lundi 26 septembre 2016

A Sola Backpacker - Part III

Many female travelers (to be) have addressed me with these questions: How did you manage? How did you convince your parents about traveling (alone or with others)? I guess I got lucky.

My father has a very different up-bringing method, unlike other family members. During my teens, I had total freedom or rather freedom-like freedom; i.e. I was given the illusion that I had the reins of my life between my hands. I was free to go out and do activities as long as my parents are informed of such. I grew up responsible for my behaviors, my surroundings, and my choices. I feared that if ever screw things up, I’d lose that freedom (-like). I had to behave. I did screw up a couple of times, surely, but my parents’ trust in me never faded; I never had to restore it.

As I said, I got lucky. In order to pursue my studies, I had to relocate in a 250km far away from hometown city. My parents encouraged me to go, and so I acquire full powers over my freedom. However before the relocation, I used to go on summer camps as an instructor; that too helped me and shaped who I am now.

What to do with your parents? All I can say is: make your parents trust you; trust is gained, not given; show them you are a responsible grown-up and that you can take care of yourself;

Doesn’t work? Try to volunteer to carry some domestic tasks to show you can handle responsibility, like paying the bills, requesting official documents, doing grocery shopping;

Doesn’t work? Try to hang out with a grown-up relative in whom your parents trust, that person will back you up in case you need some back-up to go on a trip;

Doesn’t work? Visit relatives in other cities on your own;

Doesn’t work? Participate in activities that would open up your fam mind, such as voluntary work, school/university extra activities,.. (two birds, one stone ;));

Doesn’t work? Take part-time jobs and pay for organized trips or weekend trips to nearby places like Ifrane, Chaouen..etc;

Doesn’t work? Nag until they beg to be your trip partner, make one of your siblings go with or understand that you need travelling because it makes you happy and more optimistic;

Doesn’t work? Wait till you grow a bit older, enough to handle your life, then travel as much as you can :D

mercredi 21 septembre 2016

A Sola Backpacker - Part II

*To go back to the “my own” thing;

Many advised me to look for a female trip partner I can get along with and can travel with. I have indeed tried to look for one but after weighing the pros and cos, it came to me that I am quite not sure if I truly wanted a trip partner. Well, why? simply because we, the "softest", "sensitive","to-be-treated-with-delicacy" fragile creatures of Mother Earth, though all are from Venus, are not quite on the same wavelength.

Hypothetically, I said hypothetically, I got lucky and  found a partner, as strong-headed, crazy, weirdo and "lovely" as myself, with or without prior experience in the field, met, spoke, agreed and set up things right; and she claims she is up to the trekking circuit and up to the challenge. We got going, packs on backs, foot on the road, off to a good start; the weather is fine; the walk is fine; the world is fine again. What if she tells me mid-way, after 2 days or so on the road, that she can no longer take it: cannot find her tiara, forgot her under-eye concealer in our starting point, fed up with sleeping in a bag (under a tent), her phone broke, her backpack is heavy, her feet hurt, her nails look disgusting and broken, her body stinks, a blister is killing her feet, yearning for a hot bubble bath and for whatever reason (any or all of the above) firmly decided to return home; I. what shall I do? Cry? Give up the trekking I had been preparing and dying for for so long and get back home or, go on leaving her nagging-ass behind. Uh, thanks, but no.

On the other hand, what if I found a male partner, with that complex attitude and thinking of most (I said MOST) of my fellow-citizens. As often mentioned in travelers forums, a male partner, perv’ as anyone but not everyone, who does not differentiate between sleeping in the same tent (given that I still haven’t got one yet) and “sleeping together”; A male partner who only sees a female body rather than a human being. I wonder, is it the case when guys travel together, does one see the other a body to fulfill some kinky desires? 

