There are a group of us newbies and a few experienced staff that are 24, so of course we decided to make a 24 club… However I am the eldest in the club and will be leaving the soonest. Here is part of the “club”.
That has nothing really to do with what I wanted to say other than the fact that the 24 club saw posters around town advertising a music festival for the weekend of August 23rd. Of course we thought it would be a fabulous idea to attend. Upon doing some research we even found out that it was free! However, all of the venue places were unknown to us. At school yesterday we decided we were going to go and attempt to find one of the places, three stages run simultaneously throughout the city. One thing that is normal in Morocco is the website and posters failed to mention a time for all of the events…. Based on our somewhat advised time scheme we decided to head to the El Hank venue around 8:30 pm.
Now my roommate Kate and I (p.s. she is not in the 24 club…but we decided we shouldn’t be inclusive and only invite the “elite” :P) live in town, where the others joining live on campus. Their plan was to drive to the venue and meet us as we taxied there. Now taxing is very, when you know how to say where you want to go and know how to relativly get there. Both we google mapped and translated before heading down to hail a cab.
Now I trust my roommates French better than mine and we attempted to tell the driver, light house in french. El Hank the venue is the name of the light house on the shore near the grand mosque. However, as usual he looked perplexed so I said El Hank, in my best French interpretation and he shook his head yes. He started asking questions and I just responded giving the directions I knew in Arabic/French. La Croniche a dor a lemon, which means on the corniche road turn right. That is all we said as he took us down some crazy back neighborhood roads. We then ran into the corniche and saw the light house and to our right was a huge stage! Success!!
Now however we had to meet up with and find the other girls. Now this was our first time out really after dark. And there were a million people there, but some how it felt more safe than any giant concert I have been to in the states. There were a ton of military and police personal around but one crazy thing was the only for of defense they all had were knight sticks, no guns or tasers…. America take note. After calling and confirming the location and giving them an attempt at where we were we wondered to the light house across the street. Along the way to the left were what we assumed to be, very nice fancy restaurant/clubs. Then we reached a break in the wall facing the ocean and that is where we saw this crazy rock cliff with the waves crashing into it. It was far to dark to take a picture but it was gorgeous. Long story short we finally meet up with the other girls and wondered into the concert grounds. At this time it was about 9:30 pm. Here is a picture of the stage, sorry I am not a photographer!
Now we had no idea really who was playing I had read a tiny blurb about the first performer his name is RHANNY KABBADJ He was very good. The crowed also sang along and danced a lot to his songs. What we all thought was very interesting was two things, the amount of small children running around and two that only guys danced together and only girls together. Children running around is a norm in Morocco, and it is safe because to them children are sacred. We even witnessed a young man help a women with stroller for her baby. Now the dancing was really awesome to see because in the states you would almost never see two guys dancing together, here that was normal and they got super into it. Here is a link to one of his songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxxXukvqZmE
Next up was NAJWA KARAM her band consisted of a small orchestra, a bunch of drummers and two back up male singers who wore absolutely no expression on their faces as they sang. We at first thought this was the band, until the gorgeous women in-charge came out and introduced Najwa and we saw the camera go to this women in a strapless bedazzled gown. None of us really cared for her music as much as the first guy and decided we should probably leave before the mass rush.
While weaving through the crowd the amount of stares you get is crazy, five white girls three of which had blonde hair did stand out a bit. You also will hear hello, how are you and welcome to Morocco in Arabic, French, Spanish, English and end Italian sometimes. I seem to always get talked to in Spanish…. Cherith our trusty driver did amazing in the crazy traffic and we found our way to our apartment, since we realized the concert was only about 3 miles from our place. It was a great experience not only to hear the Arab music but also to be in a huge crowd of Moroccans. I also smelled this amazing “chicken Q” smell and wondered over. There was a guy making these sausage pita things. I wanted to try it so 12 d’s later I had an amazing pita filled with meat of some sort, tomatoes and onions. It was delicious, thanks to Kate here is me eating it.
Each tiny adventure we take and do successfully always seems like this amazing feat. Today’s adventure included taxing to Hay hassani a market and where one of the giant Marjane’s is. Marjane is the Walmart of Morocco, same quality and cheaper prices. Kate and I need to get some household things and I was to try to find protein powder. I saw it in one of the markets we wondered through on our scavenger hunts. Pictures of this adventure to follow.