Try the all-new QuickBooks Online for FREE.  No credit card required.

Morocco World Edition

Document Sample
Morocco World Edition Powered By Docstoc
       Travel  MAGAZINE

for Morocco
 and Tourism

     Morocco World Edition
                Africa Travel Magazine
                                                   I AM MO

2-5	 	   I	am	Morocco
6-9	 	   Moroccan	Handicrafts
10-13	   Mountain	&	Desert	Treks
14-15	   Return	to	Mogador
16-19	   Riads	and	Kasbahs
20-21	   Sahara	Ecotours
22-23	   Medieval	Schools
24-25	   Berber	Wedding
26-27	   Berber	Gites
28-31	   Moroccan	Vegetarian	Menus
32-33	   Moroccan	Travel	Market
34-35	   Tourism	Investment
36-37	   Royal	Air	Maroc
38-39	   Faces	of	Africa
40-64	   Great	Cities	of	Morocco
	    	   Discover	Marrakech
	    	   Discover	Casablanca	
	    	   Discover	Tangier
	    	   Discover	Agadir
	    	   Discover	Rabat
	    	   Discover	Fez
	    	   Discover	Meknes
	    	   and	more	...	

                          Africa Travel Magazine
                             I am Morocco, home of Africa’s oldest mon-
                             archy, consitutional in form, with an elected
                             parliament. I rank high on the list Africa’s
                             prime tourism destinations, generating over
                             2 billion per year in foreign currency. I am
                             located in Northern Africa, with coastlines
                             along the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean
                             Sea. I am a stable and democratic country
                             linking Sub-Saharan Africa and Western
                             Europe, separated by the Straits of Gibraltar,
                             a short ferry ride. In area I am slightly larger
                             than the state of California and the same
                             size as Iraq. I am bordered by Algeria to the
                             east, Spain to the north, three small Span-
                             ish enclaves and Mauritania to the south via
                             my Western Saharan territories. Most of my
                             south east area is in the Sahara Desert and as
                             such is generally sparsely populated
                             My status
                             I am a member of the Arab League, Arab
                             Maghreb Union, Francophonie, Organization
                             of the Islamic Conference, Mediterranean
                             Dialogue group, and Group of 77. I received
                             my independence from France in 1956. My
                             current population is more than 30 million.
                             My official language is Arabic, Berber dia-
                             lect - with French popular as the language
                             of business, government and diplomacy and
                             English widely spoken. My Ethnic groups are
                             as follows: Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%,
                             Jewish 0.2% My religions: Muslim 98.7%,
                             Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%.
                             I am the third most populous Arab country,
                             after Egypt and Sudan. Most of my people
                             practice Sunni Islam and are of Berber, Arab
                             or mixed Arab-Berber stock.
                             Great Cities of Morocco
                             I am famous for my Imperial Cities. Casa-
                             blanca is my business and economic capital,
                             and has the Northern Africa’s largest seaport.
                             A modern autoroute connects Casablanca
                             with other major centers, and the railways
                             system is well advanced, with seamless ser-
                             vice to the Mohammed V International Air-
                             port, with over 6.2 million passengers
                                               Continued on page 40
             Africa Travel Magazine
                                          From page 

                                          It is home base to RoyalAir Maroc, Jetyou,
                                          Air Arabia Maroc and Regional Air Lines.
                                          Rabat is my administrative capital - tradi-
                                          tional yet modern and elegant, with wide
                                          boulevards with trees, flowers, gardens and
                                          luxurious boutiques. Small wonder they call
                                          in the Garden City.
                                          An exciting development currently un-
                                          derway is a rapid light rail system linking
                                          Rabat to its sister city of Sale.
                                          Fés, the Imperial City, is my spiritual and
                                          cultural center and original capital, dating
                                          back to the 800s. Meknes is famous for
                                          its picturesque and exotic souks (markets)
                                          with colorful displays of foods, handicrafts
                                          and textiles. Close by is the Roman City of
                                          Volubilis, now a UNESCO World Heritage
                                          Marrakech has many historical sites as well
                                          as exquisite shopping bazaars. Opportuni-
                                          ties to experience luxurious palaces, exotic
                                          kasbahs, museums, casinos, golf courses,
                                          mountains, lush oases, and fabulous market-
                                          Other cities include Agadir, Essaouira, Fes,
                                          Marrakech, Meknes, Mohammadia, Oujda,
                                          Ouarzazat, Safi, Salè, Tangier and Tétouan.
                                          My climate is Mediterranean, becoming
                                          more extreme towards my mountainous
                                          interior regions. My coastal plains are rich
                                          and accordingly, they comprise the back-
                                          bone for agriculture. Forests cover about

                 Africa Travel Magazine
 12% of the land while arable land       Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane,      Cadi Ayyad University,
 accounts for 18%. 5% is irrigated.      Casablanca*, Chaouen, El             Marrakech
 I am known for my wildlife biodi-       Jadida, El Kelaa des Srarhna,        Chouaib Doukkali University ,
 versity, with birds representing the
                                         Er Rachidia, Essaouira, Fes,         El Jadida
 most important fauna
                                         Figuig, Guelmim, Ifrane, Kenitra,    Hassan II Ain Chok University ,
 I m an ethnically diverse country
 with a rich culture and civilization,   Khemisset, Khenifra, Khouribga,      Casablanca
 having hosted many people com-          Laayoune, Larache, Marrakech,        Hassan II Mohammedia Univer-
 ing from East (Phoenicians, Car-        Meknes, Nador, Ouarzazate,           sity , Mohammedia
 thaginians, Jews and Arabs), South      Oujda, Rabat-Sale*, Safi, Settat,    Hassan Premier University ,
 (Sub-Saharan Africans) and North        Sidi Kacem, Tanger, Tan-Tan,         Settat
 (Romans, Vandals, Andalusians (in-      Taounate, Taroudannt, Tata, Taza,    Ibn Tofail University ,
 cluding Moors and Jews)). All those     Tetouan, Tiznit . note: three ad-    Kenitra
 civilizations have had an impact on     ditional provinces of Ad Dakhla      Ibnou Zohr University , Agadir
 my social structure.                    (Oued Eddahab), Boujdour, and        Institute of Management and
 I am any ally of the United States      Es Smara as well as parts of Tan-    Business Technology (IMBT)
 via the Moroccan-American Treaty
                                         Tan and Laayoune fall within         Rabat
 of Friendship, the oldest non-broken
                                         Moroccan-claimed                     Mohamed Premier University ,
 friendship treaty. It was negotiated
 by Thomas Barclay and signed by         Executive branch: Chief of state:    Oujda
 John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.        King MOHAMED VI (since 23            Mohammed V University, Rabat
 It has been in continuous effect        July 1999),                          Mohammed V University
 since 1787.                             Head of government: Prime Min-       Agdal, Rabat
 Portuguese efforts to invade and        ister ___.                           Mohammed V University
 control the Atlantic coast in the       Education is free and compulsory     Souissi, Rabat
 fifteenth century did not profoundly    through primary school (age 15).     Moulay Ismail University ,
 affect the Mediterranean heart of       List of universities in Morocco      Meknès
 Morocco. Many former Portuguese         Main article: List of universities   Sidi Mohamed Benabdellah Uni-
 forts are integrated into my coastal    in Morocco                           versity , Fes
                                         Abdelmalek Essaâdi University ,      University of Al Karaouine,
 With my capital at Rabat, there                                              Fes
                                         Tétouan - Tanger
 are 37 provinces and 2 wilayas;                                              Université Moulay Slimane (for-
                                         Al Akhawayn University,
 Agadir, Al Hoceima, Azilal, Beni                                             merly called Cadi Ayyad Univer

                                                 Africa Travel Magazine
                             by Habeeb Salloum

                              In this rushed 20th century there
                             are not many of us who know
                             that in Morocco there still ex-
                             ists a medieval world of crafts-
                             men who are creating, with
                             their hands, masterpieces of art.
                             Incorporating a synthesis of the
                             Libyco-Berber, Mediterranean,
                             Middle Eastern, African and An-
                             dalusian artistic traditions, these
                             artisans have a long and honored
                             Whole families, century after-
                             century, handing down the trades
                             from father to sons, have kept
                             Motional fee based on number of
                             nights. Prices and dates for each
                             of the tours are subject to change
                             based on total number of partici-
                             pants. Photo (above right) Rabat,
                             Mor.rocco’s artistic traditions
                             alive. The families know-how,
                             always open to contributions
                             from the outside world, are con-
                             stantly improved without deviat-
                             ing from tradition. New ideas
                             are assimilated, brewed, melted,
                             then re-created to become genu-
                             ine Moroccan art.
                             These craftsmen who, in our
                             time, compete with modern
                             mechanical technology, are able
                             to survive and, in fact, prosper.
                             Unbelievably, these Moroccan
                             skilled workmen, unlike their
                             brethren in other parts of the
                             world, have fought against the
                             machines of the modern age and
                             have not lost the battle. With
                             skills inherited from their fa-

                             Photos: Left- Craftsman at ITB Ber-
                             line, 2009. Right- ornate lamp at Atlas
                             Hotel,, Essaouira, a Royal Air Marox\

