Thursday, June 7th, 2012...10:15 am

Morocco: Post #5

The medina in Marrakech

Making our way through the Marrakech square to reach the medina was a challenge. Snake charmers, fortune tellers, and a slew of persistent salespeople all vied for our touristy attention. However, the expertise of our peerless and fearless guide, Rafi, led us in the right direction. The medina is essentially a covered market, housing a plethora of shops selling a variety of Moroccan goods.

Through a maze of alleyways, Rafi found a small staircase that took us into an air-conditioned room that felt alien to the midst of the commotion that is the medina. The walls were lined with jars of spices and other interesting unidentifiables – an apothecary.

the apothecary

The employees showed off an impressive array of spices, cosmetics, and home remedies, prompting most of the group to do a little shopping. We were then let loose for some free time to peruse the shops and test our bartering skills.

Backpacks full and pockets a few dirhams lighter, the group returned to our hotel for another reflection session. We opened by discussing our experience the previous day, when the Jewish woman in Marrakesh appeared to emotionally break down and urge Simone to do more for her. However, the group reached a consensus that the JDC, as a philanthropic organization with limited resources, is only responsible for providing for her necessities. Only a more proactive approach on her end to working with the organization could bring her happiness. This introduced a conversation about the larger issue of how a hypothetical Jewish philanthropic organization should go about ordering its priorities. We concluded by listening to Evan explain in detail the JDC’s opinion on the matter and the nature of its global operations.

Afterwards, we visited the house of Jamal, a friend of Rafi’s, for a cooking lesson and dinner.

At Jamal's home

Many of us were puzzled how an apparently ordinary friend was going to fit and feed all twenty of us in his house, but it turned out to be a veritable mansion. The meal (four courses, as always) was as delicious as the decorations were exquisite, and a good time was had by all.

 

Tufts Hillel - Morocco - Summer 2012

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