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Morocco: An Oasis for the Muslim Traveller

With scorching summer temperatures flying high it is easier than ever to imagine oneself on holiday. Morocco is frequently considered a top destination for would-be travellers and this summer is no different. With all the timely research that goes into planning the perfect holiday this article provides viewing recommendations in aid of this endeavour.

Isra Morley

Due to its distinctive Islamic architecture, stunning ancient mosques and with up to 98% of its population being Muslim it is no wonder that the country is also incredibly popular with Muslims seeking halal tourist destinations. From the bustling souks of Marrakesh to the breathtaking peaks of the Atlas Mountains to the bustling streets of Casablanca there is no shortage of sights to see and adventures to be had.

Hasan II Mosque in Casablanca in documentary about Ramadan in Morocco

 

Le Jardin Secret is a thorough introduction to the uniqueness of Moroccan architecture and the history of the Riad, a spacious enclosed garden. This documentary details the lengthy and meticulous process of the restoration of the 19th century Riad, Le Jardin Secret in Marrakesh. The function of the Riad is to try and emulate the beauty and abundance of the gardens of Paradise, a convention present in many Islamic cultures. The centre of focus of this garden are the water features and watering system that enable the flourishing of such a lush oasis in the middle of an arid landscape. Through its celebration of traditional Moroccan architecture and the cultural significance behind its beautiful features this documentary allows viewers insight into this iconic structure and perhaps develops a thirst to visit it for themselves.

Le Jardin Secret a documentary about Morocco

Ayam is a short animated feature centred on three generations of Moroccan women as they celebrate Eid Al-Adha. It focuses on the generational gaps and differing experiences that separate them but more importantly on the love and care that binds them together from grandmother to mother to daughter. Its unique animation style gives a comforting and familiar feeling to this simple narrative. Unlike the other features mentioned this film is not focused on the sights of Morocco but on the tremendous importance of the home and family connections, an intrinsic part of Moroccan culture and central to any traveller’s understanding of the country. This is a beautifully crafted narrative suitable for all viewers.

Ayam an animation about three generations in Morocco

The mini-series Ramadan in the Islamic World has an episode dedicated to Morocco allowing viewers to witness a country steeped in tradition during the most important month in the Islamic calendar. As with most Muslim countries the holy month of Ramadan and the excitement of impending Eid celebrations are marked as the most vibrant and lively in the country’s calendar with preparations being made months in advance. For this reason it is a privilege for audiences to behold its ancient traditions and collective celebration we may not be familiar with in our home countries. This documentary is full of aesthetically stunning shots of this beautiful country and the key spaces that hold huge Islamic importance, information that is essential for Muslim travellers at any time of year. This documentary also goes into depth about the food traditionally eaten during Ramadan to give viewers a taste of what they can expect from delicious Moroccan cuisine.

Pouring tea in documentary about Ramadan in Morocco

All of these programs provide viewers with insight into the beautiful culture and country of Morocco and are as informative as they are visually stunning. Whether you are planning your own trip or simply want to appreciate the beauty and customs of this amazing country these viewing options will not leave you disappointed.

Moroccan singers

To explore Morocco further on film try the feature film Majid a tear-jerker about a ten year old orphan and shoe-shiner in the city of Mohammedia in Morocco. Children of Wool – The Berber Rug Weavers of Morocco takes us to southern Morocco where we meet Berber wool weavers continuing a centuries-old rug-making tradition, and Kasbah – the Music of Morocco is a series of 17 short films documenting three traditional music cultures in Morocco.

Isra Morley is a University of Glasgow English Literature and Latin graduate. Raised in Cardiff by an Indian mother and a Greek and Welsh convert father, Islam and the pursuit of its understanding have always been central to her life and writing. Having written articles for various Islamic publications, and taken part in assorted creative writing courses, she is currently an intern with the Alchemiya Journal.
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