Its been my dream to visit Morocco. Seriously. My friends that have travelled there only tell me only good things about its rugged/romantic north african vibes. My flight to Sao Paulo from Lisbon was flying south via Casablanca, which meant that I was going to catch a glimpse of this magical arab country for a total of 12 hours. So, thought I'd meet some locals, write a blog, take some photos, and film a short video portrait.
I spent the night in this dodgy Air BnB apartment. The people that lived there were american and smoked for hours and hours. I hate cigarette smoke! Lol. I left the worst review but still hope they were still benefited from my vibe. Ha.
After being in Morocco for 12 hours I realised something. People all around me were helpful. I made friends frequently. I felt safe. The only annoying people I met were non-morrocon. My taxi driver was an absolute legend of a bloke. His name was Driss. He invited to stay in his house with his newly wedded wife if I ever come back for a surf trip.
I met a character called Hamid. He is the featured singer in my video portrait. This guy (who I presume was homeless) entered into a short dialogue. I spat a few words of French and Arabic, and he laughed and responded with his north-african banter. We were seriously vibing out on each other. Hamid suddenly broke out in this islamic prayer song and I couldn’t resist but get my camera out and capture some of his nasal tone and raw passion. It was, so good.
Sometimes its just so good to be alone. I'd been producing music/touring with my music/travelling with my parents for some time and I was seriously stoked to have a little time of contemplation.
I was super bummed out that I didn't get to spend a few days on the coast and get some fun waves. I got in contact with australian photographer @sproutdaily in an effort to connect on his adventure. He however was far from me up north and I had no time to chase him down!
Let’s be honest, there’s so much hate about it these days.
My recent visit to Morrocco moved me into a time of contemplation. I was only there for 12 hours. Yet this short taste of northern africa made me think about the way I perceive people from a culture different to time.
My mother was born into an Islamic community. As a little south eastern village girl my mum grew up practising the Salat and participating in Ramadan. My asian grand mother still teaches the Quran to young primary school kids. When she became a Christian her whole life was turned on its head.
She became ostracised from her own country, from her village, from her own family. She didn’t see her family in person for 25 years. Sadly enough she was not even able to bury her father.
Growing up I feel like I always had this gap in my life. I was never able to contact my mothers side of the family.
We seldom were able to talk over the phone every couple of years, but thats about it.
I didn’t actually meet them face to face until i was 21.
My perception towards the people of Islam was always negative and we hardly ever spoke of my mum’s culture. Being part of a white community (even though I’m half asian), its just natural that I demonised the people of Islam, believing whatever was taught on the news and whatever films were screened via Hollywood that often carried an anti-islam/anti-arab vibe.
Before experiencing my mum’s country, I’d travelled through Egypt. For the first time I realised that there are so many incredibly beautiful, generous and genuine people in the arab world. I vividly remember getting crazy with thirty plus kids around the street, taking films of them playing tricks on each other and trying to communicate through the english/arabic wall. I felt really safe there.
The last couple of years have shown to be an interesting time for our planet. With all the scare of ISIS and ‘terrorism’ many of us are holding our breath. And the thought of coming close to islamic people and learning from them is often very far from our thinking. I think that Australians can feel a bit overly threatened by Islam gaining a stronger presence in our community.
There are so many things that I disagree about the Islamic faith. I’m not saying that all religions are the same. I'm not pro-islam. Nor do I agree with the Islamisation of western cultures. But I do think there is still so much I can learn from my muslim brothers - family culture, devotion, approachability.