The mixture of ancient and modern worlds that is characteristic of Morocco reveals itself in the hustle and bustle of the streets of the medina. Youngsters with jeans and sneakers mingle with older folks in djellabas, while workers on the go check their smartphones in front of a cup of mint tea.
Small shops open onto the narrow streets, exposing their merchandise, some of them attracting the local population, others catering to tourists. These same tourists are the preferred audience of the snake charmers and street performers of the square El Hedhim in Meknès.
Gentrification is apparent here too, and nowhere more obviously than in Chefchaouen. The city with the blue walls is undeniably beautiful. But with a boutique hotel, a restaurant, and a souvenir shop at every corner, one cannot help but wonder how much of this is truly original and how much is staged for the benefit of foreigners.
Still, a woman in a red dress walking between those electric blue walls remains a sight that beckons us like the call of a siren.
I would like to thank Christin McLeod for providing invaluable help in proofreading and editing the text of these articles.
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