I’m excited to share with you my recent trip to Morocco! It was such a memorable trip alhamdulelah; I definitely returned a new and inspired person with insights I didn’t have before. Morocco has a special place in my family and I’s heart because my father, Sheikh Dr. Hassan El-Yacoubi, may Allah rest his soul, was buried there. He also went to law school there, so he has dear friends throughout the country.
We went to four cities: Fez, Rabat, Meknes, and Casablanca - in that order. Each city offered me something so uniquely distinct from the other. I fell in love with Morocco, from its history, to its architecture, to culture, to cuisine, and of course fashions! I will be releasing a bunch of blog posts over the next couple of weeks sharing a little bit of everything, so stay tuned.
We started off our trip in the northern city of Fez, the second largest city in Morocco after Casablanca. We spent the bulk of our trip there. What I loved most about this old city was its spiritual vibes. It is home to many important religious figures who have left their traces all throughout the city til this very day. Fez is also home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Qarawiyyin, which its mosque is located inside the Old Souq (if you’re wondering what the souq looks like think of an outdoor shopping market in alleyways, similar to the one Aladdin walks through on unpaved dirt roads with pseudo ceilings made out of carpets). I loved how within the old souq you had multiple mosques embedded within them. Imagine you are in an old, somewhat rundown, marketplace and encounter multiple, beautifully designed mosques within them. It’s a pleasant surprise. Of them is Masjid al Idrisi, which I’ve posted pictures of below.
I have to say one of my favorite memories of this city was experiencing the honesty and generosity of its people, even in the old souq where people just want to sell you things. That’s where I did most of my shopping, and I found the sellers to be honest brokers, not trying to ring every penny out of me. In fact, my brother over paid for an item one day and the owner waited for his return the next day to give him his money back.
There were too many nice things to buy, but what caught my eye most were the blue and white hand painted designs on tile, porcelain, vases, plates, and cups. Those colors and motifs are unique to Fez, which do have Spanish and Turkish influence. I wanted to buy every piece!
Ok I think I should wrap it up now, though I could go on and on. I’m going to start off with architectural and cultural pictures of the city. Ps, one thing you’re going to see a lot of in my posts are pictures of doorways, entrances, and hallways. Morocco is known for their gorgeous doorways; even in the shabbiest and most random of places. Enjoy!