Rabat - Speeding along the coastline and watching as the orange sun slowly sinks toward the ocean I feel like we would not be out of place in California.
Rabat – Speeding along the coastline and watching as the orange sun slowly sinks toward the ocean I feel like we would not be out of place in California.
After all, the palm tree lined boulevard and the promise of a long night have set the mood only to be completed by the American pop music blaring on the car radio.
We are not in California but in Rabat, Morocco. Or rather somewhere between Rabat and Tamera, the community anchored by the beach just a few kilometers away. We are racing time, hoping to get to the beach before it is completely dark when we will break our fast with the Iftar meal. As the sun sinks lower, the orange and yellow hues dancing on the water, it seems we will be a few minutes late.
Finally, we find a place to park. The streets around the beach are full of cars, eating Iftar on the beach is a popular tradition. As we get out of the car, the mosque just up the hill begins sounding the call to prayer. Folding chairs and backpacks of food sent by our mother’s in hand, we make our way to the sand and begin opening the carefully packed dishes and bottles of juice.
As our table fills with dates, eggs, orange juice, briwat and other Ramadan favorites, good natured prodding about who brought the best food ensues. Everyone insists that their mother is the best cook. Tin foil packages are passed around, compliments exchanged and in the darkness of the beach we feast and drink our fill, finally breaking our fast for the day.
Later, in the dark, a friend pulls out a pack of cards and we play rummy by the lights on our phones. Occasionally the wind picks up a card, defiant that it did not merit an invitation to our game. So we reshuffle and continue our game.
Eventually, the breeze becomes too chilly for our light jackets and we begin to clear our table. Foil packages are wrapped around what we didn’t eat and we head back to the car to speed off into the night, full, happy and again blasting American pop music.