By Mohamed Zefzaf
By Mohamed Zefzaf
Rabat – The famous Dr. Johnson said that, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Therefore, the following words are not a about patriotism. Rather, they are about the amazing kindness of the Moroccan people.
My wife and I have recently travelled to Rabat, with a small detour in Casablanca. From our exit at the airport in Sale-a small architectural gem-to our stay at the picturesque little Hotel by the banks of the river Bou Regreg, to the tramway ride across Rabat, it has been an unexpected spiritual journey, with many random acts of kindness. In this unusually harsh world, it was so refreshing and hopeful to be the recipients of so much love.
The old adage that journalism is not about a dog biting a man, but rather about a man biting a dog, is what prevails in the news cycle these days. Good news is not news; however, we have been treated so generously by so many people, I felt compelled to write this love-note as a sign of our profound gratitude to all the amazing people we’ve met in Morocco.
Here is an anecdote, then it might not be: Friday December 2, 2016 was a pouring, raining day in Casablanca. While visiting the magnificent and truly imposing Hassan II mosque, we were caught in heavy rain. As we hurried, trying to get shelter, a car stopped. It was a lovely young couple. From the kindness of their hearts, they offered us a ride out of the rain. In their small intimate car, with Nass El Ghiwane playing in the background, we talked in that old fashion way, peculiar to Moroccans. And, although, we had just met, it seemed that we had known each other for years. It was a beautiful experience.
At the end of our ride, we thanked them profusely and even offered them some money to defray their cost. At this point, the young couple smiled in unison. The `woman said, with an understanding tone, “ We did not give you a ride for money. We did it just because we wanted to be kind.” I apologized to them understanding that I had committed a faux pas in my clumsy attempt to reciprocate. They accepted my sincerity with more smiles-this time all around the small car.
There were many other random acts of kindness during our sojourn in Morocco- Too many to list here. When several anecdotes occur in the space of a few of days, they may no longer be anecdotes; instead, their accumulation becomes a reality-a testament that Morocco is an open, generous society, with a transcending sense of hospitality.