A song for Marrakech…

Oh Marrakech….
Why do they fall in love with you for so long?
These foreigners who came to be with you….
Why were they bewitched and chose to stay…..
Why did so many made you their home…
What did they see in you…..
Oh, Marrakech…
Whisper your secrets to me….

Morocco have small cities which are prettier than you…
More charming than your characterless walls….
Cities with grand buildings and amazing Medinas…
Your Medina is big, polluted, and lacking in charm.

Your central court, the famous Jemaa El-Fna
that is supposed to be filled with snake charmers,
Acrobats, fortune tellers, mystics, and story tellers,
Is filled with hawkers, beggars and cheesy sellers of plastic glowing toys.

You cannot even walk a single step in Jemaa El- Fna,
Before someone from a nearby food stall shove a menu in your face
Forcing you aggressively to eat at their buffet….
Where the food sit drying in huge piles,
Covered with fumes and flies…

Yet many tourists still eat in these food stalls…
I guess they are sick of eating shitty food
In your pricy restaurants…..
Can’t they see that…..these many thousands of tourists…
What do they see in you….
That is IF they are able to taste and see anything at all…
People are blind you know….
They see what is on their minds and notice very little else….

Oh Marrakesh…
Your grand Riads are musty and smelly
Your people are greedy and rude to one another…
Your children forgot what it is to be friendly to a guest….
To smile at tourist…
They have only Dirhams on their minds….

Oh Marrakech…. What is your charm?….
What did they see in you….
Those who came to you from Europe
Seeking mystery and charm…
and settled into old houses in the walls of your Medina….

The beautiful Atlas mountains surrounding you, mesmerized me…
The little cities and villages, the beach, the desert of Morocco..
They are all so easy to love…
But you… Oh Marrakesh…
Everything in you is mediocre and offer so little in return…

Oh…. How we love fantasies…
We dream about going to far away places
That we know very little about…
And then we tell all of our friends that we are going there..
We post it on Facebook and we are giddy with joy…
And so we are invested in seeing them as charming…
Regardless of what they are, we are resolved to find their charm…..
We intend to spend our short days of visit in these places,
In the most enjoyable ways….
After all……
Many people do not travel often….

Oh Marrrakesh your streets are so full of tourists traps…
Places that offer so little… And yet charge so much…

Storytellers?
The only stories being told in your Medina today,
Are not tales of sultans and thieves,
wise men and fools,…..
Not of mystics,
genies, Wazirs and belly dancers…

The stories being told are by tourists,
Telling other tourists, how they got cheated or robbed…
How their hotels that looked so nice online….
Are musty, and with showers that smell like sewers…
How they have been fleeced at your souks…
Stories about how they got harassed,
Simply for being attractive young women….

They sit and share their stories,
Offering other tourists advice,
About where to get a semi authentic Marrakech- experience….

Marrakech, oh Marrakech….
Tell me your story…
Were you beautiful once,
As the disappearing storytellers say?…

Did Once upon a time…
You were glorious?
And have your beauty faded away?….
Like a black haired rose scented Arabian Queen…
That now is wrinkled and aged?….
Or am I seeing how strong fantasies are…

Oh Marrakech tell me your story…
I am listening with BOTH ears
My heart is big and open…
And I LOVE to fall in love…

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