A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Two worlds...as one...

Having at last landed back from my Moroccan daydreams, I have already started planning my next trip to Marrakesh.
My first visit, as I have commented in my last posts, was a revelation.
You see, I grew up in a similar era and atmosphere as Marrakesh is in today.
A great mix of Arabic, French, Islam, foreign teachers, hippy travellers, tolerance, a sense of freedom as a student in the late sixties and early seventies. Life was easy.
Then Algeria lost its way. Corruption and kleptocracy ruled. Fundamentalism found a vacuum. It began exploiting youth unhappiness. The government sold out on secularism. Centuries of traditions were lost forever. And a reign of fear began. Around 200,000 people were massacred in an unprecedented period of violence between 1993 and 2003.
I did not go to Algeria for 15 years and when I went it was a foreign country to the one I left in the early seventies. Though things have slowly begun to improve, scars will take a long time to heal.

In Marrakesh I truly found my old country.
The old traditions are cherished and displayed with pride, while modernity is embraced and encouraged.
Marrakesh is what I would have loved my country to have developed into. But never say never...

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Blogger Hayden said...

terrible to have lost your home to the violence: but how lovely to find it again, in this new guise!

8/8/07 1:27 AM  
Blogger la bellina mammina said...

I've always found it to be beautiful and rich in culture.

8/8/07 11:06 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

How wonderful to have found your home after all these years. I can imagine what a loss it had been.

8/8/07 12:58 PM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

It's magical when you find something that you thought only existed in your memories. :)

8/8/07 1:03 PM  
Blogger Dip-Dop-Crabtree said...

What knows the young readers of L ’ Algérie?
Words return unceasingly to evoke a painful past and present:

Conquêtes, guerres, pirates barbaresques, colonisation, décolonisation, Français d'Algérie, Pieds-Noirs, Français musulmans, harkis, guerre d'Algérie, torture, massacres, indépendance, arabo-islamisation, lutte berbère, GIA, terrorisme, massacres à nouveau, immigration, racisme, étranger.

These words, thrown in a kind of hold-all, come entrechoquer with more or less from reality to indicate Algeria, an at the same time close and remote country.

L’avenir ne peut être maîtrisé que par des hommes qui ont choisi de réfléchir ...
L'évolution ne peut etre que meilleure !

Toute mon amitié aux algériens

8/8/07 6:47 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Yes, very sad, Hayden. I shall cherish Marrakesh's memories like those of my youth.

Bella, it is a land with a very long history of beauty but also of great strife.

Mary, it was as if I had arrived home at last.

Akela, I really thought it had gone forever.

Dip-dop, l'histoire d'Algérie n'est pas un secret pour vous car vous n'avez pas oublié une seule étape du périple.
J'espère que l'avenir de l'Algérie sera celui que la majorité des Algériens souhaite.
Je doute que cela sera celui de ma jeunesse.

8/8/07 8:50 PM  
Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

So glad you had a great experience of Morocco, and you can go back time and time again. Algeria will find its way back, just a question of time.

8/8/07 9:24 PM  
Blogger Dip-Dop-Crabtree said...

L'histoire laisse toujours un goût amer !!
Les médias français sont très frileux quand il s'agit de l'Algérie, du pouvoir algérien....
Rien ne sera comme avant,vos souvenirs resteront gravés dans votre mémoire ...
En tout cas pas tant que les généraux faisandés veilleront derrière les tentures dans le bureau du cacochyme d'Alger.
Un havre de paix ? Comme tous les peuples qui ont le droit de choisir leur déstin L'Algérie sera comme le Maroc ,ça ne sera que bénéfique à l'Algérie

Algériens de france

9/8/07 12:15 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Daphnée, I doubt very much whether that'll happen in my lifetime.

Ce ne sont pas toujours les peuples, mais les dirigeants qui choisissent au gré de leurs convictions, le destin de leur pays. En ce moment et depuis un bon bout de temps, nos dirigeants n'ont qu'un seul désir, et c'est celui de s'enrichir.
C'est un cercle vicieux qui sera très difficile à casser.

9/8/07 9:35 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

Another amazing post and I wish I could go too! Sounds exotic and amazing! You are right scars can heal.

12/8/07 7:28 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

They do, Val, they do... But life just moves on.

14/8/07 11:32 AM  

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