In my first Medina post, I wandered among the souk’s pirated DVDs, alarm clocks and knockoff Apple products from an entrance near Parliament. This time around, I approached the Medina from the Bouregreg River and experienced the carpets, teapots and tempests of Rabat’s more traditional artisan scene.
At the entrance to the medina, a friend took me to Ali’s Bazaar.
(Lunchmeat-cheese face — you’ll understand soon enough)
It’s been an eventful three weeks here in Rabat – from the medina to murderously crazy city streets (every stoplight contains a bit of green, right?), I’ve been slowly learning about Rabat-style survival. I haven’t immersed myself into Moroccan culture as I eventually plan to due to my English language-based internship and living situation. I often feel myself withdrawing, for a few hours, from an unfamiliar environment to a community that shares important parts of my cultural background.
It’s not so easy, though, to isolate myself food wise, and that’s a very good thing.
Rabat, Morocco: At Rabat’s historic Chellah, flowers, birds and dust reign as warm-hued Roman ruins give way to humidity and the hot Rabat sun. On the cloudless Ramadan afternoon of my visit, the site’s serenity breaks only for the occasional flap of storks’ wings or the chatter of excited tourist groups. As an ideal place to absorb history, practice landscape photography or even study, Chellah is my first and, so far, favorite, historic Moroccan site.
As a young girl, Grace Morris felt inspired and empowered by Starfire, a Teen Titans T.V. series character. Morris, an aspiring comics artist, recalls the miniskirt and crop top-wearing Starfire as a role model, as someone who, in Morris’s words, could fight with the best of them and loved pancakes. But this positive representation, says Morris, has changed drastically as she’s grown up.
The Bou Regreg River
Last Wednesday, I moved to Morocco for an internship in Rabat and study abroad year at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, near Fez. In the past 11 days, many aspects of Morocco’s physical and cultural beauty have surprised, struck and excited me.
Poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
“It is ridiculous how she looks on the poster,” says Lauren Berkley, laughing. Berkley, a writer at GeeksareSexy.net, is referring to an advertisement for the 2014 movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. On it, actress Scarlett Johansson falls short of reality, according to Berkley.
“Scarlett Johansson is a curvy girl, but they made her even thinner on the poster,” said Berkley. “She’s walking with her hip all the way out to one side, but then her other foot is crossed in front, almost like she’s on a catwalk. No one walks like that.”
Though she finds it funny, Berkley believes this depiction has wider implications: she attributes its lack of reality to the objectification of women by male poster designers.