Mar 4, 2007

Only in Morocco ...

The King pardons 33,000 prisoners as part of a celebration of the birth of his daughter ... justice prevails.

A miracle healer claims to cure HIV, cancer and every other disease there is. Such "healers" pop-up every now and then, in the Muslim world. Morocco has 40% illiteracy rate.

Torbi el Mekki, the man being hailed as the miracle healer of Skhirat, a village about 30km south of the capital, Rabat, says he can cure any disease from HIV/Aids to cancer.

When pilgrims reach the front of the long line, they are ushered forward by his assistants.

It is a very quick process: Mr Mekki shakes their hands; touches their bottle of water or bag of sugar - which he says will cure them of all their ills - and blesses them as they go past.

"I do this in the name of God. I do not do it for money," he says dismissing suggestions that he is a charlatan.

"If I wanted to do it for money I would gain billions every day. But I don't need money because I am already rich from land that I inherited."

Some people say he makes money out of the sugar and water that they have to buy.

The story-teller in Marrakesh, a fascinating man with a dying trade, Moulay Mohammed has been practicing his art for over 45 years. Unfortunately, people are glued to their TV sets and the young aren't interested in becoming story-tellers but Moualy remains optimistic.

I found Moulay Mohammed, a bearded man with a few missing teeth, sitting in the square in his grey jellabah surrounded by a circle of onlookers. He is 71 and has been a story-teller for 45 years.

He used to come as a boy and listen to the old men in the square tell their stories and he was so entranced by them that he became one himself.

He says he knows most of the Old Testament and all of A Thousand and One Nights.

According to legend, to prevent her murderous husband King Shahryar from killing her, the Persian Queen Scheherazade told a different story every night for 1001 nights.

Moulay Mohammed is like a modern day Scheherazade: he tells tales of sultans, thieves, wise men and fools, he speaks of mystics, genies, viziers and belly dancers.

Moulay Mohammed told me it is not just what he says that counts but how he says it.

1 comment:

MoRocco said...

nice examples.. but unfortunatelly, i would say: NOT only in Morocco!!