Marrakech in Summer

Ikram Tarkis

(Morocco)


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Marrakech in summer: unchanging yet fleeting. It sounds red like warmth and sings melodies like a home, built around an old town and growing around it, like a Riad encompassing ancestors and grandchildren. You can taste the unbearable summer heat, the smell of olives and soil and wind fill in the thick air, and the colours of spices break through thin walls, and settle in your heart.

As you walk through the streets of the old Medina, the sun-filled day sky is slowly turning dark, the cadence is shifting, you can almost see the calmness of the vibrant nights, the quietness of the loud neighbours, the long sunny days, men chatting as they walk back slowly from mosques, hands holding each other tightly. If you stare longer, you will hear the Earth singing beneath them. And if it is very tranquil, you can feel a mother’s sweet voice soothing a baby, a child, a home.

And before you depart Morocco to return to your home, an ocean away, in Europe or America to Europe or America, you shall listen to the walls, telling stories of resistance, against the time and the invaders and the Earth shaking their foundations. And if the palms of your hands caress the red walls, and you will hear the chants of nightingales, between cracks and fractures, and if your eyes and mind observe carefully, you will hear the same stories the grandmothers told, from a time before homes and walls.

Ikram Tarkis

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

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