    Africa Travel Magazine
The Splendid Handicrafts of Morocco
                                        frames and countless other ar-        arabesque designs and intricate
thers, they produce, today, some
                                        ticles were being decorated with      floral motifs are produced with
of the finest handmade products
                                        sumptuous motifs comprising           hands inheriting the skills of
in the world.
                                        geometric designs, arabesques         centuries.
If one wishes to be transported
                                        and stylized flowers or stars.        Candelabra and lanterns with
to a world of ancient oriental
                                        The artistry of these Moroc-          green, red and yellow glass in-
splendor, Fez el-Bali or the old
                                        can craftsmen was dazzling and        serts are in demand by the many
section of Fez is the place to visit.
                                        breathtaking. However, this           visitors Morocco hosts annually.
Within its walls no automobile
                                        should not have come as a sur-        Numerous restaurants and night-
is allowed to enter and, as it was
                                        prise since the ancestors of these    clubs make use of them to create
in the medieval ages, all work is
                                        leather artisans have been world-     for their clients a relaxed aura.
carried on by man or donkey. The
                                        renowned hundreds of years. In        The colored lights project to the
craftsmen, like their forefathers in
                                        the Middle Ages Moroccan leath-       customers an haunting and ro-
the days when Moorish Spain and
                                        er was so famous that the best        mantic atmosphere.
Morocco were one, still turn out
                                        leather of that time and Moroccan     Artistry in Lighting
superb handmade articles which
                                        were synonymous terms.                In Morocco, a room lit with
dazzle the onlooker.
                                        Brass and Copper                      colored lanterns is always com-
In the same way as they have
                                        Next to leather products, the         plemented with attractive hand-
been for hundreds of years, these
                                        craftsmen of Fez and Marrakesh        made carpets. The oldest of that
artisans are grouped in numerous
                                        are world famous for their brass      country*s handicrafts, they come
streets specializing in different
                                        and copper utensils. In the shops     in basically two types: rural and
crafts. Fascinating to any visitor,
                                        and homes, gleaming brass and         urban. However, these are di-
the souks not only in Fez but also
                                        copperware entice the tourist         vided into a wide range of many
in the other cities of Morocco, ap-
                                        and Moroccan alike. Trays in all      styles.
pear to come straight out of The
                                        sizes, ashtrays, braziers, incense    World Famous Carpets
Arabian Nights.
                                        burners, door knockers, kettles,      Rural carpets, known as Berber
Artistry in Fine Leather
                                        sugar boxes, teapots and other        carpets, are the oldest type and
I will never forget the first time I
                                        articles decorated with interlacing          the most common. Some
walked down into the heart
of the medieval part of Fez                                                           have very thick woolen
and saw artisans working                                                              piles while others have
amid shops displaying their                                                           short goat or camel hair
colorfully embossed ar-                                                               piles. In almost all cases,
ticles of leather.                                                                    they reflect the colors of
Green, red, violet, white                                                             the landscapes where they
and yelow, marvelously                                                                are made. Hence, they
treated by that city*s cel-                                                           come mostly in beige,
ebrated tanners and dyers,                                                            brown and tan with a few
leather was being gilded                                                              in black, red and white.
and transformed into doz-                                                             Some have designs recall-
ens of products. Book cov-                                                            ing prehistoric inscriptions
ers, wallets and purses in                                                            while others have geomet-
all shapes and forms, desk                                                            ric compositions made up
sets, belts, hassocks, photo                                                          of lozenges, arrows and
                                                Africa Travel Magazine
saw-tooth lines.                                                                            In Fez, the crafts-
Urban carpets are a                                                                         men are well
newer type of rug.                                                                          known for their
They were only                                                                              skill in decorating
introduced from the                                                                         all types of struc-
East into Morocco                                                                           tures with cedar
in the 18th century.                                                                        wood, which is
Rabat and Sale be-                                                                          abundant in the
came the production                                                                         nearby forests.
centers of these rich                                                                       Ceilings, doors
carpets. Tradition-                                                                         and windows
ally, the urban carpets                                                                     are made attrac-
have a harmony of                                                                           tive with zouak,
seven colors and a                                                                          a type of decor
multitude of designs.                                                                       dominated by
Three bands of un-                                                                          geometric fig-
equal width frame a                                                                         ures. The city*s
rectangular field with                                                                      artisans, as well
a star-shaped motif                                                                         as those in neigh-
in the center. Bands                                                                        boring Meknes,
of different colors in                                                                      also specialize
geometric or floral                                                                         in masharabiehs
designs encompass                     and geometric patterns. By using                      (screens made
these and, at each end, there is a    thin veneers of the same wood        of small pieces of cedar wood
kind of mihrab arch. Fine carpet      in a checkered design, or with       turned on a lathe and then assem-
experts indicate that these color-    chevrons, stars and other forms      bled in clever designs). Delicate
ful rugs bring to mind garden         alternating with mother-of-pearl,    and appealing these screens make
paths around a pool surrounded        ebony and silver they bring out      the windows of the traditional
by flowers and pet birds.             the subtleties of the they wood.     homes attractive.
In the homes of the wealthy in        The saying that the wood crafts-     Ceramics
Morocco the handmade rugs are         men of the city combine and          Alongside the inlaid articles are
usually associated with inlaid fur-   harmonize their inlaying to sing a   the ceramics which beautify,
niture and other wooden knick-        song of beauty has much merit.       besides the homes, fountains,
knacks usually made from they                                                     palaces, mosques and
wood (a type of oak). Es-                                                          public buildings. The
saouira, famous for its mar-                                                       tile-makers whose an-
quetry, is where many of these                                                     cestors made Andalusia
charming pieces of furniture,                                                      an earthly paradise still
desks, all kinds of tables,                                                        practice their trade in Fez
chests and jewelry boxes are                                                       and Meknes. Through-
made.                                                                              out Morocco, tiled green
Artistry in Woodwork                                                               roofs harmonizing with
The city’s skilled artisans                                                        the surrounding greenery
polish the hard they to a satin                                                    and breathtaking tiled
finish, then inlay it with cedar,                                                  blue, turquoise, white and
lemon wood, ebony, mother-                                                         yellow patios, rooms and
of-pearl and silver in floral                                                      hallways are all the handi-

                                               Africa Travel Magazine
work of these master craftsmen.
For the preparation of their food
the Moroccans, in the main,
employ glazed red or brown
pottery. However, enameled
ornamental pottery made in Fez,
Meknes, Sale and Safi are pro-
duced with the finesse of Italian
or Spanish wares. Amphoras,
dishes, jars, pots and vases are
decorated mainly with cobalt
blue on an enamel background.
Cross-stitch designs, interlaced
curves, polygonal stars and geo-
metric or floral designs are then
applied in black to these colorful
utensils. In addition, in Safi, ce-
ramic artisans produce in darker
colors the metallic sheen found
in Malaga pottery which itself
was initiated by the Arabs.
In all aspects of the handiwork
industries, nothing is created
hastily. The taste for the su-
perb, along with the passage
of time has created perfection.
For export, the production of
handicrafts is strictly regulated
by the Moroccan government
which allows only the topnotch
products to be exported outside
the country. In the country itself,
the cooperative shops Coopartim
sell handmade goods of guaran-
teed quality at reasonable prices.
Hence, a visitor need not worry
about bargaining if he/she is not
Nevertheless, whether sold in
these regulated stores, in the tra-
ditional shops, or laid out on the
sidewalks or on the bare ground

Photos: From top left- (1) Metal
sculptures of Gnaoua musicians,
Atlas Hotel, Essaouira. Moroccan
crafts at ITB Berlin (3) Leather
handbags, souk, Essaouira.
                                      Africa Travel Magazine
Story and photos by                 It was a fabulous beginning         city’s enchanting medieval pal-
Habeeb Salloum                      for the trip we intended to take    aces and skilled craftsmen when
                                    across the Atlas Mountains to the   suddenly, the voice of Abdelatif,
Thanks to the Africa Travel         land of kasbahs (mud castles) and   magnified by our small auto bus’s
Association’s 6th Cultural and      deserts.                            microphone, boomed, “During
Ecotourism Symposium in Fez,        Fez, with its air of the Arabian    this journey, we will see some of
Morocco during the Interna-         Nights, was still on my mind        the most magnificent scenery in
tional Year of Ecotourism,          as our tour                                          the world. It will
our ATA web site is receiving       group of five,                                       be a journey of
a flood of e-mail requests for      along with                                           make-believe”.
information on the historic host    Abdelatif,                                           A lady next to
city. The following article by      our guide,                                           me snickered,
Habeeb Salloum captures the         traveled                                             “He’s like all
magic of Fez and its surround-      through the                                          the other guides,
ing area thanks to the writer’s     foothills of                                         always exagger-
professional style.                 the Atlas                                            ating.” “We will
For two days we had explored        Mountains                                            see!”, I thought
Fez, Morocco’s historic city,       towards the                                          to myself as we
glorifying in its ancient section   desert fron-                                         drove through a
which remains enclosed within       tier town                                            green fertile val-
its ancient ramparts. Inside no     of Erfoud,                                           ley, covered with
auto is allowed. Only donkeys       some 480                                             olive trees, many
contest with humans the few         km ( 298 mi)                                         newly planted,
feet wide medieval streets.         away. I was                                          set in the midst
Seemingly, we had traveled          still dream-                                         of sprouting
back a thousand years in time.      ing of the                                           wheat fields.
                                             Africa Travel Magazine
 After about a 40 km (24 mi)           privately built Al-Akhawayn Uni-      a calm and friendly atmosphere.
 drive, we turned and began to         versity , specializing in foreign     Besides being a rest stopover,
 travel upward on a road edged         language training.                    travelers come to this town to vis-
 by stately maple trees, into the      Downward, we drove through            it the nearby convent of Kasbah
 Middle Atlas Mountains. Further       oak forests until, on the outskirts   Myriem - a nunnery staffed by a
 away, small apple orchards and        of Azrou, we turned upward. A         handful of European nuns who
 patches of pine trees, increasing     short drive and the oak forests       make their living selling carpets.
 as we moved along, dotted the         were soon inter-mixed with the        We stopped to refresh ourselves
 slope of the hills. Past the 1,220    majestic cedar. However, this         at the Kasbah Hotel Restaurant
 m (4,000 ft) high red-roofed          all-encompassing greenery was         Asmaa - a traditional kasbah-
 resort town of Imeuzzer der           followed by a barren countryside      style building whose interior is
 Kandar, we passed through an          - the home of shepherds and their     beautified by fountains and tiles
 oak forest, then barren land until    flocks. We drove through this         in traditional Moroccan fashion.
 we entered the attractive 1,650       arid Middle Atlas landscape, in       Soon thereafter, we were driv-
 m (5,412 ft) high skiing town of      the shadows of the snow-capped        ing in the barren High Atlas until
 Ifrane with its red-sloped roofs.     peaks of the High Atlas Moun-         we passed a spot 1,907 m (6,255
 A modern and prosperous resort        tains, until we stopped at Midelt     ft) above sea level - the highest
 town, it is labeled by travelers as   - a town of 70,000, located at        point we were to reach during our
 the ‘Switzerland of Morocco’.         the entrance to the Berber region     journey. From this high pass, the
 Located 60 km (37 mi) from Fez,       in Morocco - 200 km (124 mi)          road wound its way downward
 this European-looking town is         southeast of Fez.                     through an arid landscape until
 snow-bound in winter and ideal        Situated between the Middle and       we reached the Ziz River - a thin
 for skiing. It is the playground of   High Atlas Mountains, 1,525 m         line of greenery in an otherwise
 the rich - the place where afflu-     (5,000 ft) above sea level, this      barren countryside.
 ent Moroccans build their second      windswept town, an important          Habeeb Salloum (continued)
 home. Ifrane is also noted for the    center for local carpets, defuses
                                               Africa Travel Magazine
Habeeb Salloum. From page 7        Once known as Kasr es Souk,            ocean and sea creatures from
                                   its name was changed in 1979           that era are found in abundance,
At places, the road wound its      to honor Moulay Rachid, father         fossilized in the local rock forma-
wayhigh above the river, then      of Morocco’s ruling Alaouite           tions. A thriving tourist indus-
suddenly it would descend to the   dynasty. Built at the crossroads       try has been established by the
water’s edge where vegetables      of the main caravan routes to the      fashioning into works of art these
thrive under olive, palm and       Dadés Valley and the Tafilalet         fossilized creatures of the sea and
many other type of trees. The      area, Errachida us by the beauty       the manufacture of black marble
scene brought to mind the words    of its kasbak-like structures,         found in the area
of the poet-astronomer Omar        seemingly all newly built. A city      The last town in Morocco to
Khayam, “Between the desert        of some 200,000, with agriculture      be occupied by the French who
and the sown.”                     the main source of revenue, it ap-     thereafter made it into a military
After passing a dam on the Ziz     peared attractive and had an air of    outpost, Erfoud is a typical tourist
River, which supplies the nearby   prosperity.                            destination. A bustling place of
city of Errachida with drinking    From Errachida, the highway            some 40,000, its dusty streets, all
water, we entered that town -      continued to hug the Ziz River,        year round, are usually filled with
some 400 km (248 mi) from Fez.     forming the largest valley oasis in    travelers from the four corners
                                                       Morocco. The       of the world, coming to examine
                                                       whole valley is    its fossils and exploring it’s sand
                                                       covered with       dunes. This is especially true
                                                       aspin trees        when the annual Date Festival is
                                                       and date palm.     held in October.
                                                       This shimmer-      October had long gone when we
                                                       ing field of       landed in Erfoud, but there was
                                                       green stayed       still much to do in and around
                                                       with us until      that desert town. After resting
                                                       we reached the     that night in our kasbah-like
                                                       desert town        hotel, the next day we set out
                                                       of Erfoud,         for nearby Rissani where the Ziz
                                                       saturated with     River disappears into the desert.
                                                       modern build-      Just before entering that town,
                                                       ings, built in     we stopped at the spot where the
                                                       replicas of the    now almost disappeared historic
                                                       ancient kas-       city of Sijilmassa once stood.
                                                       bahs - huge        Erected in 757 A.D., it was the
                                                       fortress struc-    first true Muslim city in North
                                                       tures, once        Africa. Subsequently, it became
                                                       castle-homes       a major staging post on the trans-
                                                       of emirs, tribal   Saharan caravan route, especially
                                                       chiefs and         in the trading of salt. It once had
                                                       government         a population of 100,000 and was
                                                       officials.         the capital of the Tafilalt region.
                                                       Some 350           Today, only the desert wind and
                                                       million years      blowing sand swirl around the
                                                       ago the region     little of what remains of Sijil-
                                                       around Erfoud      massa.
                                                       was a huge         In a few minutes we passed the

