Friday, 29 April 2011

Bomb at The Argana, Djema El Fna, Marrakech, June 28 2011

We see, hear, and read news about terrorist attrocities around the world nearly every day and they always seem so far away from most of our normal reality that we tend to let them wash over us, sad that it is to say that. Yesterday's bomb at Bomb at The Argana restaurant in Marrakech changed all that for me.

I'm not usually given to writing about topical or political subjects, but this is personal. I first visited the pink city in 1972 and have been back many times since then. Buses may no longer arrive there and the cars are kept away at night, the once-rough ground may be paved over, and there's more light around the food hawkers tables, but Djema El Fna is still the heart and the pulse of the city, always bustling, exciting, alive. The gnaouistas (you can't call them gnaoui) still play their parodies of the true form, the young boys beat their drums and dance, the water-sellers quench travellers' thirsts, snakes are charmed, and young children sit in a circle listening to an old man telling wonderful stories of times past. That is the true Marrakech and it always has been thus, long before the hippies and then the tourists came. Incidents like today's won't stop the Marrakchis and we mustn't let it stop us tourists and travellers from visiting this beautiful city.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

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