Either ways, I do not intend to delve into this matter. I set up my mind. I. Am. going. sola.

lundi 19 septembre 2016

A Sola Backpacker - Part I


I miss summer. This year, heavyhearted-ly and feeling homesick, I contended myself with "safe trips" and "enjoy you sum-break" wishes to my traveling fam' and friends. Due/thanks to my new job, I had no right to take a summer break. Oh well! To my luck, I’ll be entitled to a one-week vacation by February. February? Definitely not a good timing for a break, true, yet I’ll make it unforgettable, as much as I can.

The idea of a trekking in some remotely secluded place in my beloved Morocco has lingered in my mind for so long. In many travelers/trippers Fb pages/websites, the idea of trekking, the risks, the dangers and the great moments have been discussed over and over, along with women travelers’ constant complaints about their deprivation from such privilege and the showing off of the male dominance of such. 

In my country, a girl is not that free. She cannot/mightn’t travel in peace, on her own. Actually, she can but will be put under a lot of pressures. Kinda depressing, isn't it? Fed up as I was, I've decided that this year (God willing) I will indulge in a  trekking journey on my own*. After major research**, I have found an interesting trekking circuit, in a dry region (given that I cannot tolerate cold weather, and that my trek is going to place in mi-February, I don’t wanna end up soaked).

So, I’ll be sharing how and why I made up my mind upon such and my travel preparation: trekking circuit, gear…etc and afterwards, my trip review.

jeudi 16 juin 2016

#RIP dear uncle

I can't cry someone I haven't grown up or grew older around. I can't cry someone I share lil memos with. I can't cry someone with whom've never been in sorrow, in happiness, someone with whom've fought, laughed and cried. I can't cry someone I only see in occasions for a thinly tiny period of time. I can't feel the loss of that someone's death. I can't feel the emptiness that someone's death left in my heart. All I can is sympathize with whoever lived, laughed, fought, grew old, cried and shared moments with that someone. I can feel their loss because I had once lost a beloved. I can cry their loss and make it my.

lundi 13 juin 2016

A Part-Time Prostitute III

As a food addict, I grew addicted to her tajines. A voice ringing in head, superstitiously, saying: “your mom warned you hundred, thousands of times not to accept food from strangers”. Oh well, here I am all-bread-slice-between-fingers-dipped-down-some-yummy-sauce, a Meknessi tajine to be credible. Mom, we only live once

Our meetings continued and I grew found of her.

She is not as shallow as I suspected she’d be. She is just a woman who's beeing exploring her desires, and enjoying red wine, cigarettes and men. I mean, after all that’s what most men do, right? Sleep with whoever they want, drink as much as they want, wear whatever they want and go wherever they want. The only difference is that women are labeled and classified in accordance with their runabouts, with what they do with their own bodies, what they wear and where they go to. A man exploring his desires and whoring around is seen as a stud and symbol of manhood; slight is the chance he’d be called about it, even in his mother's eyes, he'd be "just a man doing what men do". A woman exploring her desires and whoring around is seen a whore and symbol of rottenness, looseness, unchastity,.... The chance she’d be called about it….. in her mother's eye......

No, am not a feminist. No, I don't call for societal gender equality. I'd rather enjoy gentlemen-ness, definitely. But, I believe in gender equality before Allah. Most of the time, women are classified in accordance with religious standards. Women must cover themselves because religion says so, women should be chaste till marriage because religion says so. Women should not explore their sexual desires because religion says so…… Well, have we forgotten something? Yes, men! Men too should comply with these directives. Men too have private parts to cover. Men too should be chaste till marriage. Men too should not explore their carnal desires because guess what, religion says that too. Will women be the only ones subjected to Allah's punishments? 

In my society, you often hear a man, who screwed every moving thing around him, talking about his future wife, her chastity, innocence, non-experience, about how he should be the first to conquer her, and why a candy exposed to the public is not a whifey matter. Oh yeah, I remember an analogy I heard not long ago depicting a woman’s flower as a ‘lock’, and that if this ‘lock’ can be opened by any key, then this ‘lock’ is useless. But, WHAT ABOUT THE KEY THAT OPENS EVERY LOCK?