                                            Africa Travel Magazine
town’s gate and entered Rissani,        that Hilary’s grandfather, a Mo-     the law.
a town of 30,000. Strangely, the        roccan Jew living in Rissani,        6) Tips are expected for every
setting of the town and its en-         married an American woman,           service - always carry small
virons along the Ziz River with         then immigrated to the U.S.A. He     change.
heavily populated villages, seem-       went on, “You know that Hilary       7) Bargain for all tourist items
ingly living in the past, its canals,   visited her grandfather’s home in    - never shop with a guide - his
building styles and the nature of       Rissani and along with our king’s    commission is usually about
its inhabitants, have often re-         sister Lalla Myriem visited the      30%.
minded travelers of the villages        Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Chérif       8) At night, avoid dark alleyways.
edging the Nile in Egypt.               - forbidden to non-Muslims.” He      Morocco is safer than many other
Just inside the city gates, we          continued, “At the same time, she    countries, but muggers still stalk
stopped at a tiny museum where          also visited her sister’s daughter   the lonely streets.
we examined artifacts found in          who is married to a Berber tour-     9) When in Erfoud, for a breath-
Sijilmassa. We then moved on to         ist guide and lives in the Atlas     taking taste of the desert, one
visit the Mausoleum of Moulay           Mountains.” I looked at Muham-       should make a trip to Merzouga,
Ali Chérif, ancestor of Moulay el       mad in disbelief. Was he telling     an oasis near the Algerian border
Rachid, the founder of the pres-        the truth? I had no idea! But it     surrounded by sand dunes - some
ent ruling Alaouite dynasty. A          was an interesting story which       more than 50 m 164 ft) high. The
colorful authentic Berber market        capped our thrilling mountain        oasis’s lake is a favorite spot for
was our next stop after which we        journey to the land of kasbahs       migrating birds, especially in
drove to the Kasbah of Moulay           and desert.                          February and March, when the
Ismail - a tiny town inside the                                              Dayet Srji flamingos appear. On
city walls. Here, we spent some          Facts About Morocco:                the other hand, if traveling the
time examining beautiful rugs for       (1) Nationals of most countries      desert is on one’s mind, trips to
sale in converted old homes.            do not need visas to enter Mo-       the desert can be arranged by tour
Back in Erfoud, while my travel-        rocco- only valid passports.         companies in Erfoud.
ing companions left to view the         2) If you know French, its is easy   10) Two good places to stay in
spectacular sunset over some            to get around in Morocco. Every-     Erfoud: Hotel Salem - a 4 star
of the highest sand dunes in            one speaks French, but many also     abode - from $56. To $80. A
the world, I explored the town.         know English.                        room; Hotel Ziz, an excellent 3
Tired, I sat down on a bench by         3) Unit of currency in Morocco       star abode located in the heart
a well-dressed young man and            is the dirham which fluctuates at    of town - $34. a room.Note: All
introduced myself. Soon my new          around 10 to 12 to a dollar. Ex-     prices quoted are in U.S. dollars.
found companion, Muhammad,              change money at banks or hotels      For Further information, Contact:
and myself were talking together        - rates are all the same with no     Moroccan National Tourist
in a friendly fashion.                  commission.                          Office: Suite 1460, 2001 rue Uni-
When he found out that I would          4) When traveling in Morocco,        versité, Montreal, Quebec, Can-
be writing an article about the Er-     trains are the most comfortable.     ada H3A 2A6. Tel: +1 514 842
foud region, Muhammad asked,            Buses are inexpensive - CTM the      8111/2. Fax: +1 514 842 5316.
“Did you know that Hilary Clin-         best. Small autos, with unlimited    Moroccan Tourist Office: 20 East
ton is from here?” Taken aback,         mileage and fully insured, rent      46th St., Suite 1201, New York,
I looked at him in astonishment,        for about $50. a day, fully in-      NY 10017, U.S.A. Tel.: 212-557-
“Hilary Clinton from here! You          sured.                               2520. Fax: 212-949-8148. Web
must be kidding!” He smiled,            5) The mass of hustlers which        Site: http://www.tourism-in-mo-
“Haven’t you heard about her            once infested the tourist spots
Moroccan origin?’                       in Morocco have been greatly
Muhammad went on to explain             diminished by the strong arm of      Habeeb Salloum
                                                Africa Travel Magazine
              By Jerry W. Bird                Known as the “windy city,” Essaouira is         and their clients.
                It’s been seven long years    Morocco’s wind-surfing capital, where           We are enjoying a nautical view of Es-
                since we first toured Mo-     the sky is ablaze with multi colored            saouira’s historic seaport, once known as
                rocco with the Ministry       kites from dawn to dusk every day.              Mogador, from our dockside table at “ Chez
                of Tourism as part of the     Flashback 2002                                  Sam. ”Highly recommended by locals in the
                                              Here we are, basking in the noonday sun on      know, this charming waterfront restaurant is
                ATA media team. This
                                              North Africa’s Atlantic Coast at Essaouira,     surrounded by fishing boats and marine activ-
                time, our purpose is to set
                                              Morocco, following a journey of discovery       ity. Men repairing fish-nets, shucking shrimp
               up Africa Travel Maga-                                                         and sorting sardines, looming skeletons of
                                              which began in the Imperial City of Fès and
zine’s first office in Africa, here at                                                        boats under construction add to the scene.
                                              continued via Rabat, Casablanca and Mar-
Essaouira, a beautiful Atlantic Coast         rakech. In a few days, we will drive south      The interior of Chez Sam reminds me of
city, once known as Mogador. A world-         to the resort city of Agadir, with its luxury   Trader Vic’s, once a popular hang-out in our
class golf course development, with           beach front hotels and lavish casinos, cater-   home port of Vancouver, and Ivar’s in Seat-
multi-star hotels is underway and many        ing to the jet set of Europe, Africa and Mid-   tle. The fresh seafood, decor and atmosphere
other attractions are on the horizon.         dle East. Most North Americans have yet         are magnificent and the impressive gallery of
Since arriving from Paris on Royal Air        to really discover Morocco’s coastal resort     celebrity photos; Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong,
                                              cities - and that’s a prime opportunity for     Stevie Wonder and others, attests to the fact
Maroc, we have visited Rabat, with
                                              our magazine, read by travel professionals      that the owner comes from the world of jazz.
brief stops at Safi and Al Jaddida, spent
                                                                                              Sam and his huge, jet black dog Nikita joined
two days in Casablanca and another                                                            our table a few days later, and thanks to that
in Marrakech, meeting old friends and                                                         rendezvous, I was able to learn the history of
new. Some of our positive impressions                                                         this outstanding restaurateur and the origin
were a new Autoroute, with divided                                                            of the Essaouira (Mogador) seaport’s most
highway and the start of a Tramway                                                            popular eatery.
system in Rabat. Muguette’s brother,                                                          Freshness is the order of the day, every day
Maurice Goufrani of the Pompidou                                                              at Chez Sam and also at the many outdoor
Centre in Paris, asked us to make sure                                                        stalls, perched side-by-side along the dock
                                                                                              area. Each offers visitors fresh caught
we covered Festival Gnaoua ( Gnawa)
                                                                                              products from the sea to the table and each
Essouira, a unique musical experience,
                                                                                              competes vigorously with its neighbour
June 24-29, 2009. This event is high on                                                       for our attention. Barkers, menu boards
our agenda and is in the Venues World                                                         and tempting displays of fresh catch from
Edition, now available for download at                                                        the Atlantic is their marketing approach. I                                                                enjoyed a generous portion of sole fillet and

