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Eid Mubarak - or is it in Morocco?

 
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 948
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Eid Mubarak - or is it in Morocco? Reply with quote

I worked at the British Council in Casablanca for a year in 2004. I was prolific on this forum back then mainly in a state of confusion and rage why I was in such a nondescript posting. The school was fine, but Casablanca was a sprawling dusty dump with nothing to eat except fries in bars full of men, more men and even more men. I left and never went back.

Ten years on, Casa might be a great place. I can’t comment. Looking back, was I being harsh?

Not a bit. Eid in Casablanca consisted of closing the bars and tying a live sheep to a taxi roof to be taken home for slaughter. The streets were deserted. I don’t even remember hearing music or laughter from the neighbours. It was the same during Ramadan. Other countries have brilliant night markets during the holy month and Eid-al-Fitr is a massive party celebrated by people of all religions. If this was the case in Casablanca, I must have missed it.

Ten years on and 2000 miles to the north, I found myself in Birmingham, England, at the weekend. The streets were packed, car horns competed with each other, everyone was getting hennaed up, people were queuing at the doors of cake shops and barbers, fireworks went off overhead. It was party central.

I can see how people look forward to Eid, at least in Birmingham. As for Morocco, the above emphasises my old question why anyone goes there.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 410

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When travelling in or to Morocco I try to avoid Casablanca at all costs...it is pretty much the same as Cairo...a dusty, polluted and filthy MEGATROPOLIS full of cars, trash, people and MORE people!! Shocked Shocked
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 616
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't believe the nostalgia.

There are a few bars that are worthy but only if you can find them.

The port is seedy.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 948
Location: Home

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The port was one of the few interesting parts of Casa, but you needed to be wary and sober at night as it was like stepping into the Star Wars bar, only with glue sniffers.

Back on topic, though, are any of these festivals, which are lively events in places like the UK and Malaysia and open to all, celebrated anywhere in Morocco? And by celebrated I mean with some sort of merriment involved.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes in Marrakesh....just take the Marrakesh Express from CASA airport..
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 948
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Birmingham, England

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmU7SQOk7W4

Casablanca, Morocco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPmjODkSfKo
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 616
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merry as in beer and wine being served?
Maybe those sorts of gatherings are private, like in Iran.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't need alcohol for merriment as the Birmingham video above shows.

I'm not suggesting Casablancans stock up on booze for next year's Eid, but with the general lack of anything else happening (my experience and the Casablanca video above), it wouldn't be a bad idea to make Eid a slightly less gloomy occasion there.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of my EFL colleagues are enjoying this Eid in Marrakesh...and are listening to the classic hit Rock The Kasbah..and drinking haram in parties!!!!
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 748
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod, the two YouTube clips you show are of Eid al Fitr 2013, which was from Wednesday, 7th August to Thursday, 8th August.

The clip of Casablanca was taken on Friday, 9th August 2013, the day after Eid, at 16.00, when folk were at home recovering or avoiding the heat!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget CASABLANCA....it is a sore eyesight aka trash can...celebrate the Eid festivals in Marrakesh or Fes and party down..even betterEFL teachers should head down to Agadir and enjoy the sunny, warm weather year round and the fantastic beaches and Rock The Kasbah with that unique boogie sound from the 80's! Shocked Shocked
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 948
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing against The Clash, but that doesn't conjure up the most authentic of Moroccan cultural experiences. Were any Moroccans taking part?

Dedicated wrote:
The clip of Casablanca was taken on Friday, 9th August 2013, the day after Eid, at 16.00, when folk were at home recovering or avoiding the heat!


Forget the videos then. I was in Casablanca during Eid-al-Adha in January 2004, i.e. a lot cooler. Same story. Same deserted streets. I suspect everyone slept all day.
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water rat



Joined: 30 Aug 2014
Posts: 212
Location: Northwest Gansu

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always loved what Humphrey Bogart's character 'Rick' had to say about Casablanca:
Quote:
Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?

Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.

Rick: I was misinformed.

Of course spoken with that classic Bogart sang-froid.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One can enjoy Eid on the Marrakesh Express....and have a great time too! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 110
Location: SumUt

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Eid Mubarak - or is it in Morocco? Reply with quote

Hod wrote:
I worked at the British Council in Casablanca for a year in 2004. I was prolific on this forum back then mainly in a state of confusion and rage why I was in such a nondescript posting. The school was fine, but Casablanca was a sprawling dusty dump with nothing to eat except fries in bars full of men, more men and even more men. I left and never went back.

Ten years on, Casa might be a great place. I can’t comment. Looking back, was I being harsh?

Not a bit. Eid in Casablanca consisted of closing the bars and tying a live sheep to a taxi roof to be taken home for slaughter. The streets were deserted. I don’t even remember hearing music or laughter from the neighbours. It was the same during Ramadan. Other countries have brilliant night markets during the holy month and Eid-al-Fitr is a massive party celebrated by people of all religions. If this was the case in Casablanca, I must have missed it.

Ten years on and 2000 miles to the north, I found myself in Birmingham, England, at the weekend. The streets were packed, car horns competed with each other, everyone was getting hennaed up, people were queuing at the doors of cake shops and barbers, fireworks went off overhead. It was party central.

I can see how people look forward to Eid, at least in Birmingham. As for Morocco, the above emphasises my old question why anyone goes there.


Perhaps in focusing on the level of "merriment" in the festivals of Eid, you are missing just a bit of the point (as the kuffar typically do) of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. Some bits about self-denial, self-reflection, self-discipline, and yes, sacrifice (that little "goat tied to the taxi" detail).

I'm sure that you do understand about these aspects, but then why focus on how hard Muslims party (or don't) in their religious festivals? It varies, as you yourself point out.

Here in Indonesia (and in much of the Muslim world, I think) Eid-al-Fitr is like the Muslim equivalent of Xmas (though the general absence of alcohol does make a BIG difference in the "tone".) In Xinjiang, as I observed, both Muslim festivals were relatively restrained (possibly partly for cultural reasons ... very possibly also partly for political / security ones).

I suppose you have made your point of view that Casablanca and Morocco are dusty, dull and / or dangerous, not sure why you need to knock the locals for not partying to your expectations though?
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