……………….To be continued





mercredi 8 juin 2016

A part-time prostitute II

Though living under the same roof, I and her only meet in the evenings given my timetable and her working hours. I honestly didn't have the intention to socialize, neither with her nor with our other flatmates, but well. She often knocked on my door inviting me to share a meal - she is a very good tajine cook - or a glass of tea. Sometimes I refused, sometimes I accepted. She wondered, on my first visit to her room, whether I minded her smoking. I said I didn't as long as we kept the door and window open, I hate it when my hair stinks.

Our talks varied from gossips, to weather forecast, food, shopping, her job, my school. Yes I was curious to know her story but I didn't fish for it, simply because I, I actually don't know. Eventually,  one evening, she deliberately spoke about her origins, her childhood, her friends, about everything. She is from the region of Meknes, orphan and has two brothers, both married, one living in the same city and the other living in another. “I used to live with one of my brother, his wife and their little kid. Things started to go south, I no longer could see eye to eye with his wife. We fought more often. My brother stayed neutral. Fed up as I was, I rented a room of my own. I started working in a shoe factory. The salary is low but I am just fine.” 

Absentmindedly, she continued:“I work from early morning to 4 P.m. At the time I was living with my brother, instead of going home, I used to go to a café, to eat and smoke in peace. I just wanted peace. I didn’t eat with them, I only went there to sleep at night. Yet, I more than helped financially. His wife is ungracious. My brother was aware of what was happening but he kept his mouth shut. That’s all I can say.”

I could tell she is far off to the time when her parents were alive, when she lived under their wings, protected, unharmed, worried about doing the dishes or playing with her friends only. I could tell. Her eyes looked sad and tearful. Her face aged ten years. A puff from a cigarette placed between manicured and polished nails brought her back to the now; Then she would look at my untouched, now-cold tea glass and my half-bitten Moroccan pastry, and make a joke about how I am dishonoring my Sahraoui roots by not drinking the tea.

........................To be continued 

Girls' Union

One week or more, you cannot figure it out, nevermind a calendar
"Better late than never" doesn't apply to this
It's physical, it's emotional, it's psychological, it's every-ical
You hungry, yearning for food with no appetite
Mouth watering over silly things you don't normally enjoy
Eying food like a deprived child in front a candy shop
Foodgasms till you pupils delite, till your eyes shed tears
Mentally disturbed, you emotions overflow and overlap, undecided -ly
You wanna laugh, you wanna cry
You wanna live, you wanna die
You wanna workout, you wanna lay down
Mind, please make up your mind
Showing maniac behaviors, skeptical about your looks
Friends replace mirrors with mirrors ain't around
Friends not minding to be a butt reflection willingly and still
You keep checking and rechecking
You make them check and check
You keep checking, you know damn well it is going to happen
You keep counting, you know damn well it might as it may not happen
Symptoms worsening, near the due day
Waking up, dead tired as if a secret fight club and you don't know it
Waking up, wild awake, wild aroused, wild weird
It is happening, hoping the worst happened while unconscious, sparing you the trouble,
But no, no! whom are you kidding?
It is a bitch and gonna act and be so about it
Making you want what you don't want
Feel what you don't want to feel
Wear what you don't want to wear
Do what you rather don't
Oh well, goose bumps all day long, in hysterical state
Shivers running up and down your corpse, making every single hair stand in ovation for the "bitch"
Head spinning, face shallowing, breath ragging, posture curving, stomach upsetting
Washing sensations of hotness, of coldness, of sickness, of happiness, of weirdness
In you head, a picture of knife stabbing into your walls keeps playing
That's your interpretation of the pain down south
Wondering sometimes if your surroundings would sense the homicide scene down south
Faux-sensation of leaking, melting, flooding, or isn't?
Checking, double-checking, mirror-friends playing
Day 1, day 2,... the worse had happened
Day 3, day 4, die-bitch, till our next meeting



jeudi 31 mars 2016

First experience?! Hell no, you got raped!


“So tell me all about your first sexual intercourse, when did you lose your virginity, where how and to whom?”

