Early use of the hamsa has been traced to ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) as well as ancient Carthage. A universal sign of protection, the image of the open right hand is seen in Mesopotamian artifacts in the amulets of the Qāt Ištar/Inana. Other symbols of divine protection based around the hand include the Hand-of-Venus (or Aphrodite), the Hand-of-Mary, that was used to protect women from the evil eye, boost fertility and lactation, promote healthy pregnancies and strengthen the weak, and in the Buddha’s gesture (mudrā) of teaching and protection. In that time, women were under immense pressure and expectation to become mothers. The women’s upbringing was centered on becoming a mother as an exclusive role, and it indicated child bearing as necessary. In addition, it was also thought marriage was a sense of protection for both the man and woman.
- Up at 7:00 am for breakfast.
- Had to have everything packed and on the bus
- Couldn’t eat too much cause we were heading to
That’s RIGHT! Our long awaited trip to Morroco had arrived. We were drained to be up so early and rushed to aquatic transportation, but at the same time we were stoked. We were going to AFRICA!!
Going through customs had become quite enjoyable for me ever since I dyed my hair! This time was no different, with one of the customs officers asking if my hair in the passport photo (fuscia at the time) was a
wig and why I hadn’t kept the color. He then proceeded to ask my age and some other questions that seemed more personal and not AT ALL in reference to my entrance of another country. *teheheheheheee*
Now, no judgement please. My thought process before this trip was that we would be walking in to scenes from The Lion King. Animals everywhere and pride rock; the whole shabang. So when we left Tarifa (Spain) I was dreaming that I would see a lion and maybe a meerkat, if I was lucky. But when we landed in Tangier, Morocco…..it was like walking into Aladdin, tossed into the streets of Agrabah.
Tangier, sometimes referred to as Tangiers, is a major city in northern Morocco. It is located on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. It is the capital of the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region and of the Tangier-Assilah prefecture of Morocco.
Its whitewashed hillside medina is home to the Dar el Makhzen, a palace of the sultans turned museum of Moroccan artifacts. The medina also has dozens of outdoor cafes, such as those along the Terrasse des Paresseux balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.
Once we got over the shock of what we thought would’ve been Morocco, we were herded to the bus to do a quick tour of the important places in Tangier, like the house of the King. Once we were done with a mild history lesson about Casablanca, we got to ride camels!
Let me tell YOU that when the camel stood up, it was a serious trust bond between him and I, cause boyyyyyyy was it a shaky ascent. Still, the experience was totally worth it!
As you can imagine, it was then time TO EAT! One dish that Morocco is KNOWN for is Ferakh Maamer, couscous enhanced with raisins, orange-flower water, almonds, sugar and served with or without meat. Yummmmmm. AND! We had a live band while we ate!
During this meal, we were visited by a cat and Dahlia and I sat beside each other and cracked jokes the entire time. She photo-attacked my ipod, thinking I would delete the photos once I saw them. I must say they will be excellent comedy ammunition in a few years.*evil smile*
After lunch, we went to an apothecary where we learned about the process of making argan oil and other herbs and spices that was used there, including HENNA! They had henna lipstick (which I purchased), along with argan oil and amber soap!! We then had some free time to make a few purchases and barter with the persistenly ANNOYING street vendors, who couldn’t take no for an answer. When it was finally time to get back on the boat to head back to Spain, we were a bit sad but ready to put the street vendors behind us. It was on the trip back that we could clearly see the borders of both Tangier and Tarifa. Two countries, so close yet so vastly different.
Docking in Spain was not a happy moment, because it was late BUT we were also informed that we would be driving to Sevilla THAT NIGHT and all the food joints on the way were
When we finally reached Sevilla, we were too tired to even bother about food. We trudged to our rooms and collapsed. There was no time for wifi or chatting. Just sleep.