I recently took a walk through the medina with my friend Y and a new buddy, Kareem, from Club Le Troisième œil, a Rabat-based photography club that Kareem helped start. I have been a fan of the club since I arrived here in Rabat and it was a pleasure to walk through the medina with Y and Kareem. I normally approach photography as a solo endeavor, though it was nice to walk through the medina and oudayas with the guys. Walking around with two natives of Rabat was a very different experience than I would have had otherwise and I appreciate their time and look forward to catching up again soon.
I didn’t make too many photographs, though I was pleased to meet this gentleman and commission his blessing of my cameras and darkroom. We came across him swinging a tray of burning incense and offering his services to business owners within the medina. Y stopped him, cracked a few jokes with him (in darija, of course) and then introduced the two of us. He told me that I would receive a “good blessing”, to which I responded that I was hoping for either a “really good blessing” or even a fantastic one, pushing the limits of my darija and eliciting a laugh from him. It was nice to slow things down and develop a secondary layer of interaction with the portrait subject. I think that there is a measure of curiosity and humor in his expression – I doubt that many photographers approach him looking for blessings in their craft.
I hope that the new year is treating all of you well. If not, maybe you need a quick trip down to the medina.