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Morocco: Hot Hot Hot

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Morocco, Arts & Culture, Environment, Media & Journalism, Travel, War & Conflict

It's still excruciatingly hot in Morocco, making the heat a popular topic amongst the Anglophone blogoma. With temperatures often reaching 40 degrees Celsius and a serious dearth of air-conditioning, it seems many bloggers are suffering. Evelyn in Morocco [1], an expatriate in Fez, is struggling with modest dress during this heat wave:

Hot, hot, hot

The days are very hot and it is difficult to find the proper clothing to wear. To be cool yet modestly dressed is a real challenge for me. I surely believe Moroccans have a different tolerance for the heat … especially the women. How else can you explain their ability to wear a galaba* over other clothing (usually pajamas) plus add a headscarf tied tightly and completely around their neck? A few even wear a veil across their face leaving only the eyes showing. And some wear all this in the color black. I get hot just looking at them!

*Also djellaba or jellaba – a hooded robe worn by both men and women in Morocco.

from 32n5w [2] chooses to lament the heat through poetry, specifically haiku. Here are a couple of his poems:

Too hot to throw rocks
And hurl racist insults
Kids aren’t so bad now

Hemlines are rising
With the day’s temperature
Was that an ankle???

A surprisingly un-blogged subject this week was the fact that Morocco has raised its security level to maximum [3], “indicating a radical Islamist attack is expected imminently,” according to Reuters. Cat in Rabat [4] seems unsure about the whole thing:

So it's been three days and all is quiet; thus far, there's been no incident. Touch wood. Nonetheless, I am tempted to quote Marvin the Martian and ask, “Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom!” Not that I'm not relieved, but what happened? Perhaps the SBs were rattled. Rattled by this, the “… first time Moroccan authorities have used clear language and precise words about the terrorist threat.” Yeesh.

Another hot (no pun intended) topic this week was travel writing. After a Wall Street Journal article [5] about Morocco's “mystique” was released, several bloggers had something to say about it. The View From Fez [6] criticized the article, saying:

Oh dear! Now the Wall Street Journal has succumbed to tabloid writing about Morocco. Yes, sad but true. The usual standards you expect from the WSJ have plummeted.

In an article headed: Morocco's Dangerous Mystique, one STAN SESSER manages to get in snake charmers and faux guides in the first paragraph. Mind you this is a man who got lost in the Marrakech Medina… now if it had been Fez, we might have understood.

The Morocco Report
chimed in:

Go ahead, Rupert Murdoch. Buy the Wall Street Journal. It’s not like it gets any worse than this.

(I particularly like how the author repeatedly points out how “unsafe” Morocco is and cites the Casablanca suicide bombers as example, when they didn’t actually kill or injure anyone but themselves)

On a final and not-so-hot topic this week, Braveheart-does-the-Maghreb [7] has discovered an odd children's toy in the souqs of Rabat:

Osama train [8]

The chaps are selling these at the entrance to the Medina. I am not sure exactly of the Moroccan view of the play being enacted. Is bin Laden the victim? Does he have a bomb hidden under the skateboard? The press here [that I have read, and that Q has read] while not condemning bin Laden does not, and most certainly the people do not condone terrorists acts against ANYONE in Morocco. Perhaps it is only tourists and expats buying the toy? All possible choices, you decide.

Photo by Braveheart-does-the-Maghreb [9]