MAROKO – MOROCCO – MAROC – المملكة المغربية

Bazeni za farbanje koza u Fesu-Leather tanning in Fes

Bazeni za farbanje koza u Fesu-Leather tanning in Fes

Devojacki hor-Girls' choir

Devojacki hor-Girls’ choir

Dzamija Hasan II u Kazablanci-The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Dzamija Hasan II u Kazablanci-The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Igra s kobrama-Cobras' play

Igra s kobrama-Cobras’ play

Iskopine rimskog grada Volubilisa-Volubilis, excavated Roman city and UNESCO Site

Iskopine rimskog grada Volubilisa-Volubilis, excavated Roman city and UNESCO Site

Ispred kapije-In front of the gate

Ispred kapije-In front of the gate

Kamilje glave kao specijalitet-Camels' heads as a local speciality

Kamilje glave kao specijalitet-Camels’ heads as a local speciality

Marokanske zastave-Moroccan flags

Marokanske zastave-Moroccan flags

Najstarija dzamija u Kazablanci-Jamaa Ould al Hamra-the most ancient mosque in Casablanca

Najstarija dzamija u Kazablanci-Jamaa Ould al Hamra-the most ancient mosque in Casablanca

Oaza i naselje Ait Ben Adu u dolini reke Dra na jugu zemlje-Oasis and old town Ait Ben Hadu in the valley of river Draa in the South

Oaza i naselje Ait Ben Adu u dolini reke Dra na jugu zemlje-Oasis and old town Ait Ben Hadu in the valley of river Draa in the South

Poznati trg u Marakesu Dzama el Fna-The famous square Jamaa el Fna in Marrakech

Poznati trg u Marakesu Dzama el Fna-The famous square Jamaa el Fna in Marrakech

Prodavnica suvenira od bakra i mesinga-A copper and brass souvenir shop

Prodavnica suvenira od bakra i mesinga-A copper and brass souvenir shop

Rode na kupoli stare dzamije-Storks on the dome of the old mosque

Rode na kupoli stare dzamije-Storks on the dome of the old mosque

Jednu od najlepših arapskih zemalja upoznao sam u pravom svetlu, krstareći malim autom sitroen dijana 6 kroz pustinju, od severozapada zemlje do juga, pa zatim na istok i ponovo na sever, na špansku teritoriju, koja se naziva Melilja. Iako je odavao utisak policijske države u kojoj su, čini mi se, svi znali ko smo, odakle smo i kuda idemo, Maroko je, ipak, mnogo više od toga. Moglo bi se reći – spoj 1001 noći sa obrisima savremene civilizacije, kao i kulturno preplitanje mnogih naroda: Sefarda i Mavara, Feničana i Rimljana, Portugalaca i Španaca, Engleza i, na kraju, Francuza koji su ostavili definitivni pečat uspostavljanjem zvaničnog jezika. Jedan narod sa obronaka visokog Atlasa ovde se, ipak, pominje još od pre dve hiljade godina pre nove ere; danas je to pleme koje predstavlja pustinjski simbol Maroka. Berberi su suvereni nomadski vladari u ovim predelima zapadne Sahare.
Svaki marokanski grad je jedinstven. Tandžer je istorijska luka, iz koje su brodovi odlazili ka Americi, odvozeći one koji su imali sreće da pobegnu iz vihora Drugog svetskog rata. Kazablanka je od toga stvorila svoj mit zahvaljujući istoimenom filmu, koji tu nikada nije sniman, ali zato neki novi Sem u ambijentu Rick’s Café-a, sličnom onom iz filma, svira As time goes by. Glavni grad Rabat ima veličanstveni mauzolej Mohameda V i tvrdjavu, na čijim se zidinama pije veoma ukusan čaj od mente, kao i najlepšu kraljevsku palatu. U Meknesu se nalaze monumentalne zidine palate sultana Mulaj Ismaila, za koju je želeo da bude veća od Versaja, kada je francuska princeza odbila da mu dâ svoju ruku. U gradu Fesu nalazi se islamski univerzitet iz IX veka, kao i najstarija medina na svetu, sa jedinstvenim bazenima za štavljenje i bojenje koža, koji su pod zaštitom Uneska. Uskim stepenicama stiže se do vrha zgrade, odakle se pruža nezaboravan pogled na kamene bazene jarkih boja, na čijim se obodima suše kože, ali se i širi užasan miris. U Agadiru se nalaze duge peščane plaže, a sa snežnih obronaka Atlasa spuštaju se skijaške staze.
Poseban utisak u Maroku ostavlja Marakeš, jedan od najlepših gradova na svetu. Smešten u oazi na jugu zemlje, taj grad je simfoniija boja i ritmova, koji prožimaju celokupnu atmosferu grada, koji predstavlja centar berberske kulture. Palate, medrese, cvetni vrtovi, raskošni parkovi i vile, džamije i utvrđenja, sve je to jedinstveni Marakeš, koji zaokuplja sva čula bogatstvom doživljaja. Njegov nezaboravni deo je ogroman centralni trg Jamaa el Fna, na kome 24 sata, bez prestanka, teče život iz 1001 noći. Ispod oskudnih svetiljki prodaje se i ono što ljudski um ne može zamisliti, tu se nalaze ulični svirači, žongleri i gutači plamena, ukrotitelji životinja i afrički orkestri, koji u divljem i mističnom ritmu dovode atmosferu na trgu do blagog transa. U blizini se održavaju noćne trke najboljih arapskih konja i kamila, uz bogatu večeru pod ogromnim šatrama sa muzikom, gde se najukusniji kus-kus služi iz velikih plitkih posuda.
Sve to upotpunjuje doživljaj Maroka kao jedinstvene i nezaboravne zemlje na severu Afrike.

