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Morocco, The Sunset Land. Miguel Angel Calle

Puesta de solThe Sunset Land.
The word Morocco is derived from Marrakech, the berber word for the former Almoravid and Almohad capital, which means “Land of God”. The Arabic name is “Al Maghrib”, meaning something like “The Farthest West” or “The Sunset Land”. In fact, Morocco was the furtherest western territory of the Arabic Empire.

The way things are named is not a matter of fate, but something that has to be taken into account for a better understanding.  If we go deep into the etymology of “Morocco” we will be taken back to a suggestive place between earth and heaven, lifted up by a magic carpet driven by winds to dreamy worlds where the sun never sets.

Desierto

Maybe this is one of the most common images that arise inside the collective western unconscious when we think about Morocco, as well as other Arabic countries.

It is so close to us, and is so abundant in the raw materials that dreams are made of.  The kind of dreams that arise like mirages around the corner when the everyday reality overcomes us and we want to run away, (the further the better,) when we can not give up to the temptation of being rehabilitated into one of the magical realities as told in “One Thousand and One Nights”.

The expectations of the contemporary traveller do not differ from the ones of those legendary travellers of the XIX century –Delacroix, Foucauld, Robert Kerr, Joseph Thompson, Jean Potocki- that were attracted by the call of the exotic and  came to Morocco for the new air that emanated from a simple, endless and pure style of life.

That legendary view of a country in which traditions have remained intact for centuries, (not from reluctance to evolve, but for love of the way things are already done,) is something that  the traveller will have to check by himself.  Inevitably, the traveller will be taken aback, like a shipwrecked person digging  up a chest, being witness to an endless stream of contrasts and contradictions: from earth (the people that inhabit the country) and from the sky that shelters everything.

 MujercañonArtesano

Will the Morocco of nowadays be the one that we go after in our dreams? How far will one be from the other?
We will try to show, throughout several reports, the multiple sides that our neighbour country has. In this first report we will concentrate on the Atlantic coast. From Tangier to Essaouira we cover several coastal towns.

Miguel Angel Calle 

 
 

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