After my family left Morocco and I’d sufficiently recovered from New Year’s Eve food poisoning (thanks, Marrakesh!), I boarded a Qatar Airways flight to Amman. A long two-part flight, in which a nice Kuwaiti man offered me ketchup-flavored Lays chips and sprayed my hands with Armani perfume, followed, and I arrived in the Levant just as the second part of George R.R. Martin’s Feast for Crows audiobook was ending (don’t worry, Cersei eventually gets what she deserves).
It’s a snowy Monday night in Ifrane, Morocco. At AUI’s student lounge, a few college students sit on red couches and joke around. They are here for Design for Change, the campus branch of an international organization that aims to empower kids in Ifrane area schools. As the club’s president, 20-year-old Younes Akherfi, sums up recent Valentine’s Day fundraising activities, more students enter, and the room is soon filled with around 40 of the club’s 60 active student members. One of the school coordinators, Safia Sekkat, 19, introduces this week’s activity: Valentine’s Day cards with 180 primary schoolers at Essalam School.
This semester, I’ve had the fortune to attend Dr. John Shoup’s African Cinema course. This class exposes students to wonderful films that — surprise! — can sometimes be found in full length on Youtube. I didn’t want to keep these to myself, so here are my two favorites so far, taken from our North Africa unit. Grab your Haribo, Nutella and ice cream, and enjoy…
Close to New Year’s, my family headed to the beautiful Fes. We visited carpenters set up in gold dusted alleyways: