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Morocco: Berber Sensibility.

It’s the first week in April, 2009 and the surroundings of Marrakech are covered in an unusual carpet of green. Wild flowers, wheat fields and stretches of land that have rarely known grass, are bringing a lushness to the desert that has not been seen in 40 years.

Sheep are plump, donkey’s clip-clop seemingly more joyful pulling carts of hay, and lambs scamper after one another like children at play. I have often watched in amazement wondering how the animals found anything at all to eat, nuzzling around on what looks like pebbles on this arid land. Now they have a banquet table full of tasty options.

As we move from the plains closer to the Atlas, we are stunned by the extraordinary blue skies and the majestic snow -capped mountains that provided sharp contrast to the lush green Ourika valley below. Water is flowing in all the irrigation ditches. Olive gardens with branch-high stalks of winter wheat are mistaken for a meadow in Italy; as opposed to a mostly earthen-colored landscape typical of north Africa. The rain has not changed what they eat necessarily, but it has changed the look on the villagers faces. What was somewhat harsh, has softened. It’s cool and pleasant. For once, they are not bracing themselves against the element of dry heat and dust. Continue reading…