                                                          Africa Travel Magazine
  fresh salad for less than five dollars U.S. My    the weather is as balmy as any spring           We then moved to the hotel’s beach side
  two colleagues split a large crab for a similar   afternoon, and the buyers and browsers          restaurant, where the music was going full
  tab. Overhead a flotilla of sea gulls was         are out in force, filling the Medina with its   tilt. One of local girls modeled Muguette’s
  dipping and diving against a background of        dozens of shops and stalls. We found an         bottle- green gown with shoulder wrap- one
  crashing whitecaps, rocky outcrops and rug-       excellent Cyber Cafe right by the entrance      of several gifts we received from our friend
  ged remnants of the centuries old Portuguese      and are getting our dozens of e-mail letters    and former Tourism Minister, Hon. Sylla
  fort that marks the city’s place in history.      ready to send around the world. It’s a great    Diakite of Conakry, Guinea. The Moroccan
  Some call this the “city of winds ... and when    way to stay in touch, which is why we al-       Khaftan fashion segment of the evening
  we visited Essaouira earlier this same week,      ways carry our ‘portable office - a reliable    proved highly popular.
  a minor storm was brewing. Gusts swept the        Macintosh laptop computer.                      Doors of Hospitality
  area clear of surfers, bathers, wanderers and     Arabian Nights On New Years                     Another friendly, convenient place to meet
  beachcombers. A few lonesome camel driv-          Eve in Morocco                                  is the Hotel des Isles. Next to the Medina
  ers still tended their stalls near the far end    One of my favorite meeting places in            and offers a full range of services. Since we
  of the crescent shaped beach, and the waves       Essaouira is the 5-star Sofitel Mogador,        spent almost two weeks in the immediate
  grew even more fierce as they pounded the         located on the main promenade facing the        area, we are pleased to recommend a stay
  shore. But today, near the end of December,       beach. Here’s where we spent one of the         in Essaouira to any traveler looking for
                                                                    most enjoyable New Year’s       something different. Photos courtesy: Thi-
                                                                    Eve celebrations in years.      erry Mareschal and the Essaouira Cultural
                                                                    It started with an invitation   Center.
                                                                    to a Fashion Show, which
                                                                    continued into the wee          Mistral Travel Ltd.
                                                                    hours. For starters, the ho-    A tourist transport company for Travel
                                                                    tel’s dining room staff were    Agents sending clients to Morocco. New
                                                                    all decked like Aladdin (of     Toyota Land-Cruisers, latest model Ford
                                                                    the lamp), and the entire       Transit 14 seat Mini-Buses, 32/46 Coaches.
                                                                    ballroom looked like a          Tours and accommodation arranged also
                                                                    scene from Arabian Nights,      Airport Transfers. Business clients wel-
                                                                    complete with belly danc-       comed.Contact us for your requirements.
                                                                    ers, mariachis with their       Tel/Fax: (00 212) (0) 44476129
                                                                    Spanish guitars, Magicians      E-Mail:
                                                                    and special visual and          Web Site: www.mistraltravel .com
                                                                    musical effects. The entire     George David Cook, Directeur, Essaouira,
                                                                    evening was unforgettable.      Maroc .
                                                                                                    Tel/fax 212 0444 76129.
                                                              Africa Travel Magazine

 From our magazine’s Africa headquarters office at Es-           Atlantic Coast. It’s a photographer’s delight with and
 souira our editors have an opportunity to explore this          interesting kaleidoscope of activities - seagulls fight-
 city so rich in culture, from its art galleries and strolling   ing for scraps, fishermen mending their nets, workmen
 musicians to the dawn to dusk activity at the medina and        applying coats of paint to the hulls of fishing craft. On
 adjoining harbor - one of he best anchorages on Africa’s        this warm, sunny day in mid October the weather was
                                                      Africa Travel Magazine

 the best we’ve experienced since       Small wonder Essouira is called the   this area the beach for Marrakech,
 summer, however with the power-        wind-surfing capital of Morocco.      but in return, families from Essouira
 ful trade winds and current from the   We often meet groups of people        often drive to Marrakech for upscale
 Canary Islands, you can expect a       from Marrakech which is only a few    shopping in its many stores.
 refreshing breeze most of the year.    hours away by car. Many consider      Continued on page 52.
                                                Africa Travel Magazine
Behold what treasures                               African Lifestyles
await in the heart of a
typical Moroccan Medina.

                                                    THE RIADS OF
                                                                      by Muguette Goufrani

                                                                         Homes of Character
                                                                         These traditional homes
                                                                         of Morocco, which many
                                                                         referred to as riads,
                                                                         villas, dars, kasbahs or
                                                                         guest homes, range from
                                                                         the simplest structures
                                                                         to the most sumptuous,
                                                                       luxurious palaces. Legendary
                                                     comparisons are made to the Garden of Eden,
                                                     with its fruit- laden trees, or a treasure-filled
                                                     hideaway from A Thousand and One Nights.
                                                     Cascading waterfalls, inner fountains with
                                                     roses petals and bird baths, interior and rooftop
                                                     tented patios, refreshing sauna-like hammams
                                                     - you will find all of this and much more.
                                                     Many riads are showpieces of Moroccan
                                                     architecture and culture, a constant challenge
                                                     to innovative decorators attracted by the
                                                     opportunity to renovate and improve, with
                                                     amazing transformations from ugly ducklings
                                                     to graceful swans. While the concept is the
                                                     same, each riad is unique in its own way,
                                                     as in the hands and eyes of the owner or
                                                     designer. Africa Travel Magazine’s editorial
                                                     team never tires of visiting a riad, whether
                                                     it be in the heart of a médina, a desert oasis
                                                     or a retreat high in the Atlas Mountains. In
                                                     our first Morocco edition, Habeeb Salloum
                                                     describes the experience this way, “We stopped
                                                     to refresh ourselves at the Kasbah Hotel
                                                     Restaurant Asmaa - a traditional kasbah-
                                                     style building whose interior is beautified by
                                                     fountains and tiles in traditional Moroccan
                                                     fashion. Soon thereafter, we were driving in
                                                     the barren High Atlas until we passed a spot
                                                     1,907 m (6,255 ft) above sea level - the highest
                                                     point we were to reach during our journey.
                                                     From this high pass, the road wound its way
                                                     downward through an arid landscape until we
                                                     reached the Ziz River - a thin line of greenery
                                                     in an otherwise barren countryside.
                                                     At places, the road wound its way high above
                                                     the river, then suddenly it would descend to the
                                                     water’s edge where vegetables thrive under
                                                     olive, palm and many other type of trees. The
                                                     scene brought to mind the words of the poet-
                                                     astronomer Omar Khayam, “Between the
                                                     desert and the sown.”

