People of Marrakech #04 [en]

Ayoub weaving life

What comes to your mind when you close your eyes and think of Marrakech?

This is what I see:
the stoic patience of the donkeys, colorful and long robes, exotic odors and sacks of spices, the music of the Gnaoua, mountains of leather skins in a backyard, corrugated iron roofs and street cats, the light that falls through straw mats into the alley, ornate brass lamps and butchers whose flesh hangs half in the street, courtyards with workshops, young women on mopeds and the smoke of the food stalls on the Djemaa el-Fna.

And people.
The traders, artisans, market women, the blind, children (of all ages & at any time), storytellers, musicians, lame, dealers, beggars, mullahs, marabous and craftsmen.

One of them is Ayoub. When I was on my way home, he was standing in front of his workshop. A workshop, an existence. Two looms and his nimble hands. Ayoub, a young man who has taken his destiny in hand. Apparently he has not taken over the weaving too long. The sign over his entrance still shows the name of the previous owner.

With pride and humility he demonstrates the oldest technique for the production of tissue. Long before mankind developed working with clay, the weaving already existed.

Already in the early Middle Ages the oriental weavers were world market leaders. Ayoub has two looms in his workshop. Its special feature: he weaves shawls of flat fabric, which have a different color on each side.

How could I underestimate this garment? In the following days and weeks, the scarf protects me from the sun in the desert, warms my head in the Atlas Mountains, and replaced a sweater when I sat for hours on one of the rooftops of Marrakech, long after sunset.

This is the fascinating thing about Marrakech: Whenever you think this is not the place to go, the alley turns a corner and opens into a new universe of people, smells, colors and encounters.

Stories from over 1000 years and nights and faces. Or as Elias Canetti wrote in “the voices of marrakech”:

“I felt like I was really somewhere else, at the destination of my journey arrived. I did not want to go away from here, hundreds of years ago I had been here, but I had forgotten it and now everything came back to me. I found out the density and warmth of life that I feel within myself. I was this place when I stood there. I think I am always this place.”

[back to my series #peopleofmarrakech]

Are you interested in travel photography?
Please have a look at our new workshop “The Marrakech Experience”