“Well, it is a long time ago. I still remember it vividly. I remember I was around 9 years old. I was on a summer vacation with my family in a cottage nearby a beach. Given that the cottage wasn’t furnished with a stove, we had to go to our other house to cook bread. It is like 10 min away on foot. My mother used to take charge of this task whereas the others do the remaining housekeeping tasks. One day my mother couldn’t make it, so she asked someone else to do it, and so it happened and so it began.”

Since primary and secondary school, I had always wondered how puberty worked. During natural sciences courses, female puberty was autopsied, genital diagrams and illustrations about puberty and what happens for girls mostly. Breasts growth, pubic hair, blood, cramps,….etc; but what about guys? Board shoulders, mustache, deep voice, pubic hair and that’s it. No one ever told me that puberty hits boys for real when they experience their first ejaculation.

“That morning after breakfast, my Mom said that she had other errands to make and that she won’t bake bread like usual. She decided to assign the task to someone else. Given that that someone else does not know where the house was, I had to accompany her.

So we went to the other house, she took off her Djellaba and started her task. I noticed that under the Djellaba, she was wearing a little; nothing left for my imagination to wonder. I went to play in the other room; she joined me after a while. I looked up and she was looking at me weirdly. As if I am a piece of cake or candy, as if I am a piece of jewelry, as if I am a puppy, as if I am a lion. She started taking off the little clothes she had on, stripping in front of my eyes, inticing me. All I could do is watch, with wide-open mouth and eyes.

Things started to rush down my system, weirdly, sweetly, crazily. I didn’t know what my body was up to, my heart beating faster, my breath heavier. She never broke eye contact, neither did I! and it happened, I remember her saying that I did it like a grown-up man.

- How old was she?
- I can’t tell, but much much older, now she is married with two kids
- What happened afterwards?
- It went on and on all summer long
- You never got caught?
- No, never. She always volunteered for the bread baking and I was the only companion she would rather take along as I was ‘very calm’, ‘polite’ and ‘obedient’.
- You are proud of yourself, I can tell!
- Who wouldn’t? I started earlier than any other guy I know and I didn’t even ask for it. She threw herself at me and I couldn’t refuse, even if I could, she, in that state of mind, wouldn’t have taken no for an answer.
- Are you aware that you got raped?

- Well, it’s called a rape when a man does it but not when a woman does.

*Just as a lil chitchat with a friend!

lundi 28 mars 2016

“Que du bonheur”

“Que du bonheur”, she keeps saying, “Que du Bonheur”
(Happiness only, Happiness only)

A big smile on her lips, dreamy eyes contoured with Kohl, dark red lock of hair escaping from underneath her scarf, an X-large sweatshirt with her picture and her name, this is how I will always remember her. A free spirit, a forever young spirit. Tata Milouda.

I met her for the first time during a cultural event organized by “Café Slam Tanger”. Honestly, I’ve never heard of her until I saw the event poster. Who’s this Tata Milouda? During the event rehearsal, I saw her. I shied away, I did not know how to approach her, I did not know what to say nor what to do. Whenever I looked at her, she smiled immediately as if the world is in peace, as if humanity is regained, as if… Opportunity presented itself, and I found myself in a 7 min walk with her.

“Are you a slam artist?” she asked me. And the conversation began.



Originally from the region of Settat, mother of six children, married at the age of 14 years old to a much older man, Tata Milouda left her village to work in France as a maid. Arrived in France, with only few French tricks in her hat, deprived from her liberty, she worked very hard. She endured such  hardship to fulfill the needs of her children, she deprived herself from seeing her children growing up in front of her eyes to fulfill the greed of a husband, she waived her right of freedom just to meet other’s people needs. Her monthly salary was sent straight back to Morocco, to her husband at that time, who built himself a house and put it under his own name.

“As a little girl, I’d been dreaming; as a grown up, I’d been dreaming; as a young woman, I’d been dreaming about a notebook and a pen; back then I couldn’t find my notebook and my pen. But now, at 50 years old, I’ve finally found my notebook and my pen.”