                           Africa Travel Magazine
  How it started                                 Médina. My brother Maurice Goufrani              infested the tourist spots in Morocco have
  The idea for our World Edition supplement      of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris          been greatly diminished by the strong arm
  on Moroccan homes and lifestyle was            often stays when he visits the Essaouira         of the law.
  born in 1996 during the first Africa Travel    Cultural Complex, or attends the popular         6) Tips are expected for every service -
  Association (ATA) Conference held in           Ganaoua Festival, a three day banquet of         always carry small change.
  this fascinating country. The venue was        music.                                           7) Bargain for all tourist items - never shop
  Marrakech and the focus was on Cultural        Our current stay in Essaouira has given          with a guide - his commission is usually
  and Ecotourism. The stage was set in           the Homes and Lifestyles project a giant         about 30%.
  2002, when myself, Editor Jerry Bird and       leap forward. In recent months, we have          8) At night, avoid dark alleyways. Morocco
  broadcaster Ogo Sow toured the major           traveled the Atlantic Coast from Agadir          is safer than many other countries, but
  cities from Fez to Rabat, Casablanca,          in the South, via Safi, Al Jaddida and           muggers still stalk the lonely streets.
  Essaouira and Marrakech. One of the            Casablanca to beyond Rabat. Other areas          9) When in Erfoud, for a breath-taking
  highlights was our visit to several of         are in our sights as we develop the Africa       taste of the desert, one should make a trip
  the boutique hotels, riads and luxury          Travel Library through our series of World       to Merzouga, an oasis near the Algerian
  resorts, such as the Amanjena with its 32      Editions and supplements.                        border surrounded by sand dunes - some
  Pavilions, six, two-storey maisons and the     Living the Moroccan Lifestyle                    more than 50 m 164 ft) high. The oasis’s
  Al-Hamra Maison, with its pools and oasis      We are actually living in a riad. When my        lake is a favorite spot for migrating birds,
  of palms and olive trees in the foreground     mother retired over a decade ago, she had        especially in February and March, when the
  and the High Atlas Mountains as a              an architect friend design her a villa in the    Dayet Srji flamingos appear. On the other
  backdrop. Our editor has these comments        traditional Moroccan style and during the        hand, if traveling the desert is on one’s
                                                 interim the place has taken shape. Now           mind, trips to the desert can be arranged by
                                                 that we have arrived to stay it will become      tour companies in Erfoud.
                                                 the African base for our magazine and            10) Two good places to stay in Erfoud:
                                                 growing library of magazines, books and          Hotel Salem - a 4 star abode - from $56. To
                                                 media resources. At the moment we are            $80. A room; Hotel Ziz, an excellent 3 star
                                                 developing the garden area, which will be a      abode located in the heart of town - $34. a
                                                 pleasant retreat, with additional shade trees,   room.
                                                 flowers, birds and fish pools. The roof          Note: All prices quoted are in U.S. dollars.
                                                 terrace has an outstanding view of the new       This feature continues on the
                                                 world class golf course, with construction       following page.
  about Marrakech, “Where else are all the       well underway - confounding the
  walls and buildings tinted in a rich pastel    skeptics who said it could not be done.
  peach, the broad avenues and promenades        Facts About Morocco:
  lined with rows and rows of orange trees,      Courtesy of Habeeb Salloum.
  with ripe fruit dangling from their branches    1) Nationals of most countries do not
  like holiday ornaments?”                       need visas to enter Morocco- only valid
  Riads of Mogador                               passports.
  We stayed an extra few weeks through New       2) If you know French, its is easy to get
  Years at Essauoira, formerly Mogador.          around in Morocco. Everyone speaks
  Here we were treated to a visit of the         French, but many also know English.
  superb facilities and park-like grounds        3) Unit of currency in Morocco is the
  at the elegant Dar Mimosas, situated           dirham which fluctuates at around 10 to
  a few miles south of the city. At the          12 to a dollar. Exchange money at banks
  Médina, inside the walls of a centuries old    or hotels - rates are all the same with no
  Portuguese fortress, a variety of attractive   commission.
  riads offer fine food and accommodation.       4) When traveling in Morocco, trains
  I was introduced to Les Terrasses              are the most comfortable. Buses are
  d’Essaouira, a luxurious riad which offers a   inexpensive - CTM the best. Small autos,
  scenic view of the bay.                        with unlimited mileage and fully insured,
  One of our favorite stops while doing          rent for about $50. a day, fully insured.
  business or shopping is the Riad Al            5) The mass of hustlers which once
                                                           Africa Travel Magazine
                by Muguette Goufrani       modern communities anywhere,            decor, pools and oriental lounges,
                                           with upscale shops, famous name         spacious bed rooms, cosy fireplaces
                  While I was born in      hotels, leafy parks and treed           and luxury bathrooms. Want to
                  Morocco and began        boulevards.                             enjoy the fresh air of Southern
                  my career there with     Hidden Treasures                        Morocco and a bird’s eye view of
                  our family’s tour        Within the Médina itself you will       the exotic surroundings within the
                  company and Royal        find several huge doors, which          Médina? Each riad provides guests
                  Air Maroc, before        like the entrance to Ali Baba’s         with access to a roof terrace or
                  working my way           cave, open up to reveal what North      sundeck. How did we know about
 around the world, my return as part       Africans call a ‘riad.’ During a stop   these two attractive riads? We spent
 of the Africa Travel Association, has     in Marrakech enroute to Casablanca,     some time learning about them
 been a true rediscovery. Marrakech        we had the pleasure of staying          from the general manager herself
 was ATA’s host city for a Cultural        at the Hotel Riad Shama, and            - during our weeks at ITB Berlin
 and Ecotourism Conference in              visiting several                                 and the Salon International
 1996 and Fez had the same honors          others including                                 de Tourism in Paris. After
 in 2002. As Morocco’s third               the Hotel Riad                                   checking in at the Hotel
 largest city and a bustling center of     Oasis. Both are                                  Riad Shama, we took a
 commerce, Marrakech is high on our        operated by the                                  walk through the souk,
 list as an ideal convention site and      same company                                     a huge marketplace with
 place to visit. The metropolitan area     and each has its                                 products and services of
 comprises the Médina, a walled city       unique attractions                               every description - and
 built centuries ago as a fortification,   - magical Arabian                                plenty of bargains awaiting
 surrounded by one of the most             architecture and                                 your pleasure. Close by is
                                                    Africa Travel Magazine
 Djemaa el Fna, one of the busiest       design of these courtyard dwellings    on the exterior clay or mud brick
 market squares in Africa, with          in the coastal regions of Morocco      walls. Entrance to these houses is
 snake charmers, acrobats, story-        were an adaptation and modification    a major transitional experience and
 tellers, dancers, and musicians.        of the Roman villa. When the           encourages reflection because all
 By night, the square turns into an      Almoravids conquered Spain in          of the rooms open into the central
 open-air restaurant where traditional   the 11th century they sent Muslim,     atrium space. In the central garden
 Moroccan dishes, such as cous cous      Christian and Jewish artisans from     of traditional riads there are often
 and tangine are on the menu.            Spain to Morocco to work on            four orange or lemon trees and
 What is a Riad?                         monuments. These artisans brought      possibly a fountain. The walls of
 A traditional Riad is a Moroccan        with them the idea of arranging        the riads are adorned with tadelakt
 home or palace,                                 the rooms of the house         plaster and zellige tiles. The style
 which often                                     around the central open-air    of these riads has changed over the
 includes an interior                            courtyard that has become      years, but the basic form is still used
 garden. The                                     today’s riads. The riads       in designs today. Many riads are
 ancient Roman                                   were inward focused which      now used as hotels or restaurants.
 city of Volubilis,                              allowed for family privacy     Photos from the Riad Shama are on
 which we visited                                and protection from the        the above page (left) and those from
 in 2002, during                                 weather in Morocco. This       the Riad Oasis are on above page
 our conference in                               inward focus was expressed     (right). To find out more or to book
 Fez, provides a                                 in the central location of     rooms for yourself or group at either
 reference for the                               most of the interior gardens   hotel, contact Muguette Goufrani by
 beginnings of riad                              and courtyards and the         e-mail:
 architecture. The                               lack of large windows          CONTINUED	ON	NEXT	PAGE
                                                 Africa Travel Magazine
We first met Elena Hall during       Merzouga is a poor village that     few hours to 6 days into the sand
the Africa Travel Association’s      has little or nooutside support     dunes. Many of their guests are
Cultural and Ecotourism Sym-         - so tourism is the main source     inclined to slow down their pace
posium in the Im-                                                                       and mingle with
perical City of Fez,                                                                     the families, play
1992. Originally                                                                         with the children
from the state of                                                                        or watch local
Maryland, USA,                                                                           women make
Elena has spent                                                                          bread, tangine and
over 15 years                                                                            cous-cous.
bringing visitors to                                                                     Sharing with
Merzouga, a small                                                                        Berbers
village in the Sahara                                                                    Some guests will
Desert of southern                                                                       offer advice to the
Morocco. Recently,                                                                       Berber men on ag-
Elena and her part-                                                                      riculture, modes of
ner Hmad Ourdaras,                                                                       construction, well
a local Berber from                                                                      digging and other
Merzouga, estab-                                                                         skills. They are
lished the Haven La                                                                      in a completely
Chance Desert Hotel                                                                      different world in
to facilitate their many Ecotours.                                                      Southern Morocco.
Amenities include a restaurant,      of income for residents. With the   Elena and Hmad travel back and
camping, bivouac, camel excur-       Blue Men of Morocco, visitors       forth regularly from their base in
sions and a unique Sahara experi-    spend several days or longer if     Malaga, Spain and some of the
ence amidst the sand dunes and       they wish, and can enjoy camel      Ourdaras brothers manage the
palm trees.                          excursions in the desert from a     business when the partners are

                                              Africa Travel Magazine
 not in the Moroccan desert. Other                                            Desert Hotel, which generates
 brothers travel throughout Moroc-                                            employment for locals. The
 co on and expanded series of tours                                           combination of skills, educa-
 that may include the Imperial cit-                                           tion and background of Elena
 ies of Fez, Marrakech, Rabat, Me-                                            and Hmad provides a reli-
 knes and Casablanca, Essaouira,                                              able, professional tour with no
 Safi, El Jaddida and other fortified                                         surprises. Close contact with
 towns along the coast. The travel                                            local Berbers and their way
 includes the desert treks, moun-                                             of life is a special extra to the
 tain villages and kasbah routes.                                             rest of the tours. It is important
 Berbers are unique                                                           to make friends and provide
 Elena has been accepted by the                                               an unforgettable experience
 local people who were originally                                             which entices one to return to
                                        into their homes to share meals
 nomads but have decided to settle
                                        and refreshing mint tea. Guests are Morocco.
 down in the smaller villages.
                                        also welcome at special feasts and Contact information:
 Other nomads live in the desert                                              BLUE MEN OF
                                        weddings where they can watch
 with their camels or goats and can
                                        the rituals, and enjoy the meals like MOROCCO CO.
 be seen during camel excursions.                                             C/Heroes Dos de Mayo 5, H
                                        part of the family.
 Like many guides who keep in                                                 Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain
                                        Elena Hall has great respect for
 regular contact with tourists who                                            Tel. 34 952 467562
                                        these desert people, poor as they
 travel to Morocco, Hmad speaks
                                        may be. She and her partner try to www.haven-la-chance-desert-
 several languages.
                                        help the locals by bringing tourists
 Berbers are not Arabic, although                                             http://www.bluemenofmoroc-
                                        to the area. They like to acquaint
 most belong to the Muslim faith.                                   
                                        guests with these special Berber
 The Berber women are seldom
                                        people, their humble food, and gen-
 involved with tourists, but Hmad’s
                                        erosity. Profits from tour operations
 family and friends invite visitors
                                        are invested in Haven La Chance
                                                 Africa Travel Magazine
                  The Medieval Schools
                                      which is edged by a large room,      meals, slept and studied. Their
Morocco’s Intellectual                serving both as a lecture hall and   lodgings, bread and drinking
Heritage                              a place for prayer. The student      water were supplied free, but they
by Habeeb Salloum                     rooms or cells were mostly lo-       had to buy their own books and
                                      cated on the second level but, in    most of their food. Hence, many
Called the “Holy City of Mo-          a few of the schools, there were     were compelled to work part-time
rocco‚“ Fez is, above all, noted      a number on the first level.         as lecturers in mosques or as ser-
for its Qarawiyin mosque - the        The medersas were all exquisite      vants in the homes of the affluent.
symbol of the country’s intel-        works of art, decorated with         The mother of all of Fez’s med-
lectual life and its most presti-     carved wood, geometric designs       ersas is Bou Inania, built in the
gious historic site. For more than    and floral motifs and lace-like      mid 14th century by Sultan Abu
eleven hundred years                                                                     Inan, the first ruler of
it has been the haven                                                                    the Marinid Dynasty.
for Islamic scholars                                                                     Incorporating direct
and religious offi-                                                                      importation of 14th
cials. Enhancing this                                                                    century Andalusian
aura of learning are                                                                     building techniques,
medersas (Islamic                                                                        the school is different
schools) which dot                                                                       than the other med-
the city and hug the                                                                     ersas in that it had
Qarawiyin in a lov-                                                                      an imposing minaret
ing embrace. In-                                                                         and served both as a
spired by the schools                                                                    mosque and a school.
in Baghdad, they                                                                         Its doorways, col-
were, in the main,                                                                       umns, courtyard and
built by the Marinid                                                                     hall are all extrava-
sultans, during the                                                                      gantly decorated with
14th century. As Is-                                                                     dark cedar, exquisite-
lamic colleges with                                                                      ly carved; floral and
lodgings for students                                                                    geometrical patterns;
who came to study,                                                                       delicate lace-like
besides religion, the                                                                    stucco, toughened
Arabic language,                                                                         with egg white;
astronomy, math-                                                                         marble floors; and
ematics and medicine, they were       plaster-work. Each one is a          ceramic-tiled lower walls covered
unequaled, in their time, as places   creation of perfect handiwork by     in Arabic script with academic
of learning. The majority of these    master craftsmen.                    messages - one reading, “This is
schools were built in the same        Yet, in spite of the ostentatious    a place of learning‚”. The whole
fashion. Each medersa had two         splendor of the buildings, the       inside is a stunning combination
levels and a central courtyard,       students, living two in each         of decorative artwork. However,
incorporating a fountain, used in     cell-like room, led a frugal         like the other medersas, its stu-
ritual ablutions. A colonnade or      life. In these usually damp and      dent cells are barren and forlorn.
gallery surrounded the courtyard      dark rooms, they prepared their      It is said that Sultan Abu Inan

