This is FEZ...
We left a kiss on its cheeks
We passed through its narrow streets
We smelt its aroma
We visited its curvy pathways,
This is FEZ ..
Past years have been folded to tell the story of today
And the era of (Fatima Al-Fihriya)..
Did she know then that we will once visit the legacies she left behind?
That we will visit the dawn she ushered, the minarets, mosques and schools?
The useful knowledge that has been around for one thousand one hundred years or more..
Did she know, when she pledged to build the Al Qarawiyyin mosque , and fasted daily throughout its construction
That pilgrims will visit its grounds a thousand years later?
Is it your vow, Fihriya?
And your pure, sincere intention?
We visit your courtyards filled with worshipers,
and the rose water fountains to perform ablution,
We visit the sundial, obelisk and the marine chromometer clocks
which were placed in your corners
in a beautiful tower overlooking the main courtyard.
I was there, Fahriya
We prayed for your pure soul,
The soul that built this everlasting monument.
You were entitled as Um Al-Banin (Mother of Children), a title reflecting your lenience towards people.
What a great legacy you’ve left!
We have passed by the tombs of kings who are gone and forgotten
However, what you built was preserved and still lingers: The school of “Marinids”
You built knowledge for students, “The Qarawiyyin”..
As a path that leads to dreamy heights..
Pillars of white marble.. stained by knowledge and memories that merged to the color of Earth.
From it, their prayers rise..
And with the humming of their writings’ throughout its galleries ..
Stacked rooms, full of competing ambitions and craving for knowledge.
Given a piece of bread and a cup of olive oil, they spend their day discussing and learning.
Each room does not exceed two meters and a half
Some of whose windows overlook the domes of Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque..
The Mosque’s library, a warm and welcoming reception and a set of morals prettier than silk and brocade,
displaying over four thousand manuscripts, featuring “Muqaddimah Ibn Khaldun” where he signed his name on its margin.
In addition to thousand years old manuscripts of the Holy Quran, written in “Kufi” and “Moroccan Kufi” fonts.
“Jazal” a book by “Ibn Tufail” where he summed up remedies to cure a person from head to toe.
We passed through the brass artisans and carpenters’ square
We had lunch in the special Fez way in the carpenters’ restaurant,
And ate the delicious and mouth-watering Pastilla “prepared in a special way by a local lady”; as the waiter said.
And aren’t women the ones who master the cooking of traditional, and authentic dishes?
As we pass by the Tannery Courtyard,
With the scent of mint welcoming us..
Being the fragrance of the beautiful scenery ..
From above, we capture a view
A view of beauty which photographers seek to seize..
The heart of a King and his love for his people
You can see it overflowing from their eyes and warm welcome.
God bless you, Your Majesty..
That dreamy young man with his ancient guitar..
We enter his tiny workshop, climb his small old stairs ;
Searching for the “Shatbah” papers that have long dazzled me with their old age amongst the shelves of the manuscripts.
We were told that it is made in China and prepared earlier in Andalusia.
Andalusia.. How can we restore your civilization?
Hamza, can you answer us??
Inside his small and charming workshop
He who mastered the use of tools on the small walls
He tried to help us, but it did not work.
His leather books are beautiful, reflecting the beauty of the place itself.
I respected him greatly.. For maintaining the legacy of his forefathers at this young age.
We bought Fez lanterns as a souvenir of a place that has seeded its love..
And so we will plant its fruits on the walls of our hearts.. as an ever-lasting memory.
Ceramic and pottery workshops run by families who excelled in their workmanship
And the silver and mosaic ornaments decorating jars and urns.
You are special, Fez!
And God has chosen you to be the oldest city in modern history.
Your welcoming scent is still in our loving hearts.
So, peace be upon you, my beloved Fez!