Month: April 2012

Berber Living-5

Berber Living

I heard the name Berber from an Algerian friend, as she said the Berber people was very European looking instead of North African/Arab looking, I was wondering who they were and how they looked.   As I visited Morocco in February, the word Berber popped up a few times; but who are they?    According to Wikipedia: they are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley.   They are distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. However some thought that their descendants are of mixed origins, – including Oriental, Saharan, and European. So maybe that is why they look like this: Today the Berbers mostly reside in the Atlas mountains, with a different type of architecture and decoration to those in the cities of Morocco. Their houses look like this: The term for this kind of architecture is ‘mud architecture’.   Village Asni is the first large village on our journey out of Marrakech.  Up close this is what it looks like. Picture …

The street on the township of Al Akhawayn University, doesn't look like in Morocco at all

Moroccan Landscape

All the time my image of Africa was desert like, Morocco was not an exception. That image was still with me when I browsed the internet looking for a Tour Agent that could take Keith and I to Morocco. Their pictures uploaded were almost always showing touring across the desert by camel with a Tuareg man in blue leading the camel.  When I chose my trip to explore Morocco, it didn’t take me to travel around all of Morocco, this holiday trip was to take me to “the Imperial Cities” which only included the Northern and Middle Part of Morocco, it didn’t include the Western Sahara bit. However, included in this trip was an overland bus trip from Fez to Marrakesh, which covered about 585 km crossing the country (as shown on the map in my Morocco Holiday). Here, I experienced landscape changes, from very green vegetation, almost subtropical forest to a rocky and desert vegetation, lifestyle of the people also changed, from farming to sheep rearing only, but never desert! The almost 600 km …

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The King Hassan II Mosque

King Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and claims to be the 2nd largest in the world;  it is only behind the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Designed with Moorish influences by French architect Michel Pinseau, the construction began in July 1986 on reclaimed land, — almost half of it from the Atlantic Ocean and part of its expanse of flooring is ocean-viewing glass. Granite, plaster, marble and wood were all sourced in Morocco, with the exception of its Italian granite columns and glass chandeliers. Moroccan artisans produced the Mosque’s beautiful mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, plaster mouldings and carved wooden ceilings. King Hassan II Mosque has space for 25,000 worshipers inside and another 80,000 outside. Whether it’s true or not that this is the second biggest mosque in the world, the 210-meter minaret however, is the tallest in the world and is visible day and night for miles around. The Controversy As it is a modern mosque, it has to have a modern touch, which are electric doors, a sliding …

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Rick’s Cafe

Rick’s Cafe was made famous in the legendary movie, Casablanca. The movie was set in this particular cafe. I thought Rick was a myth made famous in the movie. however, my other half insisted to go to Rick’s Cafe, “There must be a Rick’s Cafe here…;” When we talked to other travelers, we found out that there is Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca and it’s called exactly that Rick’s Cafe Casablanca, instead of Rick’s Cafe Americain as in the movie. As we went back to Casablanca at the end of our tour, we visited Rick’s, and I have to give top marks to the architect that resurrected the place into the legend of the movie, everything was similar to the movie, and what made it more alive was the decor, the white drapes, the palm trees in pots, the shade of the pendant lights…. everything was just like my imagination of the colonial style and Mediterranean atmosphere, similar to the movie. What made it even more special was that I met Lennie Bluett, the guest pianist …