Februar 1988.
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I explored one of the most beautiful Arabic countries and discovered its full glory while I was cruising in a little Citroën Dyane 6 through the desert, from the Northeast of the country to the South and then to the East and back again to the North, on to the Spanish territory called Melilla. Even though the first impression was of a police state where everyone seemed to know who we were, where we were from and where we were going, Morocco is definitely so much more than that. It could be said that it is a mix of 1001 Arabian nights with modern civilisation where cultures of many peoples intertwine: Sephardi and Moores, Phoenicians and Romans, Portuguese and Spanish, Englishmen and finally the French, who left a longlasting influence by introducing French as the official language. One particular people from the slopes of the high Atlas mountain was mentioned here even  around 2000 B.C.; today their tribes represent the symbol of the Moroccan desert. They are the Berbers, the nomadic people who rule as sovereigns in these parts of Western Sahara.
Each Moroccan city is unique. Tangier is an historical port, the ships left from here to America, carrying aboard those who were fortunate enough to escape the turmoil of the Second World War. The city of Casablanca became a myth owing to the famous film bearing its name, even though it was actually never filmed there; now another new Sam, similar to the one in the movie, is playing As time goes by in the ambiance of the Rick’s Café. The capital city of Rabat boasts a magnificent mausoleum of Mohammad the 5th, as well as the most resplendent Royal Palace and a fortress where a delicious mint tea is served. In Meknes you can find the monumental ramparts of Sultan Moulay Ismail’s palace which he intended to be bigger than Versailles, offended by the refusal of his marriage proposal by a French princess. In the city of Fez, the old Islamic university from the 9th century is to be found, as well as the oldest medina in the world, with unique pools for tawing and dying animal hide; it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing a narrow staircase to the top of the building, suddenly you have this amazing view of the pools coloured in various bright shades, hide stretched to dry on their edges; this is however spoilt by the terrible smell emanating from them. Agadir boasts long sandy beaches and from the snow capped peaks of the Atlas mountain skiing pistes run down its sides.
Marrakech, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, leaves a special impression. Situated in an oasis in the country’s South, it is a symphony of colours and rhythms that pervade the entire atmosphere of the city; it is the centre of the Berber culture. Palaces, madrasahs, botanical gardens, luxurious parks and villas, mosques and fortresses, all this combines to make the unique city of Marrakech which offers rich experiences to all five senses. Its most unforgettable part is the huge central square Jamaa el Fna, where life from 1001 Arabian nights goes on 24 hours a day, without stopping. In the dim light of street lamps you can see unthinkable items being sold, there are street musicians, jugglers, fire eaters, animal tamers, and African orchestras that, with their wild and mystical rhythms, lead the atmosphere on the square towards a mild trance. Nearby, there are night races for the best Arabian studs and camels, and feasts are served in enormous tents accompanied by music; the most delicious cous-cous is served from large shallow dishes.
All this contributes to the experience of Morocco, a country truly unique and unforgettable in North Africa.

