Morocco is a country full of culture. This was obvious in the decor of our living room when we lived there. We had lanterns patterned and cut into thin metal, glazed pottery that reflected the blue and green hues it was painted with, and tajines. Lots of tajines. Tajines were classic Moroccan clay cooking dishes where a cone shaped top sat on a base, allowing steam from whatever was cooking to rise out of a small hole at the top. They would sit complacently on the shelves of our kitchen and living room painted with rusty oranges while others stood bare with no paint at all. My mother was fascinated with the priceless artifacts that the country had to offer, and that was why we constantly made trips to the Medina, a local artisanal market that sold everything from juice to jewelry. Each major city had one, and they all served as representatives of Moroccan culture.
After a long ride on the congested, hilly roads that marked the landscape like a painter’s brush on canvas, we arrived at the entrance of the Medina. There were no parking spots as usual, so my mom and I abandoned the car on the side of the road. A towering, clay wall surrounded the entire market as if to serve as an archaic protection for the artistic treasures that lay waiting inside. We reached the main entrance, already overwhelmed by the sight of so many vendors. The scene was like a piece of impressionist art. People rushed by us determinedly, some carrying their children while others stood out as tourists and businessmen with somewhere to be.
No matter how beautiful the scene seemed to be, walking through the Medina was like touring an ancient Roman ruin site. Vendors of all ages and genders called to you from their makeshift stores that in truth were noth...
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... who believed that if we just paid one dirham more than we finally bargained for, it would mean the difference between whether he could pay his monthly rent or not.
Their culture was something extremely important to them, and they had every right to feel that way. It seemed that although the vendors opened their shops everyday with the intention of making enough money to support their families, it was a way to hold onto a culture that was fading in the face of technology and new generations. The teenaged waiter at the café and the little girl who knew more English than her mother were part of these new generations. Their parents were trying to give them a chance to make something of their lives while holding onto their culture. The Medina was like a reminder, a scrapbook, a family photo album that served as a glimpse into a history that was soon to be forgotten.
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