Guarab in the medina pt.II – Marrakech, Morocco.

As repeat visitors to this site probably know, I am a fan of street performers, animal tamers, story tellers, etc., and that I have a certain fondness for guarabs, the traditional water salesmen found in medinas across Morocco.  Jemma el fnaa in Marrakech?  Guarab paradise.  Guarabs carry containers of water and are happy to pour off a cup for the equivalent of about a nickel. These men – I have never come across a female guarab – represent an interesting element of Moroccan culture, as their primary job has been displaced by access to clean running water and the prevalence…

Hamsa – Fes, Morocco. 2013

Visiting with Mohammed and Coca – Fes, Morocco. 2013

V and I have travelled to Fes quite a few times since our arrival in Morocco.  We’ve walked the narrow streets, navigated dark alleys and crowded into the Fassi souks with the best of them.  We now have favorite restaurants and shops and know where the better deals are.  According to one of my co-workers, I’ve been to Fes more times than most Moroccans! During our first visit to Fes I met Mohammed – a merchant whose family weaves cactus silk textiles and has occupied the same location in the medina for over 100 years – standing outside of his…

Tagines ready to be fired – Fes, Morocco. 2012.

There’s a forge in the outskirts of the Fes medina  that produces most of the ceramic bowls, tiles and tables found throughout the markets and souks of Fes and beyond.  The forge is incredible in that the production process is demonstrated from start to finish, from the drying of the raw clay to the arrangement of hand-cut zellij tiles on ornate tables.

Runnin’ fools – the Marrakech Marathon, Marrakech, Morocco. 2013

DJ Cassiouss at Jemma el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco. 2012

A quick grab of a DJ Cassiouss CD in Jemma el Fnaa, Marrakech, Morocco.  The image shows one of the ubiquitous “music stores” across the medina – they’ve got everything, so long as you’re looking for what they’ve got.  Gnawa and dance mixes for days.  The salesmen will pop your selections into their CD player to show you that it works and you’re off.

Another evening with my friends at Jemaa el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco, 2012.

A recent visit to Marrakech reunited with me with some of my (new) oldest friends – the street performers, henna artists, restaurant promoters and orange-juice squeezers of Jemma el Fnaa.  Having been to Jemma el Fnaa numerous times, I know what to expect and how to react to the vibe of the place, which often borders on sheer craziness.  First time visitors to Jemma el Fnaa should arrive prepared and in the right mind state in order to avoid anxiety, overload or a total freakout. Yeah.  A total freakout. Any visit to Marrakech – unless you’ve been a few times…