February 1988

 

Zapadna Sahara – Western Sahara – الصحراء الغربية

Brdo peska-A sand hill

Brdo peska-A sand hill

Dunas blancas-Bele dine-White dunes

Dunas blancas-Bele dine-White dunes

Dzamija u Dahli-The mosque in Dakhla

Dzamija u Dahli-The mosque in Dakhla

Kapija grada Dahle-City gate of Dakhla

Kapija grada Dahle-City gate of Dakhla

Nekada je bio svetionik-This used to be a lighthouse

Nekada je bio svetionik-This used to be a lighthouse

Putokaz na zapadu Sahare-A West Saharan road sign

Putokaz na zapadu Sahare-A West Saharan road sign

Putokaz u pustinji-A road sign in the desert

Putokaz u pustinji-A road sign in the desert

Vesto presipanje caja-Skillful sipping of the tea

Vesto presipanje caja-Skillful sipping of the tea

Villa Cisneros je nekada bio glavni grad provincije Rio de Oro, iako zlato ovde nikada nije pronađeno. Bilo je to početkom XVI veka kada je nastajala Španska Sahara, jedna od retkih afričkih kolonija ove pomorske sile koja je tada osvajala svet. Danas se ovo mesto zove Dakhla, naziv koji su mu dali Marokanci kao većinski stanovnici ove ogromne teritorije. Tu je i Front Polisario, vojna grupacija koja se obučava u susednom Alžiru, ali ima podršku dela naroda i na ovom prostoru želi da oformi svoju državu koja bi se zvala Sahrawi Arab Republic, što u prevodu znači Saharska arapska republika. Delimično je već imaju u velikom pustinjskom prostranstvu na istoku, koje je nekom vrstom zida, koji uglavnom ne postoji, odvojen od dela prostora kojim upravljaju Marokanci i smatraju ga svojom zemljom.
Moj prijatelj Milenko Trojanović proveo je sa Ujedinjenim nacijama mnogo godina u glavnom gradu, koji se naziva El Aaiun ili Layounne, u njihovom neuspešnom pokušaju da razreše situaciju i postignu neku vrstu kompromisa. Upravo sledeći njegov savet nisam otišao u taj nezanimljiv pustinjski grad, već u Dahlu, na obali Atlantika, gradić obučen u belo i obavijen velom španske civilizacije koja ga je stvorila davne 1607. godine.
Nije mnogo ostalo od te civilizacije, osim pojedinih natpisa na španskom, koji većina starosedelaca još uvek govori. Aguas calientes je mali izvor mineralne sumporne vode, kojoj se jedino raduju lokalne koze na oskudnoj zelenoj travi i koja deluje nestvarno usred monotone pustinje. Dunas blancas je ogromna dina snežnobelog peska, koja se kao brdo soli izdiže iznad morske površine, a tankom trakom belog peska povezana je sa obalom, tako da podseća na poluostrvo oko koga kruže jata flaminga. Porto Rico je usamljeni stub koji je nekada bio svetionik, ali se nalazi na širokoj beloj peščanoj plaži koja podseća na one u tropskim predelima na kojima se snimaju ljubavne scene. Tu sigurno nema zaljubljenih parova, čak nema ni ljudi, ali beli šatori u arapskom stilu spremni su da dočekaju neke zalutale turiste koji ovde, ipak, ponekad svrate. O tome mi priča lokalni čuvar dok, iz poluležećeg položaja brižljivo presipa gusti, slatki čaj od mente, koji se u tankom mlazu nepogrešivo obrušava iz fildžana u čašicu. Govori jednom mešavinom španskog i francuskog, ali je ponosan što je starosedelac Sahrawi. Teško je, ipak, za kratko vreme odgonetnuti mišljenje lokalnih žitelja koje je obavijeno mešavinom straha s jedne strane, i blagodetima civilizacije koju Maroko donosi sobom u ove krajeve, udaljene od svakog sveta. Njegova vojska i policija nalaze se na svakom koraku i budno motre na bilo koju vrstu kretanja ljudi i vozila, posebno sredstava za snimanje. Imam utisak da je moj vozač doživljavao traume pri svakom mom vađenju fotoaparata, gledajući da me odgovori od bilo kakve nesmotrene akcije i motreći pomno na prisustvo bilo kakve uniforme, pa makar to bila i poštarska. Veći je rizik, kaže, bio na njemu nego na meni, koji sam zbog toga uredno zamolio policajca da fotografišem najlepšu džamiju u Dahli, dok me je vozač s nevericom posmatrao iz prikrajka.
Više nije ni imalo šta da se vidi, osim duge atlantske obale u koju se uliva peščano more.

