Mohsine Nqadi, 46, looks up from his easel, paintbrush in hand, as my two companions and I enter his studio on the heels of his caramel-colored dog Julie. The space is comfortable, and Nqadi’s paintings cover its walls. Much of his work matches the scenery around him in Chefchaouen, the blue city of Morocco. Myriad shades of blue are stretched across canvases of every size, accompanied by some work in black and white or purple and white. Nqadi is all smiles and hospitality as he ushers us inside, waving for us to sit in an alcove conveniently surrounded by his pieces.
Lamya Ait Ali’s classmates want to be fashion designers and secretaries because those are jobs suited to women. She stands out because she is determined to become a computer engineer.
“Women always work in some office and stay all day in [a] chair,” said Ait Ali, 16. “I don’t want that.”
In the loud cafeteria at the Association Tischka in Ouarzazate, Morocco, Ait Ail and her peers catch up after spending the summer apart. She is one of about 100 female students ages 14-20 who pay for room and board at the Non Government Organization.
In Morocco, it is fruit that distinguishes a big-budget wedding from a more modest one. Bananas from Cuba, three kinds of apples from France, mangoes from South America and pineapples from Hawaii are paraded around under gauzy tents — nothing from inside the country.
For 35,000 dirham (4,170.07 US dollars) Brahim Hafalat’s traiteur company will plan, decorate and supervise a wedding or party for 100 people that pulls out all the stops. “You start with … the tables, the servers, the napkins,” Hafalat said. “Then you have the appetizers — pistachios, mineral water.