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A open window to Maroccos

As far as this area of the world and the Middle East, I have discovered that I am perilously close to being a uniformed idiot.

Soufiane describes himself as an indigenous man.  He is a Berber and they were the original inhabitants of the area. Berbers have 4 distinctive dialects in their language.

They are exceptionally proud of their heritage.

Next came the Jews and this was centuries ago.  Then the Arabs arrived with the goal to spread the faith of Islam. Moroccan Muslims are Sunni Muslims not Shiite.

They were successful because 98% of Moroccans are Muslim. About 1% are Christian and under 1 % are Jewish.

Moroccans are very moderate to left leaning Muslims. Both guides have said that no one would judge another person on the basis of religion, sexuality or race. Women share equal status in the family. And, I have seen female police.

But now through intermarriage there are many mixed race Moroccans.

I said that I didn’t notice any Black Africans. He corrected me.  There are no Black Africans only Africans.

Because of the colonization of Morocco by the French, the French language has a significant presence in the country still. But recently Macron annoyed the Moroccans by doing some major initiative with the Algerians so now there is a move to make English the third language taught.

Here is a sign…first writing is Arabic, the second is Berber and the third is French.

This sign is rectangular indicating that you have some hope of finding your way around.

This octagon shape indicates that you are about to enter a maze and unless you really know your way about you will get hopelessly lost…very useful in an ancient city.

During the Second World War when over 300,000 Jews were living in Morocco, the

French Vichy leader came to the Moroccan King, and said identity and give me your Jews.  The King said,  we only have Moroccans in this country. The Vichy went away.

But they came back and said we know you have Jews and we are going to identify them.

Muslims are also circumcised so that didn’t work to identify Jews.  The King ordered all Moroccans to identify themselves with the Star of David to protect the Jews.

That worked and the Jews were saved.

Cleanliness is a cornerstone of Muslims faith. There is ritualistic cleansing of your body each time before prayer. If you pray 5 times a day that is a lot of cleaning.

And this extends to their houses and their shops and their cities. I was in the market area shortly before it opened and everyone cleaned the outside before they opened.

Honestly the cleanliness of this country is astonishing.  Rabat, the capital, was so that I would say it was pristine.  OCD clean.

And it is safe, very safe.  Soufiane says he is nervous when he goes to Spain. By the way, it costs 9 Euro to fly on Ryan Air to Spain.

The police presence at first made me nervous. I would ask if we were in a dangerous area and he would say not at all.  It’s because we have such a large police presence that we have such low crime. And, I suspect labor is very cheap.

The weather continues to be wonderful.

Cheers and love


A.





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