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The Western Kingdom

The Blue City

MOROCCO | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [146] | Scholarship Entry

I will never forget the first moment I laid eyes on the Kasbah of the Udayas.

I could feel the bustling city of Rabat behind me as I stood looking up at the impressive fortress. The sturdy walls towering over me once acted as protection for the Almohads, an ancient Berber tribe, but now only served as another scenic backdrop for wandering tourists.

Full, glimmering palm trees lined the walkway to the entrance and an unimaginably large wooden door hid underneath an enormous arch. We posed for our obligatory picture and made our way inside. No map or guide to lead us, just our instincts.

Dirt paths and bare alleyways led us deeper into the blue city. Walls, doors, and signs all painted the same shade, the one you’d catch only on a cloudless day. We discovered each new door we passed was more different and unique than the next.

The different doors had me wondering about the people who lived behind them. Did they have children? Were they poor? What were their names? Had they always lived here? What was their story?

Surely a place as old as this was harboring an unforgettable history, one I was dying to learn about.

We stopped at a quiet cafe and I searched for answers, taking a moment to cherish the breathtaking view before me. I sipped my warm mint tea and looked beyond the Bo Regreg river out to the city of Sale. For a moment, I imagined myself in this very spot some thousands of years ago. Would my life have been remembered? Would my story be told or lost through time? Would anyone care?

Of all the places I encountered during my short time in Morocco, I had to wonder why Udaya felt so familiar to me. Perhaps it’s just one of those places that haunts you.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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