Monday, 29 December 2008

Excursion to Ouled Mgatel

Despite the heavy rains, despite our very busy schedule, despite the fact that our car doesn’t like the dirt roads, the mud, the rocks, we had to go back to Ouled Mgatel one last time before going back to France for Christmas.

The main reason was this :



We had to return the cats to their beloved Ouled Emgatel – because they missed so much  Bachir, Fouad, and the thousand insects living in the house and in the garden.


So we put the cats in a box, we put the box in the car, and we left Fez for our country.


We realized that we wouldn’t be able to drive to our house. The road was wet, often covered with mud.


The car was parked on the top of the hill, Fred grabbed the box with the cats inside, and we walked down the path that leads to our house.


And, despite the rain, despite our life that, despite our car, that often grows tired to bring us here, Ouled Mgatel is still generous with us.


Like this path.


And this agave.


This fava bean field.


Those olive trees, that moutain.

And even this fig tree, changed by winter,

and this beautiful empty house

welcomed us, soothed us. 

(Of course, on our way back to Fez, the car got stuck in the mud - but the children of Ouled Mgatel, and their teachers, helped us out.)



Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Famous !

People in the street tell him they love him.

People recognize him, wherever we go.

His Facebook will soon explode...

And this week I got plenty of new reader who found their way to my blog by googling his name.

And why, you ask me?

Because of that. And if you live in Morocco, or if you have 2M Monde, you can watch it too, Friday afternoon.

So when you’ll see him in the street, you’ll recognize him too…

Fred playing at the Fez festival

12/21 : and what happened Friday when we went back to France?

We took a taxi in Fez, and the driver recognized Fred.

At the airport, the policeman who checked the passeports recognized Fred.

And in the plane? Well, of course, the steward recognized Fred.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

How it began

How did all of this begin ?

Let me see… I don’t remember very well… It was at least 6 years ago…

There was a boy, Frédéric –you already know him.

And he loved Arabic music. He had studied the ‘ud for many years, and there was even a time when he travelled for 10 hours each Wednesday just to learn it from one of its masters.

And there was the ‘ud master, Marc – you don’t know him, but please, take a look to what he’s done. Fabulous music.

A few decades ago, the ‘ud master was working in the French cooperation, as a teacher, in Morocco. He spent a few years in Fez. Since then he’s travelled in many places, and learned many intruments.

And the student was fascinated by the master. And fascinated by the city : Fez.

And there was a girl, Marie – well, me, obviously.

I loved – and still do – Arabic music too. I even learned to play to ‘ud. Not with the master though, I wasn’t good enough – and anyway he lived too far away from my city.

There were also people in Nancy, our city, friends, Algerians, and Moroccans.

And then there was Nancy, and the « rue Saint Nicolas ». A magical street, with oriental bazaars, Moroccan stores, and Turkish restaurants – well, not so magical, the restaurants...

And the boy had several jobs, but he liked none of them.

And because of all that, he left, one day, with his backpack, for Fez.

And then, for me, there were several trips to Fez – getting to know the city, picturing me living here. I loved this rooftop in the medina.

One day, I left too. I am not a musician like Fred – I am a teacher, and was able to find a job very quickly.

And then, or maybe before, we met Yassin.

He was living in Fez, in the medina. But both his father and his mother were born in Ouled Mgatel. They were cousins – the perfect marriage in Islam. Yassin’s family still lives in Ouled Mgatel – they are our neighbors now.

And one day he brought Fred to Ouled Mgatel. And Fred fell in love with the place.

Me too.

At this point, I could go on for hours. Because the story is still long. You see, we built the house very slowly.

What I just told you... was for us the easy part.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Week-end in Ouled Mgatel

For the first time in three weeks, we're going back to Ouled Mgatel. Happy, of course (it's so cold in Fez... and our new appartment in only ok) but also a little bit worried. Because of the road (it's been raining a lot lately), and also because our water pump and our battery have decided to let us down... The water pump, of course, that can only be found in France (yes, a special pump for our special house). So that's good that we're spending Christmas there. In the meantime... candles, bottles, and bottles !

Have a good week-end !

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The last night

Finally. We found an appartement in Fez (but we're not leaving Ouled Mgatel, never). It's close to where I work, and it's cheap.

So... Goodbye hotel.

And I spent my last night...

... around here...

... next to him...

... behind this...

... the last night...

... the last time.