June 7, 2016
I had just exited the shower and was dripping wet when he called. It was Omar and he was down in the hotel lobby. Ramadan has started and he said everything is closed so he brought me some food. I had food from the train ride three days ago – a few ounces of almonds and english walnuts, some swiss cheese, olives and some bread – but he was worried about me.
When I met him in the lobby he had 4 bananas, 4 cups of yogurt, ½ liter of milk, 6 nectarines, 3 rounds of bread, a quarter pound of goat cheese and a bag of cherries!! I looked at all the food and told him I already ate a few nuts this morning and that I would be just fine until sunset, only five hours away, when everyone will end the day’s fast and I would join him for dinner. I told him that it was enough food for three days and nights and to remember that I would be traveling with Mohamed tomorrow to the Rifs on my way north to Chefchaouen tomorrow, then on my way to Tangier and fruit does not travel well. I took a few items and he gave the balance to the man at the hotel desk for his family meal tonight.
Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer, family and generosity. I am being treated like family.
I have been treated like a brother by Muslims, both in Morocco and also in Egypt. There are so many positive words that come to mind. Helpful, generous, friendly, fun, welcoming, respectful – just to start a list that would be very long. It pains me, deeply, to think that people in the U.S. would even consider prohibiting Omar, Aziz or Michelle from entering my country to visit me, in my home, because they are Muslims. Those kind of statements from Americans make me embarrassed to say I am from the U.S.
Omar said that Aziz, Michelle’s right hand man here in Fes, also wanted me to join him and his family tonight for the first feast after the start of Ramadan. It is not up to me to choose.
Omar and Aziz will play rock, paper, scissors to determine who gets to invite me to their home tonight for dinner.
At 5:00 I will find out who won.