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Marrakech Series | Musical Chairs | An impromptu tour of the Kasbah leads me back to questions around the nature of North African street socials. It has been a thing and continues to be a thing since the region’s pre and post colonial liberation periods. Men drag their wooden stools and ideas from corner to corner in pursuit of a conversation. They speak of politics and daily struggles, family woes and causes for celebration. Depending on cultural and religious etiquette,Read more

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Sti Fatma Series | The Very Real Side of Tourist Entertainment | My mother and I find ourselves serenaded bank side of a waterfall footpath as we tuck into lunch in the middle of a hiking excursion of the Sti Fatma mountains. The sound is upbeat and airy, with the thud of the bendir (frame drum) and its deep vibration being induced merily from the fibres of the gentlemen on the right. In full traditional attire (or Djelleba as theyRead more

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Marrakech Series: Motorbikes in the Medina I These days the Medina is synonymous with the rumbling sound. Motorbikes whizzing through the narrow streets of the Kasbah, dodging traffic to get to the other side. Brown, blue, white djellabas blowing in the wind.  Apart from being the most conventional way to navigate through heavy traffic, most Marrakechis choose to commute on bikes because they are simply more affordable than cars and marginally cheaper to maintain. This medieval city with a Berber spirit dating back toRead more

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Atlas Mountains Series: Berber Woman make Argan Oil I Berber women in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains show me how to extract argan oil from the argania spinosa fruit using traditional methods. The argan nut is carefully cracked and the containing kernal grinded down to a thick paste using a stone quern. The paste is then squeezed by hand to produce the oil. For making argan cooking oil, kernels are often roasted before the grinding process. These women sit outdoors inRead more

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Marrakech Series: Grands Taxis of Morocco l A woman hops into a grand taxi outside the Kasbah in Marrakech. Unlike the petit taxi, the grand taxi is not only useful for short trips across town, but also takes passengers on longer journeys to neighbouring cities and villages. They are often four-door Mercedes-Benz W123 sedans from the 70s and come in a washed out pastel kind of ochre colour. I am on route back from a trip to a small district inRead more