At 5AM, the muezzin’s voice echoes throughout the sprawling alleyways of the Marrakesh medina:
“al-salaatu khayrun min al-nawm” – prayer is better than sleep – ,
and locals, from all walks of life, wake up to the first mindful prayer of the day.
I was called to the realm of consciousness several times during my stay in Morocco, but I still vividly remember that very first voice I heard in Marrakesh. It was a voice of power and peace, of command and unwavering faith.
I spent thirteen days in Morocco. I saw how religion could fit effortlessly into life and how although everybody had a cellphone, it was used a tool, and not as a substitute for company.
I saw the warm foam of mint tea form with a generous pour, men kneeling to pray at the same time, carts of heaping bushels of mint, and dates of every imaginable colour and size. I saw children at the cornerstore, old men resting in the shade of an olive tree, berber families moving with their livestock, and people from different countries enjoying a bubbling tagine.
I spent thirteen days in Morocco. Thirteen thought-provoking days to leave me with a lifetime of questions and a steady uncertainty of the ultimate structure of society. It is a country of divide; yet, there is an overwhelming harmony, rooted in a common pride of culture and identity. Over the next few weeks, I shall share some of my questions and musings. I hope they make you think, and I hope writing this down will help bring me some clarity.