Our guest blogger, Margaret Cornfield, tells the story of visiting two homes in Tamnougalt, Morocco. The Cornfields, Open Doors Morocco, and our good friend Mustapha in Tamnougalt managed to provide much needed roofs for two homes in the village. Margaret tells the story best.
I’ve noticed that Moroccan cities are either cat cities or dog cities. Without exception, the cats win out in the medinas, or old cities. It’s probably because cats are smaller than dogs, and can fly under the radar easier. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of dogs to go around in Morocco. But in the close quarters of a medina, dogs aren’t present in large numbers. Also, in general, Moroccans have a fear of dogs. To illustrate, one evening while having dinner in our apartment, we heard loud, shrill screaming outside our window. Without even looking up from her plate, Ava said, “Someone probably saw a dog.” I’m 99% sure she was correct. There’s not much else to scream about.
Recently, in the famous blue city of Chefchaouen, I ran into the best Bissara soup I’ve ever tasted. Bissara is a popular Moroccan soup prepared with dried and peeled fava beans. This soup is hearty with plenty of protein and is often served for breakfast in winter, especially in the north. The dish was originally known as a meal of the poor, but these days it’s found its way into the homes and restaurants of all social classes.
I am excited to introduce Tony Hoffman as a guest blogger. Tony recently took part in a Giving Lens Morocco Photography Tour. Following the tour, I noticed Tony’s Facebook posts were insightful reflections about his experience in Morocco. Since Open Doors Morocco is all about “Returning Transformed,” I asked him if he’d be willing to share some of experiences, and he agreed. This article describes how he serendipitously encountered a Berber Fire Painter in Ait Ben Haddou.
It’s official. The Open Doors Morocco – Bedouin Bivouac is open for business and we couldn’t have asked for a more authentic desert launch. Who better to share the inaugural night with than our friends at The Giving Lens? The bivouac exists for the purpose of providing fair wages to locals and authentic cultural experiences for foreigners. Read more about the unique background of our bivouac HERE.
The Giving Lens (TGL), El Fenn Maroc, Creative Interactions, three local photographers from Marrakech, and Open Doors Morocco (ODM) teamed up to launch a photography program for youth in the village of Ait Ouir, Morocco. The Giving Lens regularly brings teams of photographers to developing countries to work alongside local non-profit organizations in tangible ways. The group is committed to helping launch sustainable projects that will eventually become self-sufficient. Each team is led by two professional photographers with travel experience.
My business partner, Said and I were driving through the Moroccan Sahara and noticed a man digging near the side of the road. We were in the middle of nowhere and suddenly curious as to what he was doing. We decided to stop to investigate.
Said Ahnana, has an eye for the artistic. He has a knack for honing in on disparate details that photograph beautifully. I think growing up in a nomadic culture has aided him well. I’m calling these latest photographs, Saharan Sand Art.
Kasbahs are amazing ancient, crumbling buildings that were built for defense in North Africa. Another word for kasbah is fortress. Kasbahs were built with high walls, usually without windows. Ruins are dotted throughout southern Morocco.