Oktobar 2011.
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Villa Cisneros used to be the capital of Rio de Oro Province even though gold was never found here. This was at the beginning of the 16th century and the time of the formation of Spanish Sahara, a rare African colony belonging to the Spanish naval power that conquered the world. Today this place is called Dakhla, a name given by the Moroccans who currently aspire to the ownership of this vast territory. This is also the home of the Polisario Front, a military group that trains in neighbouring Algeria but has partial local support. They want to form their own country called the Sahrawi Arab Republic meaning the Saharan Arab Republic. They have partially achieved this in a large desert space in the East which is separated by some sort of wall from the area controlled by Moroccans, who consider it their home. All in all, it is a complicated situation, seemingly impossible to resolve, in which Morocco populates this space with its own people who during the elections proclaim it their own country.
My friend Milenko Trojanović has spent many years with the United Nations in the capital city of El Aaiun or Layounne, in their futile attempt to solve the problematic situation and reach some kind of a compromise. Following his particular advice I did not go to visit this uninteresting desert city; instead I went to Dakhla on the Atlantic Coast, a small town dressed in white and shrouded in the veil of Spanish civilisation which gave birth to it in the distant 1607.
Not much has remained from that civilisation apart from a few signs in Spanish, the language still spoken by the majority of locals. Aguas calientes is a small spring of mineral water, rejoicing only the local goats grazing on the scant green grass which appears almost surreal amid the monotony of the desert. Dunas blancas is a huge dune of snow white sand, rising above the sea surface like a salt mound; it is connected to the mainland by a thin strip of white sand, appearing like a small peninsula, flocks of flamingoes circling above it. Porto Rico is a solitary column that used to be a lighthouse, situated on a wide white sandy beach reminiscent of those in tropical regions on which love scenes from movies are shot. Certainly you cannot see any couples in love here, actually there are no people at all, yet white tents in the Arabic style are ready to greet some accidental tourists that still visit occasionally. A local guard tells me all this while, in a reclining position, he pours carefully the thick, sweet mint tea from a pitcher; a thin jet of the liquid hits the cup with precision. He speaks a mixture of Spanish and French, but is proud of his Sahrawi origin; perhaps only through his Spanish is he able to show a quiet resistance to the Moroccan presence here. However it is difficult to figure out their true opinion in a short time; it is a mixture of fear on one hand and on the other the enjoyment of the benefits of the civilised world brought by Morocco to this isolated part of the world. The Moroccan army and police are on every corner vigilantly watching any movement of people or transport, especially any recording device. I have the impression that my driver got traumatised each time I took my camera out, making sure to disuade me from any thoughtless action; he kept a keen eye on any kind of uniformed presence, even on a postman. He said that the risk was bigger for him than for me; he observed me with incredulity when I duly asked the local policeman for permission to photograph the most beautiful mosque in Dakhla.
There was nothing else left to see, apart from the long Atlantic coast, a sea of sand flowing into it.

October 2011

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