One incident brought up the change forever wanted. Tata Milouda asked a man to read for her the instructions mentioned on a subway board, and the man refused to do so. This incident brought up Tata Milouda’s deep yearning for learning. She truly found her notebook, her pen, and her liberty. Her writings, mainly in French, are tainted with old memories, wounds from her past, happiness from her present and hope and ambitions for her future and the future of women, especially her fellow citizens back in her hometown.

She was awarded with the price of “Chevalier d’ordre des Arts et Letters” by the French Ministry of Culture, along with Grand Corps Malade and others. She has performed in many cultural events throughout France, USA and other countries. Tens of videos of her performances are available in Youtube, shot by amateurs of poetry, and professionals. She also played roles in movies and advertisements. She promised me that there will be more of her works Inshaa Allah and I promised that I will follow every single work of hers henceforth.

“I am not the only woman,” she says, “there are other women who are still suffering; I am not the first, I am not the last”. If a woman like Tata Milouda wouldn’t set the example for other women, who would? For women who still have "dreams to remember", who still have dreams to fulfill, no matter how big or small their dreams are, no matter how old they are, no matter where they are. A woman like Tata Milouda who has never been requested by a Moroccan organization, excluding the French Institute, to perform in here, in Morocco, before her fellow citizens, before her own gender, until the event of Café Slam Tanger (which took place on Saturday 19th, 2016 at Salle Bahnini in Rabat). A woman, like Tata Milouda, who is calling discreetly for women empowerment, for women’s rights and freedom; a woman, like Tata Milouda, who might be a threat to the society norms of my beloved country, where the dreams of women are still shattered to conform to the patriarchal society; A woman, like Tata Milouda, should set the example for many women, of all ages, who would eventually follow her lead; Tata Milouda, a voice that needs to be heard, Tata Milouda, a leader that must be followed. Like Tata Milouda, these women will be criticized for following their dreams; they will be laughed at, their dreams will be mocked, yet, those are their own dreams, their own.


“Que du Bonheur”
©Photo Credit: Jungleno Photographie






jeudi 25 février 2016

هلوسات منتصف الليل

فبلادي،
الهدف الأسمى هو المظهر، والمظهر والله تعالى يشوف من حال هاذ المنظر. كنشوف المشاريع الكبرى لكيتم تشيدها فمدينتي ولكن متنفرحش ليها. علاش، بكل بساطة حيث كلها عبارة عن مظاهر عملاقة، مثلا ناخذو مشروع أكبر مسرح فالقارة الافريقية على حنا عندنا شي انتاج المسرحي؟  ياك هو منعدم وحتى ايلا كان متنعطيوهش الدعم لا المالي ولا حتى المعنوي اللازم ولا حتى الأهمية لي يستاحقها، أصلا الانتاج الفني عامة ذو بنية راشية، لا ساس لا راس الا ما رحم ربك.
المهيم، كنبيو القناطر، صلة الوصل بين الضفتين، مني كتشوف مخطط المشروع، فيه غير الزواق، وضواو، وشوية دالزفت، لكن واش غادي يحل الأزمة ديال السير والاكتضاض لي كيعانيو منها سكان العدوتين طلبة وموظفين؟ الله وعلم، واش عندو أفق ولا بحالو بحال القنطرة لي الطومبيلات حتى هوما تعلمو يديرو مثنى مثنى ولا يدوزو شي عويمات ديال الباكور وتنتاهي مدة الصلاحية ديالو؟
وتجزئات وشقق فارهة على ضفاف الرقراق لي تستهدف بطبيعة الحال الطبقة الفوق بورجوازية بصحتهوم، والله يزيد من حسادنا.
الغريب فالأمر هو أن حدا هاد المشارييييع، ناس عايشين فالقوارب وسط الما، وناس ناعسين فالزنقة وناس مازال فدور الصفيح نقصاهوم أقل أقل أقل الأشياء باش يعيشو بكرامة فبلادهم.
الحاجة لي كنحيي دوك الناس عليها هي العلو ديال البنايات، حيث والحمد لله ماشي بحال البيضاء، معندناش ناطحات السحاب ويلا كنتي فشي جهة عالية تقدر تشوف حسان ولا شالة من الجهة الاخرى.
اه، والمنتزه ديال ناس ديال Skate Board، فكرة جميلة جدا، لكن واش انفتحوه فوجه الشعب ولا تبزي الفلوس عاد تدخل من حال بعض الملاعب الرياضية لي تم تشيدها مؤخرا، الله عالم.
من هنا لحين يتححقوا هاد المشاريييخ، خاصك 2 ساعات باش تشد نوبا ديال المركوب باش تمشي للرباط فالصباح، خصوصا يومي الاثنين والخميس، ونفس الشيء فالعشية من الرباط للدارك، هادشي ايلا كني من صحاب الطواكس، اما الخطافة تيخطفوك لدارك خفا زربا، وخصوصا ايلا كان الواشمة قريبة، كيوليو عندهوم الجناوح....
ومن هنا لتما ربي تما
#هلوسات_منتصف_الليل

