A SUNSET FOR ALLAH

People collect things. I collect sunsets. It was hard for me not to want to see the color of the sky at sunset time in the “Farthest West” land of Morocco.  My days in Marrakesh went by like a dream and I found myself laying on my bed after a long day walking around town under the Moroccan sun wearing long sleeves and long pants. I stood up and grabbed the necessary : A few Dirhams to buy mint tea and my camera. I was going to watch the most amazing spectacle that occurs everyday facing west.

The streets were getting dark. By then I had memorized the way to my Riad. No one could fool me anymore. I had mastered walking in between the crowded alleys of the Souk and I knew my way around the main places of the Medina. I walked in a hurry. I had to get to Cafe de France and climb the 4 floors of stairs to get to the roof  hoping nobody else had claimed the corner table that overlooks the beautiful Jamaa El Fna with the Koutoubia behind it.

It was about 6pm and people started crowding the streets everywhere. I exited one of the alleys into the main plaza and I could hear musicians singing and playing their instruments, food carts were making delicious tajine and the smog that flew up to the sky was visible from where I was standing.  A couple of acrobats doing tricks were causing a conglomeration of people and the sky of the whole medina was getting tinted with intense yellow and slowly transitioning to a deep red colour. I ran up the stairs of the cafe and reached the top almost gasping for air. The corner table was empty. As I walked towards the balcony overlooking the plaza, the call to prayer started and the music that could be heard from the rooftop of the cafe ceased. The Arab chanting of words was echoing in my ears and it gave a reminiscence of the many times I had heard it during the days that I spent in the Lands of Allah. Carpets were being rolled down and people stopped doing what they were doing to pray, kneeling on their carpets, adoring Allah. The server left to pray as well and I was sitting at the corner table admiring the transition of the day to the night. It was a magical feeling. A feeling I will treasure for the rest of my life.

The sun sunk into the Koutoubia completely and what was left were shades of light in the sky until they completely evaporated into the darkness of the magical place I was at. The server came asking If I needed anything. “A cup of mint tea please” – I said. He immediately rushed into the kitchen and came back in a glimpse with the beautiful silver Moroccan tea set and enough sugar cubes to sweeten tea for 10. “Shukran”- I said. I drank my tea and paid the 5 Dirhams and left another 5. It was late for me to be wandering the streets alone so I decided to head back to my Riad and gather my dreams, my courage and my fearless attitude  for what was awaiting for me.

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