Child exploitation in Jemaa el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco

A recent visit to Jemma el Fnaa, normally one of my favorite sites for a kitschy sensory overload, took an ugly turn.  I normally gravitate towards the story tellers and street performers, though this evening I encountered something new.  A crowd ringed a young boy while a man walked around the circle, his hands full of bills as he challenged men in the crowd to offer their sons up to fight and accepting bets on the outcome.  The boy in the photograph appeared to be there against his will and was ultimately pitted against a much larger and older boy….

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…