By Mohamed Brahimi
“You have an amazing country” this pretty much sums up the sentiment that is echoed by all students and professors that we have had the fortune to accompany to Morocco under the banner of Glocal Impacts.
We are convinced that Morocco should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. Despite all the hiccups that we work hard to manage, despite all the price gauging that occasionally happen when we are not around to set things straight with some greedy unscrupulous vendors. Despite the careless restaurateurs who could care less about sanitation and quality. Despite some in the hospitality sectors who seem to be so color blind that they can’t tell a white sheet from one that is too old and too stained that it turned brown. Despite all of that, Morocco still commends the love and the infatuation to most who visit.
As a native of Morocco, I can totally understand the infatuation. Moroccans are far beyond kind and generous to foreign visitors. Always aiming to please!! Morocco is home to some historical sites that are just awe inspiring. I happen to have a very warm spot in my heart for the city of Fes. I can feel my heart expand merely for spotting of the highway blue billboard sign as we approach the city.
I spent two glorious years of my life in Dahr Al Mahraz studying Jurisprudence at the hand of top scholars like Abdelkarim Daoudi and Abu AL Waleed Al Marini. Walking the labyrinth of the old city has always felt like a treat and a privilege that I never took for granted. The work that the Naji family is doing with artisans at Moresque is to be lauded.
Unfortunately, this ancient city is being forsaken by those who don’t have the slightest idea about the value of a city that the UNESCO has designated as preserved world heritage. Singling out Fes should not give one the impression that it is the only forgotten city. My own city, Casablanca is pushed to the fringes and so is Sale and the entire North and South East… etc.
Fes, however, remains a place worthy of all care and attention. The city has adversely been affected by rural migration and those who have their interest above the value of the city that ought not to be compromised regardless the personal gains. People speak of several security slip ups that the city has done very little to reign in.
While I sound very disheartened by all of this, I still think that Fes is a city that can be saved if there is enough political will to do so. In representing Glocal Impacts, we can’t think of a better city to visit and we can’t deny that our students love it. But I know this to be a lackluster performance on the part of the people in charge. This is way beneath what Fes is. The city deserves much much more.