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Young people are everywhere, here are some hanging out at a local fountain (water tap). What is education like in Morocco? Are there after school activities or part-time jobs available to young people? Is an after school job considered a good thing or a stigma? It’s clear I have a lot to learn about Morocco, but these young men are the face of Fez today.

4.23.16 Fez-004When the king visited recently, there was a frenzy of quick painting, and hundreds of Moroccan flags were posted all over the city. We even saw a motorcade pass, with police clearing the streets and standing with their backs to the motorcade, presumably scanning the route for threats.

Unfortunately, most of the pageantry was off limits. Officials in bright uniforms manned every gate of the city but didn’t permit photos. The king’s itinerary wasn’t publicized, so we never did find out whether he was inaugurating a new facility at the airport, or the renovations in our neighborhood, Bab Rcif.

Apparently, the king was unhappy at the pace of renovations in the Fez medina. The dyers’ souk is just about renovated. There’s not much to see because the artisans haven’t moved back in yet, but the new shop fronts are fresh and each shop has new wood doors and canopy with carved decoration. If you look beyond the souk, the neighborhoods where people live are in need of renovation just to make them safe for habitation. This is our street. While picturesque, keep in mind that there are hundreds of buildings in the medina that are similarly braced to prevent collapse.

4.26.16 aShouldn’t this kind of repair be a priority for the king?

The boys in the background just got out of school and after saying “Bonjour” about 15 times each, they decided that staring from a distance was just as interesting as chatting.

Here are some sights from a walk down the street:

4.16.16 Ain Noqbi-014smThis horse loaded with yarn may be headed to the dyers’ souk.

Public fountains are an important water source in Fes. Not all fountains are lovely, though many started out that way.

No parking by the fountain

No parking by the fountain

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4.7.16 fountain-001

 

 

4.7.16 fountain 4.6.16-046 4.6.16-034