June 7, 2016
His home is 1200 years old. It has 4 or five families living in it – 22 people in all – and it is designed like The Palace with an open central area and is 4 stories tall. Aziz is the owner and the patriarch. He is also an Imam, a highly respected person in the medina. At the medrasa he teaches two groups of 20 boys each day, the 5 and 6 year olds. He was born in the house and drinks water out of the same fired pottery mug his father and grandfather used. He handed it to me to hold and feel.
We talked until the sun set. Aziz’s home is scheduled for major reconstruction by UNESCO next month as part of the World Heritage Site improvements being made in the old Fes medina. His family and all the other families will move out during the reconstruction. On the first floor where we ate, there are doors 15 feet tall, over a thousand years old and have never been refinished. Standing in front of the doors I wished they could talk.
We had a great dinner, starting with the traditional date and then a blended fruit and yogurt smoothie. I ate everything on the table and it was all home made, even the bread. There were 6 of us: Aziz, his wife, brother, sister, me and another male family member. Everything was delicious.
BTW, many muslims, even the men, are sensitive to having their pictures taken, so I seldom do, without asking. Out of respect for his position as an Imam, I did not ask Aziz for a picture tonight. I was honored enough to be invited into the home of a man of his status on such a special occasion.