Saidia – Walking in the warm alleyways of the ancient city of Fez, my hands feeling the old walls of the ancient city and my eyes watching that old Jewish man in his store congratulating his Muslim neighbors for the arrival of Ramadan and if only he wasn’t wearing his trademark Jewish hat, no one will able to see any difference between him and his Muslim neighbor.
Ramadan in Morocco has a different taste, a different flavor in each city, village and douare (Small village). It might be due to the fact that Morocco is such a diverse country but today I’ll focus on the imperial city of Fez with its old riads, houses, smells, people and mosques. Entering from one of its grandiose gates, one might feel humble, at awe and obviously proud to be in a country with one of the oldest and most ancient civilizations in the world. Hearing a mom shouting at her son not to forget picking the best bread from the bakery at the end of the alley…all of this is happening, you see the granddad walking out of the mosque with his white Djellaba, red Taboush and aged yellowish Belgha (traditional Moroccan sandals). Continue walking in the old city gets more and more interesting as smells of food coming from houses with open doors taking a person in a journey from the present day to a time when security was not a concern and the neighbors were a one big happy family.
All of this beauty might be overshadowed by the negligence the old city of fez is suffering from, especially that the mayor of the city is busy securing himself a better position in the governing body of Morocco and soon, negligence will reach even the center of the old city that is if….modernity didn’t hit first….but Fez will survive as long it continues conceiving loyal citizens defying the impossible. My small story is finished and the only thing left for me to say is: From Fez….with love.