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January 15, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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JVP’s Approach to Zionism

“Zionism is a nineteenth-century political ideology that emerged in a moment where Jews were defined as irrevocably outside of a Christian Europe. European antisemitism threatened and ended millions of Jewish lives — in pogroms, in exile, and in the Holocaust.

Through study and action, through deep relationship with Palestinians fighting for their own liberation, and through our own understanding of Jewish safety and self determination, we have come to see that Zionism was a false and failed answer to the desperately real question many of our ancestors faced of how to protect Jewish lives from murderous antisemitism in Europe.

While it had many strains historically, the Zionism that took hold and stands today is a settler-colonial movement, establishing an apartheid state where Jews have more rights than others. Our own history teaches us how dangerous this can be.

Palestinian dispossession and occupation are by design…

Zionist interpretations of history taught us that Jewish people are alone, that to remedy the harms of antisemitism we must think of ourselves as always under attack and that we cannot trust others. It teaches us fear, and that the best response to fear is a bigger gun, a taller wall, a more humiliating checkpoint.

…We learn from the anti-Zionist Jews who came before us, and know that as long as Zionism has existed, so has Jewish dissent to it….We choose a future where everyone, including Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, can live their lives freely in vibrant, safe, equitable communities, with basic human needs fulfilled. More here.

January 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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fes’s old medina

#zaouia #sidi #ahmed #tijani is an #islamic #complex for #education and #commemoration dedicated to the #founder of the 18th century #tijaniyyah#sufi #tariqa – #sheikh #ahmed al #tijani who was originally from the #senegal and is #buried here

it is located in fes’s #old #medina and has stunning #ornamented #facades

visit to the famous #fes #tanneries where #leather is produced and #dyedby going through a process of being soaked in a #limestone mixture, scraped, washed, naturally dyed and dried

the #smell can be overwhelming and the work seemed arduous and #hazardous with not much protection 
we were told people who work in tanneries are #paid well but their #working #conditions could certainly improve
more photos here.

January 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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the jewish mellah

visit to the #jewish #mellah and the aben danan #synagogue built in the 17th century

#spectacular #views of the #medina of #fes and then on to the #tamegroute #pottery #cooperative where one can buy #moroccan pottery directly from #artisans

got to try some delicious kaab el ghazal or #gazelle #horns #cookies
#crescent-shaped and filled with #almond paste #rosewater and #honey
more photos here.

January 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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fes

breakfast at our #riad yacout situated in #fes’s #medina near bab bou jeloud or the #bluegate

the medina of fes was founded by #moulay #idriss II in the 9th century, not long after #islam came to #morocco

fes reached its #zenith in the 13th and 14th centuries 

we visited the entrance to the #royal #palace which was built in the 13th century during the reign of the #merinides #dynasty 
the main entrance was #restored in the 1970s 
it has 7 #brass #doors 
80 feet high they #symbolize the 7 days of the #week or perhaps the #gates to the 7 #heavens
more photos here.

January 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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the atlas mountains

the #plateaus between the parallel ranges of the #atlas #mountains are incredibly rich and #fertile
covered by a bright velvety #green that reminded me of #sicily’s #lushness

there are #olives of course but also plenty of #orange #orchards
we stopped at a roadside stall and bought some for our trip – extravagantly #sweet

#family picture as we approached the atlas mountains and one of my husband with our fabulous personal #guide on this #adventure across morocco – hicham
more photos here.

January 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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from chefchaouen to fes

the #jebala or #arab #mountain people who live in #morocco’s northwest reminded me of the #andean people of #southamerica – the #textiles, tallish #hats, constructed #terraces#agriculture and #herding – the same rigorous #work #ethic with active participation from #women

morocco has more than 700,000 hectares of #olive #orchards which it aims to double by next year
we visited a traditional olive #press in the #rif mountains
more photos here.

January 6, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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chefchaouen

early morning #breakfast on the terrace of our riad dar lbakal in #chefchaouen

best #omelette ive had in years, local black #olives, homemade #bread, fresh goat #cheese, real #honey and apricot jam, and the most fragrant slightly bitter delicious locally pressed olive #oil

the #bluewashed #city of chefchaouen is located in the #rif #mountains 
its old #medina is a mixture of #moroccan and #andalusian #architecture

we went to see the small #waterfall of ras el maa and climbed up a mountain to get wonderful views of the city
more photos here.