                                              Africa Travel Magazine
built the school to rival the city’s     In fame, it comes second to Bou       rine square (from the Arabic afar
grand Qarawiyin mosque and its           Inania. Some claim it is more         - brass) where craftsmen hammer
cost almost broke the treasury.          beautiful and delicate, and more      metal into huge urns and pots.
Because of the great expense, a          perfect than that medersa.            The medersa still houses some
story is told that the Sultan threw      It is an incredible structure, with   students and is only worth a visit
away the account books into the          a profusion of fine pattering in      if one has time to spare.
river saying, “A thing of beauty is      blue and white tile, wood and         Edging the medersa on the
beyond reckoning.”                       stucco. Verses from the Koran are     square, stands a marble fountain,
Opposite Medersa Bou Inania,             incised in continuous friezes and     decorated with a carved fleurs-de-
but connected to this school, is         are breath-taking in their intri-     lis and one side of the Qarawiyin
a medieval water clock, consist-         cacy. Even though some renova-        mosque’s library - one of the
ing of 13 windows and platforms          tion has been made, basically the     most important libraries in the
- seven of which still retain their      school is in an excellent state of    Arab world.
brass bowls. High over them on a         preservation. Without question,       The newest of these medieval
carved lintel of cedar is a decay-       its graceful proportions, elegant     schools is Medersa El Cher-
ing row of 13 windows. Forgot-           geometrical carved-cedar orna-        ratin, built in the 17th century
ten for centuries, the clock is          mentation and distinctive brass       by the Alaouite Sultan, Moulay
being renovated and hopefully, in        doors make it a living medieval       el-Rachid, founder of the present
the future, experts will be able to      work of art.                          Moroccan dynasty. Noted for its
have it working again.                   Medersa Shrij is the third finest     double bronze-faced doors and
The grandest, most elaborate and         of the Fez medersas. Erected in       fine door knockers, it is much less
beautiful of all the Marinid mon-        the 14th century, it was named        ornate than the medersas built
uments, Bou Inania comes close           after its beautiful ablution pool     by the Marinids. However, as a
to perfection in every aspect of its     (from the Arabic saharaj - pool).     school it is much more function-
construction. It is the one historic     Noted for its rich carvings and       al. Designed to hold more than
site not to be missed by travel-         its aura of calmness and tranquil-    200 students, it contrasts vividly
ers, in fact, it is the only structure   ity, it is worth a visit. However,    with the intricate craftsmanship
still in religious use which non-        if one has visited Bou Inania and     of the medersas erected during
Muslims can enter. Almost every          El Attarine, this school does not     the earlier Marinid era.
first-time tourist in Fez takes a        have anything really new to offer.    Rarely visited by travelers are
photo of Bou Inania’s green-tiled        Medersa es Seffarine, con-            the few remaining less important
minaret through the Boujeloud            structed in the 13th century is the   schools like Medersa Misbahiya,
Gate - the most utilized point of        oldest medersa built in Fez. Un-      now under renovation. Built in
entry into the old walled medi-          like the other schools, it is built   the 14th century by Sultan Abu
eval town into which no auto is          like a traditional Fasi (Fez) home    Hassan, it is noted for the lavish
allowed to enter.                        and gets its name from the Seffa-     use of marble in its construction.
The Medersa El Atta-                                                                For visitors seeking histori-
rine, next door to the                                                              cal architectural gems, these
Qarawiyin mosque                                                                    schools have few equals as
was built in the 14th                                                               relics from the medieval era.
century by the Mari-                                                                Yesterday, they drew stu-
nid Sultan Abu Said.                                                                dents from the whole Islamic
He built it on the                                                                  lands; today they draw tour-
edge of the spice souk                                                              ists from the four corners of
- hence, its name,                                                                  the world.
Attarine (from the
Arabic air (spices).
                                                 Africa Travel Magazine
                              by Muguette Goufrani

                              My father, who owned and oper-
                              ated a tour company in Casablan-
                              ca, Morocco for many years, took
                              me along with a German tour
                              group to visit a traditional “Wed-
                              ding Fair” at Hadiddou Imilchil, a
                              Berber village in southern Mo-
                              rocco. While I knew that many
                              Berber Fairs combine a local
                              Saint’s Day with a regional mar-
                              ket event, only at September’s
                              ‘moussem’ (pilgrimage) of Im-
                              ilchil, have I seen such a colorful
                              pageant, with instant engagement,
                              and a mass exchange of marriage
                              vows. Berbers have inhabited
                              North Africa for centuries, some
                              being of Caucasian ancestry, with
                              fair complexions and blue eyes.
                              Visitors may think of Berbers as
                              exotic outsiders, yet they preced-
                              ed the Arabs in settling Morocco,
                              and they remain the country’s
                              main culture. This is expressed
                              by the phrase, “Morocco is Ber-
                              ber - the roots and the leaves of
                              While the Wedding Fair is key
                              part of Berber marital custom,
                              families usually arrange marriag-
                              es in their home village. Women
                              are free to divorce and remarry.
                              At the moussem, divorced and
                              widowed women form the ma-
                              jority, and are identified by their
                              pointed headdress. The courtship
                              is a family affair as I learned after
                              accepting an invitation to drink
                              mint tea in the goat hair tent of a
                              Berber elder. His oldest daughter
                              Malika, prettied up her divorced
                              18 year old sister Yasmina with
                              traditional beauty aids - rubbing

     Africa Travel Magazine
            Berber Wedding Fair at Imilchil
saffron colored powder into her       the bride-to-be lend advice, often
                                                                               Arab descent), whose ancestors
sister’s eyebrows, applying kohl      making snap judgment calls at
                                                                               built the mighty Moorish empire
to outline her eyes and carmine       first sight. If rejection is signaled
                                                                               that once ruled Spain, Portugal
rouged to her cheeks. A wool          by a broken handclasp, it’s time
                                                                               and most of Northern Africa.
cape, striped in tribal colors,       to look elsewhere.
                                                                               Most Berbers dwell in the moun-
covered her white dress; then         When a bride does give consent,
                                                                               tains, while the Arabs and Moors
a cone shaped headdress was           she may speak the magic phrase,”
                                                                               live on the plain and desert. Most
assembled, held on by loops           You have captured my liver.”
                                                                               cities have a European section
of spangled                                  Since a healthy liver aids di-
                                                                               a Jewish enclave, and a Medina
wool.                                        gestion and promotes well-
                                                                               (Arab-Moorish section). Over the
I gave Yas-                                  being, in Berber culture it’s
                                                                               past 3,000 years, its geographic
mina a silver                                the liver, not the heart that’s
                                                                               location has given Morocco a
chain as a                                   considered the location of
                                                                               strategic importance far beyond
wedding gift,                                true love. Might one say,
                                                                               its small size. The country has
since silver                                 “Darling, my liver pines for
                                                                               taken the best from the Phoeni-
brings good                                  you?” Often snowbound be-
                                                                               cians, Romans, Arabs, Berbers,
luck. Many                                   hind village walls for up to
                                                                               Portuguese, Spanish and French.
Westerners                                   six months a year, the new
think that                                   couples must learn to live
                                                                               Letter from a reader
Moroccans                                    in harmony. Despite those
purchase their wives at the fair,     old Foreign Legion movies from
                                                                               Dear Muguette,
but in truth, marriage depends        the 50s, which showed Berbers
                                                                               Since I read your article about
on mutual consent and family          as being fierce, hot tempered and
                                                                               Morocco, we took a group of
approval.                             warlike, they believe in “paix
                                                                               African American Female edu-
A nod and a wink: The language        chez eux” (peace at home).
                                                                               cators there last year and had a
of gesture is as clearly under-       Moroccan food
                                                                               wonderful time. Hope to take a
stood by these people as the          Who wouldn’t enjoy steamed
                                                                               group again next year. Briefly, the
spoken word. By having a friend       semolina, topped with a meat and
                                                                               experience was wonderful. We
help him choose a bride (with         vegetable sauce called couscous?
                                                                               spent most of our time in Agadir
often no more than a silhouette       Or tajines. a vegetable stew that
                                                                               with a one night excursion to
and two dark eyes as a clue) the      may contain rabbit, lamb, goat
                                                                               Marrakech. We stayed at Club
groom gets overcomes his shy-         and chicken meat, combined with
                                                                               Valtur and the resort was great,
ness. All day long, in pairs, these   prunes, apricots or raisins. Pas-
                                                                               albeit very Italian. I didn’t learn
men weave in and out amongst a        tilla (baked pigeon pie) is made
                                                                               much about the people or culture
cluster of anxious brides. Then,      of layered filo pastry, with nuts
                                                                               of Morocco, hence the need for a
welcomed by a shy glance or a         and spices, and coated with sugar.
                                                                               second trip. However, I did make
quick nod, the suitor will stop to    With your morning coffee, try a
                                                                               a few friends (smile). Morocco is
speak to the lady, encouraged by      light deep fried Spanish dough-
                                                                               a fascinating if you love sensory
a signal from his friend’s reas-      nut, we call sfinj, or cornes de
                                                                               experiences or sensory overload!!
suring hand.                          gazelle pastries.
                                                                               The experience started as soon as
Once this happens, the newly          History and culture
                                                                               we boarded the Royal Air Ma-
acquainted boy and girl unite,        Most of the 27 million Moroc-
                                                                               roc flight, and continued for the
holding hands as a sign of intent.    cans are Berbers, Arabs or Moors
                                                                               entire trip. I’ll never forget the
Male relatives who accompany          (people of mixed Berber and
                                               Africa Travel Magazine