lundi 1 février 2016

هلوسات ما قبل منتصف الليل

كثيرا ما يقال أن حدس الإنسان قليلا ما يخيب وكثيرا ما يصيب. وحدسي يخبرني أنني لن أعمر كثيرا هنا، أيامي معدودة. وفي صرتي الكثير والكثير من المنى والأحلام التي أبغي تحقيقها، منها الدنيوية ومنها الاخروية. وما يزيد هذا الحدس من قلقي، ليس قلق مواجهة الموت أو مفارقة قرة أعيني ورفقاء الدربي، بل قلق تحقيق الأماني، ماذا أسبق وماذا أتلي؛ ومن أشرك ومن أقل، وكيف أسير وكيف أكمل. من الممكن أن يخيب حدسي هذا ومن الممكن أيضا أن يصيب. أكذب وأقول أنني اكتفيت من الحياة وما أحوجني الى الممات، وأتذكر الوجوه الذابلة والعيون الباكية والقلوب المنفطرة وأقول لن أرحل حتى يرحلوا لينفطر قلبي لموتهم أحن وأرحم من أن ينفطر قلبهم لموتي. لكنني لن انتظره بل سأمضي قدما، على أقدامي أو على نعش فوق الأكتاف سأمضي...

dimanche 31 janvier 2016

هلوسات ما قبل الفجر

وما الحياة إلا ذالك الصراع الأبدي المكنون بين الشك واليقين. تلك الحيرة الدائمة حول ماهية الأمور، أهي كما نراها أم نراها كما نود نحن أن نراها. فحقيقة الامور تختلف من منظور الى اخر ومن شخص لاخر وهذه هي الخطوة الأولى نحو الشك حول ما إذا كنا، انا وانت، نرى نفس الشئ أم لا؟ وهل الطريقة التي أصوغ بها منظوري للحقيقة تعني لك اي شئ؟ وهل لك استعداد لترتقي أو تنحني من اجل الفهم ام تكتفي بالاستماع فقط؟ فمثل هذا الصراع  لا يقوم عبطيا بل لا يتخبط في هذا الصراع اي شخص كان، بل فقط، واقول فقط، ذلك الشخص الذي وصل الى خلاصة ان الحياة وجدت لتشارك وان الانسان بطبيعته يحتاج الثنائية معهما ارتقى شأنه وعلت مكانته، سواء كانت فكرية، عاطفية وغيرها، واكبر مثال أبونا ادم وثنائيه حواء. وهذه الثنائية ترمز ولو نسبيا، لتلك الارضية الثابتة او اليابسة الخضراء أمام أعيننا ونحن نتخبط بين مد وجزر الشك. فهل يا ترى تكون تلك الارضية الثابتة او اليابسة الخضراء محط قدمنا من دوامة الشك، ام هي مجرد عتبة ذات تكتونية نشطة تهوى بنا عند اول خطوة قدم الا ما نهاية...