In 2014 I asked my Husband if we could spend Ramadan in Morocco as he works all Ramadan and usually I feel alone and miss out on going to the Masjid. Thinking about all the recent attacks that had occurred on Muslim women and my own struggles with being verbally and physically abused when going outside I just needed to get away.
My Husband agreed after hearing me plead my case as he was concerned about me being so far from home, alone and not able to speak the language etc.
When we first arrived in Morocco I was so excited, my heart was fluttering and my nerves all over the place. The air smelt different, the ground I walked felt different and the sound of the Athan… I don’t even need to say anymore. Masjids filled the scenery in every city and between. I felt this was the place for me to be.
I stayed with a family in a small village who took very good care of me, they accepted me into their home and until now they are some of the most dearest people to me. We stayed awake at night talking, eating, drinking tea and laughing we spent our days together battling the severe heat while fasting. Just before Eid they brought a lady to the house who did henna on my hands and feet, this was the first time I had put my foot up on a pillow in someones face!
Along came Eid and my Husband returned taking me and the kids to stay in an apartment in the city until our return ticket date. When we settled into the flat, I turned to him and said,’ I’m not going back, you cant make me, I refuse’ He was in shock poor thing and was like but, erm , uhmm, so I just repeated my refusal and told him as Muslims we are obligated if able to migrate to live among Muslims and struggle with them as one Ummah.
Once I put forward my reasons he reluctantly accepted and left the situation alone. The following days he asked me a few times if I was certain as I had only come with 3 bags of clothes for me and the kids, I reiterated my wants and he left it at that. But we have a big issue my husband asking me, ‘ Where will we live?”
The First house in Morocco
We couldn’t afford to remain in the city, so my Husband suggested we reside in his mothers house he inherited in a small village 50 minutes outside the city. The house was made from mud without any windscreens, it had broken down wooden swing shut doors and windows without any glass, a kitchen consisting of a concrete slab and gas bottle to cook a lounge room that had a door exiting into a semi open room without any door and the kitchen attached to that. The rest of the house was open like a courtyard with a second dwelling of 2 rooms one downstairs and one upstairs, both literally falling apart hence why we resided in the other side of the house with the kitchen.
The early morning smell of people burning rubbish, making hot water and food mixed with the fresh air while I could hear my neighbors son reciting his portion of the Quran …it was priceless, for the first time in my life I felt at home, I felt free, I felt that no one had control over me or my life and I was just free and safe.
My life had gone from a modern UK lifestyle with everything at my fingertips, to a village in the middle of the desert and no modern appliances at all except a washing machine I filled by bucket then set the swing timer on it and spin cycle.
We stayed here for 6 months, I found out I was expecting my 4th baby which would go on to be the hardest of all my pregnancies and deliveries which will be in part 2. I had one of the most amazing neighbors who made food for me and cared for me in the early months of my pregnancy. Her kindness and the kindness of her sons will never be forgotten, her sons use to go to the souk and buy everything I needed when my husband would be at work in the UK, they would invite us over to eat or take my kids so I could rest a little as I was feeling so tired the first 3 months.
Not long after finding out about my pregnancy and suffering some shocking news the roof of our room caved in on me. Falling on top of me was pieces of dirt and bamboo from all the heavy rain… yes the dry small desert village actually suffers floods in the rain season.
After experiencing such a scary thing my Husband and I decided it was time to move out and find our own place to rent and consider fixing the house in the village or selling it.
Unfortunately this was when we encountered some of the most traumatic events in Morocco and suffered greatly. I will write more about this in the next parts.
And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: “Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of Allah, and from His presence is the best of rewards.” (Surah Al-Imran, 195)
Anyone who wants to ask me about Morocco or anything I have written please feel free to comment or contact me privately.
Thank you for reading