A lot of people prefer to leave the cities and spend their Ramadan in the Sahara, far from the noise of cars and the slavery of technology and modern life.
Smara, Morocco – They take their children to the heart of the desert so as to spend this holy month in the open horizons of Mother Nature, far from all aspect of modernity, civilization and mass media.
In the desert, they spend their days with their ship, goats and camels under the shadow of trees or inside their tents worshiping God, reading the Qoran, singing spiritual and religious songs, composing poems and thinking about life and creation.
They travel inside their collective memory remembering what they were and how they used to live with their grandfathers and grandmothers in those beautiful years that are gone with the wind of forgetfulness.
The Sahara gives people the sense of being free from all images of modern technological slavery and pollution of the mind, the spirit and the heart.
They are far from the news of killings, violence and deaths brought by the mass media, bad movies, and shows that are produced and presented during Ramadan on both national and international channels with the only purpose of disturbing and corrupting our psyches.
Inside the desert, we renew the natural relations with Mother Nature. We use our senses, feelings and hearts. Our eyes watch and see the different components of nature.
We spend the mornings and afternoons with our herds of animals and we watch them as they look for food and water. We follow them with our eyes as they graze in pastures.
This allows us to feel the greatness of the creator who gave us minds and reason. Consequently, we thank God for creating us as humans instead of animals.
By night, we light fires to see what the sun light hides. Darkness of the desert is itself another light that unveils a different type of beauty and other aspects of the desert’s wonders and secrets.
Most of the time, people spend the nights with families, singing songs of their ancestors and listening to the tales, stories and histories of their grandparents.
People get connected with their past as they reflect and think about the lives our forefathers, the tribes and the knights who used to dwell in the middle of the desert’s tents, which is not only an empty void, but a magical world full of unseen beauty and untested sweetness and greatness.
When people spend their nights on the dunes, they watch the world by the light of the moon and the stars. The stars guide their paths and their lives and guide the way of the travelers through the night.
The Sahraoui people always wait impatiently for the sunset to enjoy the beautiful scene of the stars as they wake up, while the sun makes its way to bed and to sleep.
The desert is special because we are able to listen to the beautiful songs and sounds of the wind and the voices of animals. We listen to the beatings of our hearts and to the beatings of the world.
People eat and drink only natural food and drinks, like the milk of the camel. They prepare tea at night around the fire and on the coal, using everything the desert has to offer.
The time people spend in the Sahara, is like the time students spend at school. They take classes of history, literature and anthropology, where parents pass the lessons they learned from nature and from the desert to their children.
The school of the desert does not only produce learners who have heads filled and stored with useless ideas and lessons, the Sahara sharpens the life skills of the people and put them in real situations where they must use their intelligence to solve the problems they face.
The Sahara teaches people to rely on themselves, to find solutions to whatever obstacle and problem they face and to use their entire being to find their way and to live.
The men and women of the desert do not believe in the impossible. They bear with patience the lack of food, water, means of transportation, and medicine, and they rely on what the womb of nature gives them.
This makes them live life for the pure joy of being alive. Their motto is, ‘to be or to be’. They do not believe in ‘not to be ‘. This is the kind of citizens we need, people who love their natural and cultural contexts, and people who are self-reliant, self-made and self-dependent.
Ramadan is the month where we should be spiritual beings, doing the mission we are created for on this earth: to worship God and to understand that all aspects of material life are nothing, temporary and passing.
We are born naked and we will die naked. When we die, we certainly will leave everything behind. Thus it is better to share what we have with those who do not have and to do good deeds as long as we are still alive.
Living in the desert is like a journey inside the womb of spirituality. People leave behind all their possessions, their technological tools and beautiful houses and clothes. They carry only their tents and their daily food and they live like birds with no stores and no bank accounts. They rely on God to guide them, to feed them and to water them.
The desert is a hospital that cures our mental psychological illnesses, helps us to get rid of depression, tension and noise of modern life and it frees from the shackles of machines and technology.
Living in the island of the sand and the dunes encourages the values of self-reliance, group work, family connection, and revives our collective memories and our natural intelligences far from selfishness, egoism, greed and the pollution of all what is human and natural. It is a real return to the origins and to Mother Nature.