The entrepreneur and owner of Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains believes that you can’t underplay the value of listening and storytelling.
Rabat – While reflecting on his recent visit to the luxury Kasbah Tamadot, Sir Richard Branson expressed his love for Moroccan storytelling traditions.
The co-founder of the British multinational venture capital conglomerate Virgin Group Ltd. and philanthropist published a blog post on Friday, January 17, detailing the highlights of his latest visit to Kasbah Tamadot, where he sat down with Mohammed, an employee of the hotel since 2005.
Perched on a colorful spread of Amazigh carpets and leather poufs, Branson and Mohammed shared tea and exchanged stories under an orange tree in the kasbah’s quiet courtyard.
“I’ve known Mohammed for nearly 15 years now, but it was wonderful to learn more about his life and talk about the importance of storytelling,” the Briton wrote.
Branson explained that Mohammed spent 11 years managing the restaurant at Kasbah Tamadot before retiring in 2016.
“However, he soon found himself missing the Kasbah Tamadot family so we were only too happy to welcome him back as our Master Tea Maker,” Branson beamed.
Mohammed told Branson about his six children and grandchildren, one of whom also works at Kasbah Tamadot. Another grandchild is “shaping up to be quite the entrepreneur,” Branson added.
“Mohammed is also a wonderful listener—a skill that should never be underestimated,” the Briton continued.
“In our busy lives, it’s easy to rush through conversations, be quick to offer our own opinions and nod along while our minds are elsewhere. Showing your undivided attention and being present is one of the kindest things you can do for someone. Listening [is] also one of the best ways to learn and to make people feel valued.”
Branson went on to praise the ancient Moroccan art of storytelling.
Storytelling helps to educate people about history, culture, the arts, and morality, the Briton explained.
“Master storytellers once filled bustling city squares to recite Hikayats (traditional oral narratives), but sadly, the custom is dying out,” he lamented.
“I also love learning and communicating through stories,” Branson continued. “It’s a great way to connect with people.”
“You can’t underplay the value of listening and storytelling (as well as serving delicious tea!) so I’m pleased that Mohammed and the team at Kasbah Tamadot and playing a part in preserving this tradition,” the British billionaire concluded.
With a net worth of $4 billion, Branson is one of the richest men in the UK. He purchased Kasbah Tamadot after discovering it during a ballooning expedition in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.
The five-star hotel in the small town of Asni features a swimming pool, cooking classes, a spectacular garden, luxury tents with private jacuzzis, and 28 beautifully-decorated rooms. In 2019, Travel + Leisure Magazine named Kasbah Tamadot the best resort hotel in North Africa and the Middle East.
Branson’s love for Morocco is well-known, and his affinity for his staff members underscores his connection to the country, its people, and its culture.
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