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The New York Times: “In search of ancient Morocco”

The diversity and natural wealth of Morocco have been highlighted in a long travelogue just published by the American newspaper The New York Times, under the title “In search of ancient Morocco.”

“South of Marrakech, the Drâa Valley still has an indefinable attraction while keeping the traces of its Berber kingdom, today almost disappeared,” says the author of this intimate article, the writer and journalist Aatish Taseer, who returns on his spiritual journey to the door of the Moroccan desert.

“We climbed the Atlas to the south-east by Tizi n’Tichka, a road famous for its scenic landscapes and its steep spiral slopes,” says the adventurer who was accompanied by a local guide after his landing in Marrakech, noting that “the belt of the Atlas which gives Morocco its twisted thorn also serves as a barrier between the worlds”.

Describing Morocco, the author writes that “half of this country faces the sea, under the influence of Phenicia, Carthage and Rome; the other half contemplates an ocean of sand, a world in its own right,” adding that “Arabia and Islam, from the east, have merged into the oldest element of the syncretic character of Morocco, the Berbers”.

Referring to the words of the South African writer JM Coetzee, who stated in 2001 that “there is no simple landscape”, the traveler confides that “Morocco, I understood the meaning of these words because the landscape was so diverse that it almost seemed to be a kind of stenography of the myriad natures of the country.”

“The ferric red of Central Africa appeared in furrowed hills covered with emerald herbs. In the same setting was a Swiss pine forest that led to steep high mountains, with peaks of waxy and sunny snow. The hills covered with burnt shrubs of a Greek island were home to large stocks of cactus flowers,” the author continues.

“These impossible combinations, this infinite variety – all that, and not one thing, was Morocco,” he says.

“It was as if the earth was tearing apart, revealing the full extent of its possibilities, continents colliding with each other, all in anticipation of the void and the open desert sky”, remembers this traveler amazed by the “magic of Morocco” that reflects the series of photos of natural landscapes that illustrates the long article of the prestigious publication.

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