The enchantment of Morocco is revealed in all its splendour, with its captivating landscapes and cultural diversity. All this blends harmoniously, creating a canvas of beauty. Maria Shollenbarger, editor-in-chief of the Financial Times, takes us to the heart of this Moroccan experience, in an article published in the FT. She recounts her trip there, accompanied by her octogenarian mother who came from California, thirsty to discover the architectural, culinary traditions and the ancestral hospitality of this Kingdom of Africa.
” Morocco is one of the countries I know and love best. There is something about its cultures, both Arab and Berber, that is deeply captivating: both elusive and full of heart. I slept in forgotten villages and tents in stone deserts, and watched the rising sun ignite the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas. From El Jadida to Guelmim, I have tried (and failed) more times than I can count to bridge the camaraderie gap with my average French and about five words of Arabic”this is how the Red Chef of the FT begins to describe her love for Morocco and her discovery of its charm and its diversity in all its splendor.
And it’s thanks to a memorizing video’the adhan“, the call to prayer in Morocco, filmed 13 years ago by Maria Shollenbarger when she was in Marrakech and sent to her mother in California, that the two women made a vow to visit the Kingdom, ” just both“, confided the journalist.
In a captivating article, written with love and affection, titled “ Morocco through the eyes of Maria Shollenbarger, editor-in-chief of HTSI Voyages, with her octogenarian mother“, the journalist takes us through her eyes, on this journey to discover Morocco that she finally undertook with her 80-year-old mother.
At the bend of the alleys of the medina of Marrakech, Shollenbarger and her mother taste every moment, soaking up the intoxicating atmosphere of the “Red City”, a city which can fascinate at any age, she says. Her article brilliantly captures the present moment, using words to portray the depth of emotions aroused by the magic of Morocco.
After having visited the ocher city, the journalist leaves with her mother to explore the hinterland, where the landscape changes completely, crossing the old souks, nestled between thousand-year-old walls, up to the majestic mountains of the Atlas.
” A few hours later, when we descend into the desert plain, my mother is overwhelmed by the changes in scenery: the orange earth blending with the sand, steep slopes giving way to modest plateaus, some covered with a fine blanket of greenery. Beyond, the stone desert stretches to infinity“, she exclaims with emotion.
The journalist’s story thus plunges the reader deeply into the unique characteristics, past and present, of Morocco. She accurately describes the sensations felt, both by her mother and by herself, throughout their journey. With an elegant pen, she highlights the genius of Moroccan ancestors in the management of precious resources, such as water, or even how to prepare a good mint tea ” Sahrawi“, meticulously describing the preparation process.
Through her story, Maria Shollenbarger makes us experience Moroccan hospitality in all its splendour.