     Africa Travel Magazine
             Night in the Berber Gites
by Karen Hoffman                     of their flat-roofed homes. Built     to spend a night under the stars in
                                     into the mountain slopes, these       one of the many mountain sheep-
Our one-day adventure began          house fit into each other. Al-        folds (AZIB), but in winter it is
in Marrakech; an enchanting          though the summit of this moun-       advisable to pitch a tent.
walled city at the foot of the Atlas tain was Toubkal, at 4167m, our       “The Great Trek Through the
Mountains. We drove about 48         destination was the tiny village of   Moroccan Atlas”, a brochure
km into the mountain foothills to Aremd. As the group arrived, we          distributed by the Moroccan
Imlil, a charming hamlet which       were greeted with                               National Tourist Office,
was the starting point of our trek. a loud fanfare of                                is a detailed guide full
We were welcomed by the villag- Berber horns.                                        of practical information,
ers with mint tea and a delicious    On the terrace, we                              including local customs
array of Moroccan pastries. The      were able to relax                              and the environment.
mountain guides gave a briefing      and appreciate the                              This is an excellent
on the area, and on the culture      dramatic mountain                               example of how govern-
and tradition of its inhabitants,    panorama before                                 ment tourist boards can
the Berbers (“Chleuhs”). Moroc- us. Rested, we                                       encourage responsible
co is a land of mountains which      were invited to                                 tourism by reminding
cover an area of 100,000 square      feast on a seem-                                visitors to respect the
kilometres. The High Atlas alone ingly endless                                       environment and an-
cover more than 700 square ki-       array of traditional                            cestral traditions of the
lometres, with a dozen summits       dishes made of                                  local population.
exceeding 4000m and more than couscous, lamb                                         Luxurious antidote to
400 reaching 3000m.                  and chicken. Our                                adventure: A secretive
Trekking on foot and on skis         “digestive”was the return trek to     hideaway
are popular mountain sports in       Imlil, once again taking in the       In Palmeraie, a lovely suburb of
Morocco. The summits are eas-        peaceful scenery and fresh moun-      Marrakech, hidden in a park full
ily accessible, with a good net-     tain air.                             of bougainvillea, rose bushes
work of mule tracks. The peaks       For those unable to make the trek     and jasmine, is an exquisite, new
are permanently snow-capped,         on foot, Aremd is also accessible     ‘Palais”. Completed a few years
but there is a mild climate with     by four-wheel drive vehicles. And     ago as a private residence, the
sunshine most of the year. But it    for visitors who prefer a more        owners recently decided to open
is the opportunity to explore less challenging mountain experience,        it to guests as an exclusive villa
frequented areas and interact with you can arrange overnight treks,        and “hideaway”
an extremely hospitable local        staying in one of three types of      The architecture, a magnificent
population that make the Atlas       accommodation: mountain inns,         blend of Greco-Roman and ori-
particularly attractive to hikers.   mountain refuges (cabins built        ental styles, maximizes the use
Our trek was an easy 60-90           by the French) and Gites, over-       of natural light. A double row of
minute hike up a winding path        night stays in the homes of local     majestic columns, together with
which we shared with cargo-bear- people. Many GITES are classi-            the five guest rooms and two
ing mules. Each turn revealed        fied according to the amenities       suites, gracefully form a semi-
a breathtaking vista. One could      and facilities available (toilets,    circle around the Hollywood-
only envy the views enjoyed by       running water, shower, bedrooms,      style swimming pool.
these villagers from the terraces    kitchen terrace) Another option is    Already discovered by jet-set 
                                           Africa Travel Magazine
MOROCCO’S                              come and gone. Phoenicians,            ley are blended with the spices:
                                       Greeks, Romans, Arab’s, Span-          aniseed, cayenne, cinnamon,
                                       ish Muslims, and the Berbers, the      cumin, ginger, paprika, pep-
                                                                              per, saffron, turmeric and ras

                                       original inhabitants of the coun-
                                       try, all had their day. They ruled     el-hanout (a blend of spices) to
                                       the country for awhile then faded      produce mouth-watering dishes.
                                       into history. Their cuisines, with a   To give these non-meat creations

                                       touch of Portuguese, Turkish and       even more zest, onions, olives,
                                       Jewish influences, helped in the       pickled lemons, almonds and
                                       creation of the modern Moroccan.       sesame seeds are utilized exten-
by Habeeb Salloum                                                             sively.
                                       Well-known culinary experts
                                       have written that great food and       Soups, the mainstay of the poorer
No one who has enjoyed cous-                                                  peasants and at times their only
                                       glorious civilizations complement
cous, the national dish of Mo-                                                meal of the day, are based mostly
                                       each other. They go on to say that
rocco, in all its meat varieties,                                             on chickpeas and lentils. Infused
                                       what creates a noteworthy cuisine
will dream that in many peas-                                                 with herbs and spices, they be-
                                       are: abundance of ingredients;
ant homes this delicacy                                                       come delightful creations. The
                                                           outside influ-
is prepared solely from                                                       most widely prepared of these
                                                           ences; a noble
vegetables and semolina.                                                      soups is harira - the ultimate of
These toilers of the soil                                                     Moroccan soups. In the cities, the
                                                           and refined
who never taste meat for                                                      wealthy, in addition to the veg-
                                                           palace life.
weeks at a time prepare,                                                      etables, utilize all types of meat
                                                           Hence, in the
not only their couscous,                                                      to create their mouth-watering
                                                           elegant palaces
but almost all their dishes                                                   hariras. Yet, the peasants’ meat-
                                                           of the rich in
from grain and veg-                                                           less hariras are a match for any of
                                                           Fez and Mar-
etables. With the right                                                       these soups..
                                                           rakesh where
amount of herbs and spic-                                                     Moroccan salads differ to some
                                                           the great Arab-
es they create incredibly                                                     extent from the usual well-known
                                                           Islamic civili-
tasty meals, forming an                                                       salads. They are, in most cases,
                                       zation of Spain had its greatest
important part of the Moroccan                                                prepared from cooked vegetables
                                       impact, the culinary art of Moroc-
kitchen - a cuisine with an illus-                                            and are somewhat zesty but not
                                       co reached its epitome of perfec-
trious history. A great number of                                             spicy hot. In the homes of the
                                       tion. Paula Wolfert in her book,
the Moroccans firmly believe that                                             affluent, they are served at the
                                       Couscous and the Other Good
no other country’s culinary art                                               beginning of the meal as appetiz-
                                       Foods From Morocco, writes that
has reached the exalted heights                                               ers. However, for the poor, like
                                       Moroccan cooking is the last of
of their cooking. A number of                                                 the soups, they are usually the
                                       the great undiscovered cuisines.
travellers support this assess-                                               main course.
                                       Included in this relatively un-
ment, stating that if the food of                                             As to stews, the Moroccan
                                       known kitchen with a distin-
this North African country is not                                             kitchen would be much poorer
                                       guished past are the tasty dishes
the greatest in the world, it stands                                          without the delectable vegetable
                                       of the workers and peasants. In
near the top as one of the world’s                                            tajines. Fragrant, zesty, spicy or
                                       their daily Menues, little meat
eminent cuisines.                                                             sweet, they are always delicious
                                       is utilized. The grains and veg-
Ethnic Variety                                                                and inviting. Simmered to pro-
                                       etables are combined with numer-
In that spellbinding land with its                                            duce tasty sauces, their enticing
                                       ous herbs and spices to produce
long sandy coasts, rich plains,                                               aromas, as they cook, makes even
                                       savory and satisfying meals.
towering mountains , and endless                                              the one who has just eaten yearn
                                       The herbs: chervil, garlic, fresh
deserts, many civilizations have                                              to sample the simmering dish.
                                       coriander leaves, mint and pars-
                                                Africa Travel Magazine
Perhaps, more than any other         at the end of diffas (great feasts)
food, couscous, Morocco’s na-        to satiate the hunger of guests.
                                                                           With an illustrious background
tional dish, is cooked by the        Hence, complying with Arab
                                                                           and centuries of evolvement,
peasants solely from vegetables.     hospitality that ‘no guest can go
                                                                           Moroccan cuisine has made for
A Berber dish embellished by the     home hungry’.
                                                                           itself a notch in the cooking of
Arabs and Spanish Muslims, it        For sweets, the Moroccans are
                                                                           the world. In all strata of society,
is prepared in endless varieties.    known for their creations based
                                                                           the housewife prepares her dishes
Pleasing to the eye, it is served    on honey, almonds, sugar and
                                                                           so perfectly that it is considered
on a platter and the couscous is     flaky dough. The honey and al-
                                                                           vulgar to place salt on the table.
heaped pyramid style with a hol-     monds have always been utilized
                                                                           Usually, she keeps secret her own
low on top which is filled with      in Moroccan pastry. The sugar
                                                                           recipes and improves them with
the stew. Known as the king of       and flaky dough were introduced
                                                                           the passing years until they reach
the Moroccan kitchen, it is served   by the Arabs to North Africa and
                                                                              For one visiting Morocco
                                                                              there is not much chance to
                                                                              try these home-cooked meals.
                                                                              Nevertheless, travellers should
                                                                              not leave the country without
                                                                              having a meal in restaurants
                                                                              set in a converted Moorish-
                                                                              Andalusian palace which are
                                                                              to be found in every large city.
                                                                              Here, with haunting Arab mu-
                                                                              sic as a background, one can
                                                                              enjoy a sumptuous Moroccan
                                                                              repast which always includes a
                                                                              number of tempting vegetarian
                                                                              dishes. Such a meal will leave
                                                                              with most visitors, when they
                                                                              return to their native lands, a
                                                                              deep nostalgia for that coun-
                                                                              try’s food .
                                                                              On the other hand, if a person
                                                                              cannot journey to the enchant-
                                                                              ing and fascinating land of the
                                                                              Moors, these few vegetarian
                                                                              foods will give an insight into
                                                                              their great cuisine.
                                                                              VEGETABLE HARIRA
                                                                              Serves about 12
                                                                              5 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                              2 medium sized onions,
                                                                              3 cloves garlic, crushed
                                                                              1/2 cup finely chopped fresh
                                                                              coriander leaves
                                                                              1 small hot pepper, finely
                                             Africa Travel Magazine
chopped                             adding more water if necessary.       lemon slices and olives evenly
1 cup lentils, soaked overnight     In the meantime, in a frying pan,     overtop, then re-cover and bake
2 cups cooked chickpeas             heat oil, then sauté onions over      for a further 10 minutes. Serve
2 cups stewed tomatoes              medium heat for 15 minutes. Add       hot from the casserole.
8 cups water                        garlic, coriander leaves and hot      VEGETABLE COUSCOUS
3 teaspoons salt                    pepper, then stir-fry for further 5   Serves about 12
2 teaspoons ginger                  minutes. Add frying pan contents      A couscousiere is needed for this
1 teaspoon paprika                  and remaining ingredients to          recipe. However if one is not
1 teaspoon pepper                   beans, then bring to boil, adding     available a double boiler with a
1 teaspoon cumin                    more water if necessary. Re-          perforated top may be substituted.
1 teaspoon turmeric                 cover, then cook for 30 minutes,      2 cups couscous
1/4 cup rice                        adding a little more water if nec-    5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons lemon juice           essary. Stir in lemon juice, then     4 tablespoons cooking oil
                                    serve hot or cold.                    1 large onion, chopped
In a large saucepan, heat oil, then VEGETABLE TAJINE                      4 cloves garlic, crushed
sauté onions over medium heat       Serves 6 to 8                         1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cori-
for 10 minutes. Add garlic, cori-   4 tablespoons butter                  ander leaves
ander leaves and hot pepper, then 2 medium onions, chopped                1 hot pepper, finely chopped
stir-fry for a further 5 minutes.   4 cloves garlic crushed               1 can chickpeas (19 oz 540 ml),
Stir in remaining ingredients,      4 tablespoons finely chopped          with its water
except the lemon juice, then bring fresh coriander leaves                 2 cups stewed tomatoes
to a boil. Cover and cook over      1 small hot pepper, finely            1/2 cup lentils
medium heat for 35 minutes or       chopped                               2 medium carrots, scraped and
until the rice and lentils are well 4 medium potatoes, peeled, the        quartered, then cut lengthwise
done, adding more water if neces- sliced into l/4 inch thick slices       into 2 inch long pieces
sary or if a more liquid soup is    2 medium sized carrots, scraped,      2 medium parsnips, peeled and
desired. Stir in lemon juice, then  then cut into thin rounds             quartered, then cut lengthwise
serve.                              1 can chickpeas (19 oz 540 ml),       into 2 inch long pieces
BROAD BEAN PURÉE -                  with its water                        2 medium sized potatoes, peeled
BIESAR Serves about 8               2 cups stewed tomatoes                and diced into 1 inch cubes
2 cups large dried broad beans,     1 teaspoon salt                       1 small turnip, about 3 inch in
soaked for 24 hours, then skinned 1 teaspoon ginger                       diameter, peeled and diced into 1
5 cloves garlic, chopped            1/2 teaspoon pepper                   inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin             1/4 teaspoon cumin                    1/4 cup raisins
4 tablespoons olive oil             pinch of saffron                      3 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice           1 lemon, quartered, then sliced       1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt                into thin slices                      1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon oregano                  1/2 cup pitted green olives           1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon thyme                  In a casserole, melt butter, then     1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne                sauté onions, garlic, coriander       pinch of saffron
1/2 teaspoon paprika                leaves and hot pepper over me-        6 cups water
In a pot, place broad beans, garlic dium heat for 10 minutes. Stir        1 teaspoon paprika
and cumin, then cover with water in remaining ingredients, except         1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
and bring to boil. Cover sauce-     the lemon slices and olives, then     Place couscous and butter in a
pan, then cook over medium heat place in a 3500 F preheated oven,         bowl, then thoroughly mix until
for 50 minutes or until beans are   then cover and bake for 1 hour, or    all kernels are coated. Place in
cooked. Drain, but reserve the      until vegetables are cooked. Place    top part of the couscousiere, then

