Monthly Archives: November 2014

Kitty quoted in Moroccan magazine

November 2014:

Imagine my surprise when in Casablanca when friends and neighbors Yves and Marie Paule asked me. “Have you seen your name in the new magazine Zamane?” I hadn’t, but was honored to be credited in an article on Estebanico/Al Zemmouri, the man from Azemmour (mentioned of course, in my own Mint Tea and Minarets.) The enslaved “Moor” from Azemmour became part of the Spanish Narvaez expedition to La Florida. After adventures I describe in an article that appeared in Saudi Aramco Word (Esteban of Azemmour and His New World Adventures  March/April 2002 ‪www.saudiaramcoworld.com‬) Al Zemmouri and his companions endured a nine year trek that took them from La Florida to the Sea of Cortez. Al Zemmouri was then ordered to accompany Fray Marcos de Niza, a Jesuit priest whose mission was to discover the Seven Cities of Cibola, near the Zuni pueblo, in what is today northwestern New Mexico.) The year was 1539.

Zamane is a French language magazine that focuses on Moroccan history. (Kitty’s name appears on page 99.)

www.zamane.ma.

THANKSGIVING or Le Jour de Merci Donnant 2014

I flew across the pond to Morocco in early November to take care of Dar Zitoun, our family riad, 90 kilometres south of Casablanca.  My memoir, Mint Tea and Minarets relates the story of this local landmark which I hadn’t visited in FOUR years. Although Dar Zitoun has been in the family for over half a century, it is time to put it on the market and hand over the keys to the next buyer. It is now “staged” for a sale.

In Morocco, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with old friends who always make my trip worthwhile. I am no longer conducting tours, but I can assure you that Morocco remains a welcoming destination.

First impressions: Air France rocks! And the connections between Paris and Morocco are excellent. I have no idea how the 800 passenger Airbus gets off the ground, but a complimentary glass of champagne and a smiling Air France flight attendant (yes, even in “cattle car”) did much to lessen my fears. While Charles de Gaulle airport is geared to luxury and comfort with soft music, a MUSEUM, and comfortable seating throughout, the Delta terminal at Kennedy is the “wretched” refuge of “huddles masses,” sitting and lying around on the floor. Is this the impression we want to give our visitors?  Hats off to the TSA, however. Passport control now consists of scanning your passport into a machine.

Morocco sits squarely in the twenty first century. TEXTING is the norm. Freeways, skyscrapers, traffic jams to rival downtown L.A’s, Casablanca’s state of the art train station and sleek electric trams have transformed the landscape (downtown is now a giant pedestrian mall, how cool is that?) I browsed around the Galeries Lafayette, the iconic French store, at the Morocco Mall. STARBUCKS, KFC, MacDos and Pizza Huts are leading the fast food  invasion. A royal wedding in Rabat topped it all off (I wasn’t among the guests, but I did meet up with Mrs. Chirac, wife of the former French president, in the Rabat medina!) Rabat’s recently opened Musée d’Art Contemporain is definitely worth the detour, as is dining in a riverfront restaurant in the new marina along the Bou Regreg.

These pictures will explain: The NEW Casablanca Train station/Casa Port.