't fasting. My husband Abdul was. We enjoyed eating with Moroccans on several occasions. The highlight was dinner at the top of a mountain near Tetouan where we ate with a Moroccan family who owned an ecolodge.

Most tourists see only the famous tourist spots like the enormous mosque at Casablanca and the ancient tannery of Fez.  We managed to see those places too. But it was the little things we enjoyed along the way I write about in my book.  Omar chased cats.  I drove in the dark with no wiper fluid and nearly hit a cow in a sandstorm in the middle of the city. Omar fed monkeys and gave them water from bottles. I struggled to be understood using really poor French, but we got by. We saw the King praying at the mosque. We watched boys play soccer at a natural spring where they would lay out carpets under their feet to wash them. Lifeguards at the pool read the Koran to pass the day. Meals at McDonalds couldn't be eaten in public. There were hundreds of little differences.  If you're thinking about visiting Morocco, or just want a window into the lives of Moroccans during Ramadan, I hope you'll read my book. 
Fez tannery

We saw the King at the Mosque in Casablanca.
Feral cats were everywhere. They keep the rodent population down.

My son Omar, Me, and husband Abdulhamid in Marrakesh


Popular Posts