You have certainly already heard of the trip to Mexico, to Oaxaca, for the wedding of Dario and Alejandra or the journey through the nature of Iceland with Chase and Mary: each of my travels is an attempt to collect, and tell you, emotions, impressions, gestures, sensations and culture of lands and peoples so far but so close to us, through images.
And after rain, cold and boarding – almost- denied for over-booking, I landed in the land of colors: Morocco.
From that moment it is a continuous union of opposites that attract that kidnap me, so much to remain fascinated and entranced so much that I cannot give a real and objective description of the place still today, after days after that trip.
On the plane there were some friends of Zakaria and Ambra with me and, together, we continued towards Deroau, in the Casablanca region, the largest, most cosmopolitan and chaotic city in Morocco, where the friends and relatives of Zakaria were waiting for us.
Although the city of Casablanca, in the homonymous region, is a city in constant construction, which wants to grow and modernize, even here, there is a tradition well rooted in the roots of every inhabitant. The couscous, strictly in the terracotta dish, to be shared, is the symbol of a city anchored to its uses and customs. Couscous is a symbol of union, welcome, family, celebration: all gathered around the same table, this sharing represents the solidarity and hospitality of the Moroccan people, from whom I was welcomed just like one of the family.
The next day we leave early for a visit to a nearby city. People who come and people who go with heavy baskets, a parade of spices, perfumes, men in prayer, street vendors, carts and mopeds that mingle in the chaos of the Moroccan medina; and then the white palaces veiled in blue (it is the typical color of the lime that is used to keep mosquitoes away), the splendid artisan workshops of wood and leather, a fortified medina, the Hassan tower and the Bou Regreg river ( which with its moored boats creates small dream scenarios) represent the fulcrum of the city of Rabat, Morocco’s second largest metropolitan city, right after Casablanca.
I feel a bit like home: shouting on the street, convulsive traffic and great human warmth.
After returning to Casablanca, we visit a typical Moroccan hammam, after the typical ritual of the Berber hammans (which is not exactly how we live the concept of spa), evening came and the time for the henna ceremony arrived. It is a ritual that takes place in the evening at the family home only between women and tradition has it that it should be done on the cowardice of religious marriage. Sumptuous embroidered pillows, kaftans, the traditional dress of ceremonies, and gifts before the nekacha (women expert in henna tattoos) takes care and makes sure that the bride has the most beautiful tattoo of all the women present at the ceremony. I assure you that Ambra had, yes, the most beautiful tattoo, and attending this ceremony, so important to them, was a real experience difficult to forget. Now, the party can begin with shouts of joy to bring luck to the bride and dance, until dawn. Ambra, with her most splendid smile ever, has gone from girlfriend to bride and Zakaria is ready to give her thanks, forever.
In the early afternoon I accompany Zakaria to a typical Moroccan barber while they are setting up the hall in a location. The guests arrived before the bride, Ambra entered the room around 11 pm, dressed in a sumptuous and charming gold-colored dress, the first of the various changes embellished with jewels one more beautiful than the other, which characterized the traditional Moroccan feast. The dances begin with the songs of the Islamic tradition while the guests gather in the large hall set up for the party and await Zakaria and Ambra. Four strong men wear amariya, a canopied throne, around the wedding room so that each guest can see the newlyweds and wish the couple happiness and luck. After that, Ambra wore five different clothes together with the neggafates, splendid women who took care of her and helped her wear traditional Moroccan clothes.
And then, it is immediately music, at very high volume, shouts of joy and dance, until the first light of the morning, in which before greeting and thanking all the guests, Zakaria and Ambra offered them breakfast just to thank them for being part of this great day.
Just enough time to recover my luggage and I immediately find myself sitting in the large hall of the airport, looking out of the large windows, still dazed and so full of energy.
While regarding the photos, while I choose the ones that best tell the day of Ambra and Zakaria and represent that culture, I have ‘gained’ that experience and, now, I am ready to describe that trip.
Morocco is life, and it is all that the word life entails.
Thanks Ambra and thanks Zakaria (we will see you again in September)!
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