Given all the unhappiness, it is refreshing to find a little happiness in the Middle East, even if it is musical. Enjoy the following:

Happy in Yemen (

Happy in Abu Dhabi (

Happy in Algeria (

Happy in Egypt (

Happy In Kuwait (

Happy in Jerusalem (

Happy in Jordan (

Happy in Lebanon (

Happy from Morocco (

Happy in Qatar (

Happy from Saudi Arabia (

Happy in Turkey (

There was a time when the flat earth Mediterranean ended at the Pillars of Hercules. On a recent visit to Morocco, Anouar Majid visited the “Cave of Hercules” at Cape Spartel and recorded the sounds. Check it out on his blog by clicking here.

Cafe in Tangier; photography by Anouar Majid

by Anouar Majid, Tingitana, December 3, 2014

Say what you may about Tangier in Morocco, anyone who doesn’t know its cafe life and culture is missing out on the soul of the city. Cafes in Tangier are hard to describe; people gather in them, singly or in groups, talk about everything, and while away their days and nights to make room for the next cafe visit. Customers do read a lot of papers in them and, on occasion, as in these pictures I took around 10: 20 am on January 3, 2014 at the legendary Grand Cafe de Paris, even smoke cigars in the process.

Morocco is a nation of cafes. But the main reason Moroccans go to cafes is to talk and comment on everyday experiences; this is how communities are forged and cemented. Moroccans are different from Westerners in this sense—conversations to them are pure literature and theater. Who needs to write, read, or watch plays when one can experience literary euphoria orally?

Dream #1 by Yasmina Alaoui and Marco Guerra

Yasmina Alaoui is of French and Moroccan descent, born in New York in 1977. She studied Fine Arts at the Carousel du Louvre in Paris, and earned a BA in Sculpture from the College of William and Mary. She currently lives in New York city, and exhibits internationally.

The underlying themes behind all her works deal directly with her experiences of multicultural upbringing and aims to bridge extremes by embracing opposites: secular and holy, classical and contemporary, order and chaos, repulsion and attraction. She is known to create complex and intricate visual works using a wide variety of techniques, which she combines in an authenticate manner.

Yasmina has collaborated with photographer Marco Guerra on the Tales of Beauty and 1001 Dreams series, which have been and collected and exhibited internationally since 2003.

Mackintosh-Smith in China

One of the most celebrated Arab travelers was the 14th century Ibn Battuta. For a book on the travels of Ibn Battuta, Timothy Mackintosh-Smith literally followed in the footsteps that the Arab savant had taken some seven centuries earlier. In addition to the book, a documentary film was made. An excerpt of the film on Tim’s experience int he Chinese city of Zaytun is available on Youtube and well worth watching. Other Youtube excerpts are on an Ibn Battuta shopping mall in Dubai and on Turkey. Vimeo provides access to the entire first part of the three-part series. For more information on the work of Mackintosh-Smith, check out his website. An earlier documentary on the English Sheikh and the Arab Gentleman by Bader Ben Hirsi is available in its entirely on Youtube.

اما المراكشي داود ولد سيد، المتأثر بالمصورين هنري كارتييه بريسو وروبرت فرانك وريتشارد افيدون، فقد تخصص بتصوير الرحلات المنفردة التي قام بها في ارجاء المغرب. في هذه الصورة، ينقل رجل جهاز تلفاز في الرباط.

The Arabic BBC website has presented several photographs for a proposed Moroccan Photography Museum in Marrakesh. Here are two of the photographs.

حسن حجاج الذي ولد في المغرب عام 1961 غادر بلاده الى لندن في سن مبكرة. تجمع اعمال حجاج العناصر المرئية لفن تصوير الازياء المعاصر مع فن البوب.

Area: 219,000 sq. mi
Population: 2,750,000
Government: Absolute Monarchy
Scenes: Morocco Leather; City of Morocco; Street Scene in Morocc

previous post I began a series on coffee advertising cards with Middle Eastern themes. One of the most colorful collections is that provided by the Arbuckle Coffee Company. In my great, great aunt’s album there were several Middle Eastern and North African nations represented, but she did not have all the cards. Here is a final potpourri from Arbuckle’s 1889 series, starting with Morocco above. (more…)

Photographic image source

by Anouar Majid, Tingitana, March 16, 2013

New reports are showing that Morocco’s fertility rates continue their rather dramatic downward trend. According to InfoMédiaire, Morocco’s High Commission for Planning says they have been halved since 1987, dropping from 4.5 children per women to 2,2 children in 2010. Part of the explanation has to do with the fact that people are marrying later.

Declining fertility rates is a global phenomenon and is particularly surprising in the Islamic world, perplexing observers who expect demographically-related doomsday scenarios of one kind or another. In 2011, David Goldman explained that civilizations without a strong religious faith lose the desire to procreate. Economic prosperity turns children into expensive and time-consuming propositions, since a child born to parents in Paris or New York would have to compete with dozens of other demands, such as the need for education, entertainment, vacations, and the like. And fertility rates are not helped when parents no longer expect to be supported by their children in old age. At least, Westerners have social security systems to rely on. (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »