A musical journey with two vocal masters – Sacred Music Festival, Fes, Morocco

Last year at the festival Columbane Mint Ely Warakane wowed the audience with her powerful earthy voice. Now in a return performance she took the crowd on a musical journey with another powerful singer, India’s Raza Khan.

Mohammed examining and enjoying his mint tea – Fes, Morocco

I have visited Mohammed – a shop owner in the Fes medina – and his sister Coca countless times and have enjoyed getting to know him and his family better throughout the past two years.  We have battled numerous times over “universal prices” on his rugs and blankets, though we always part on good terms and are happy to see one another on my return trips to Fes. 

Sidi Moumen Cultural Center – Casablanca, Morocco

Last month V asked if I would like to join her and a crew of her colleagues in a trip to Casablanca to visit the Sidi Moumen Cultural Center.  I was already familiar with the center and some of the difficulties that kids in the area have faced and jumped at the chance to visit the center.  The cultural center is located within Sidi Moumen, an area once host to seemingly endless expanses of life below the poverty line and rampant crime.  The area gained international notoriety after the 2003 and 2007 terrorist attacks in Casablanca, as poor young men…

Sunrise in the Erg Chebbi – somewhere near Merzouga, Morocco

Late last year V and I packed the rambler with her parents and snacks and hit the road for a white-knuckle trip from Rabat past Rissani and back, covering multiple mountain passes in order to catch the sunset and sunrise in the desert before racing back north. The journey took us through snow-capped mountains, cedar forests filled with monkeys, switchback passes (guard rails?  not always) and ultimately into the desert between Rissani and Merzouga. We missed the sunset by minutes (and I admittedly beached the car near the dunes and was bailed out by a crew of Bedouin teenagers), though…

A Blessing, pt. II – Rabat, Morocco

Once again, I must thank my buddies for showing me around the Rabat medina a few weeks back.  Y and K were fantastic guides and introduced me to neighborhoods that I have never walked through before.  I go to the medina often, though a walk with a native of Rabat is a heck of a different experience and I look forward to our next adventure. We walked through a small souk near the corniche filled with, well, stuff.  This souk – right around the corner from the shops catering to the early morning fishermen – was a totally different experience…

A Blessing – Rabat, Morocco

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…