                                             Africa Travel Magazine
set aside.                             ing sauce in a gravy bowl and
In the bottom part of the couscou-     remaining vegetables in a sepa-
siere, heat oil, then sauté onion,     rate bowl.
garlic, coriander leaves and hot       Habeeb Salloum
pepper over medium heat for 10         58 Langbourne Place
minutes. Add remaining ingredi-        Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B
ents, except paprika, and sesame       1A9
seeds, and bring to a boil, then fit   Tel: 416/445-4558, Fax: 416/510-
the top part of the couscous filled    2143
couscousiere with the couscous         E-mail: habeeb.salloum@sym-
on the bottom part and seal the
two parts together with a piece
of cloth impregnated with flour.
Cook over medium heat for 20
minutes, stirring couscous once
in a while to make sure no lumps
are formed, then slowly sprinkle,
while constantly stirring, a cup
of water over couscous. Cook for
further 30 minutes, continuing to
stir couscous every few minutes.
Remove top part of the couscous-
iere and ensure the vegetables are
cooked. If not, cook for further
few minutes.
Place couscous on a large serving
platter, pyramid shape, then make
well on top. Place cooked vege-
tables with a little of the sauce in
the well, then decorate couscous
with paprika and sesame seeds.
Serve immediately with remain-
                                              Africa Travel Magazine
January 14-17, 2010                  country as a whole. Where else         ing adding an undeniable feeling
will be here soon. Make              are all the walls and buildings        of the past. Marrakech is now
plans now!                           tinted in a rich pastel pink, the      something of a Moroccan tourism
                                     broad avenues and promenades           Mecca and is home to the south’s
About Marrakech                      lined with rows and rows of or-        premier souq (market).
by Muguette Goufrani                 ange trees with ripe fruit dangling    Founded almost 1,000 years
We have known what a great           from their branches like holiday       ago, the character of Marrakech
host city Marrakech is since we      ornaments? In recent years and         remains quite unchanged, being
were part of the Africa Travel       from our magazine’s new base           hot, full of energy and somewhat
Association’s 3rd Cultural and       in Morocco, we managed to visit        African. However, the city of
Ecotourism Symposium in 1996         a and photograph a wide cross          today has been greatly influenced
at Le Palais du Congrès, one year section the city’s of riads and           by arriving Europeans and fea-
after Africa Travel Magazine was hotels, in order to give our read-         tures outdoor swimming pools,
founded. Born in Morocco, edu-       ers an idea of the choice available    mountain parties, and street cafes,
cated here and having traveled       for all price ranges. The follow-      as well as Moroccan palaces,
much of the country with my fa-      ing are comments from Morocco          mosques and kasbahs, spread
ther, one of Morocco’s major tour Tourism: Serving as the capital           around the Medina and its centre
operators, I knew about Marrake- of southern Morocco, the city of           Djemaa El Fna square. For the
ch, its reputation and amazing       Marrakech is one of the country’s      latest in Marrakech tourist in-
potential for tourism. Today, 14     most visited and this colorful oa-     formation, head to the New City
years later, that statement is borne sis retains a rather exotic flavour,   (Ville Nouvelle) and pay a visit
out by outstanding growth in         with some 16 km / 10 miles of          to the Office National Marocain
the city’s tourism sector and the    mid-brick ramparts still stand-        du Tourism (ONMT). Morocco
                                                                            and Africa are developing their
                                                                            own tourism event, the Moroccan
                                                                            Travel Market (MTM), the Inter-
                                                                            national Tourism Fair dedicated
                                                                            to industry professionals, which
                                                                            will take place from 14 to 17
                                                                            January 2010 in Marrakech.
                                                                            An International Event, MTM’s
                                                                            first edition in 2008 brought
                                                                            together tourism professionals
                                                                            from over 20 countries; with 230
                                                                            exhibitors, 8689 visitors and 120

                                              Africa Travel Magazine
                                                                                     New higher resolution
                                                                                     photos and maps to be
                                                                                     added. Text to receive
                                                                                     final editing before pub-

 foreign journalists who took part   information and accommodation         to tourism professionals in the
 in the inaugural event, which has   visit         region, this is confirmed by the
 been unanimously described as a     a71.html                              international echo which it had
 master piece.                       Why Exhibit at MTM?                   that by the trust and the loyalty of
 An excellent business platform,     A single quote summarizes the         the participants. Indeed, 97 % of
 the fair is the ideal opportunity   satisfaction of the participants to   the exhibitors renew their partici-
 for all Moroccan and foreign        the Moroccan Travel Market, that      pations to the second edition and
 tourism professionals to expose     of a Tour Operator who addressed      the majority of exhibitors double
 their products and services and     the organizers: “What has been        their spaces of exhibition. This
 meet fellow professionals, deci-    noted here far exceeds what we        trust is a strong signal expressed
 sion makers and buyers from         generally expect at some shows        by satisfied professionals.
 around the world. Enjoying its      that are more internationally fa-     Exhibiting at the Moroccan Trav-
 strategic geographical situa-       mous. Morocco gave evident that       el Market it is benefiting from the
 tion, between Europe and Africa,    it can organize its own event and     contribution of an integral event:
 Morocco, through the Moroc-         succeed.”                             • Business and development op-
 can Travel Market, is becoming      In one edition, The MTM became        portunities for your company
 the vector of development of the    the first Travel Fair dedicated       • Fruitful and beneficial meetings
 North-South exchanges. For fill                                           • Professional visitors and deci-
                                                                           • A rich and diverse program in a
                                                                           friendly atmosphere
                                                                           • A meeting space for profession-
                                                                           als to promote destinations
                                                                           MTM offers you the possibility
                                                                           • Materialise commercial oppor-
                                                                           tunities and finalise partnership
                                                                           • Follow new market trends and
                                                                           stay up-to-date
                                                                           • Promote your offering to the
                                                                           leaders of the industry
                                                                           • Boost your image and stress
                                                                           your positioning
                                            Africa Travel Magazine

Shared By: