THE VIRTUE OF IMAGINATION
Growing up without the ability to read or write only increased Mrabet’s imagination and willpower to discover the art of storytelling. Follow his journey and discover the soulful tales of Morocco through his captivating words.
Mohammed Mrabet was born in Morocco, Tangier in 1936. Growing up, Mrabet was unable to read or write, however his strong sense of charisma proved to be a great ability of his.
He had a very close relationship with his Grandfather, the man who first introduced him to the art of storytelling. He would listen with admiration to his Grandfather’s stories, hoping that one day he would be able to do the same.
During his younger years, he attended a French school, however due to not knowing the language, he was unable to communicate properly with his teachers and classmates. This problem eventually led to Mrabet leaving the school, without ever gaining the ability to read or write.
In addition to leaving school, he also left home, beginning his life on the streets of Morocco and making a living for himself through various jobs. One of these jobs was as a fisherman, which allowed him to be in an environment where stories were constantly shared amongst the men.
One night, Mrabet had an interesting encounter with an American man named Paul Bowles, outside of one of the local clubs he was working at. The two men got into a discussion and Mrabet ended up telling him one of his stories. The American was impressed and offered Mrabet the opportunity to transcribe his words onto paper, leading to a whirlwind of successful events and a strong partnership between the two.
To this day, Mohammed Mrabet’s work has been spread world wide, as well as his paintings being exhibited in a number of European galleries. Even though he is still unable to read or write, he admits that the imagination is a person’s most powerful trait. For this, he continues to share his stories amongst his children, grandchildren and close friends, spreading the art of storytelling to those close around him.
This blue-washed mountain village is known as one of the most beautiful towns in Morocco. Aside from its aesthetic beauty, Chefchaouen has its own unique feel. The on town consists of a Moroccan and Andalucian influence, with bright blue buildings, narrow lanes, fantastic food and plenty of accommodation for tourists.
Known as Tangier’s ‘Old City’, this district consists of a number of narrow alleyways and beautiful structures. The lifestyle in Medina is known for its streets being filled with old men drinking tea and playing backgammon, whilst in the past it was a playground for the legendary author Paul Bowles and other literary figures.
The Kasbah was once home to the Sultans, dominating the Medina’s northern area. The Dar el-Makhzem Palace and Kasbah Museum reside beyond the gates of this 17th century structure. In addition, the infamous Café Detroit hides amongst marble courtyard, which was a hotspot for expat writers and artists in the 1960’s.
Residing on the Northwest tip of Morocco’s Atlantic coast, Asilah’s history goes back to the Roman era. This town offers a historic setting that is perfect for seaside walks, as surviving bastions and towers remain standing. There is a Mediterranean feel to this town, as the houses are pained in white and blue and the seafood is always fresh!
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The Port of Tangier
Situated next to the Medina, the port was a local hangout for Mohammed Mrabet. Growing up, talked to the local fisherman, sharing stories amongst them. The port remains as the main source of transportation for locals and tourists in Tangier, as ferries are in constant motion and street vendors flood the area trying to sell goods.