Globalization of the Person

by

There’s a rivalry, but a comradery in the market and in the community – not much unlike any other corner of the world. The people, so similar yet so diverse. A walk through the medina takes you from one world, your world, to the next. You can feel completely welcome or completely intimidated. You can pretty much guarantee that anyone will speak a dialect of Arabic, but after that it’s give or take whether or not someone speaks a language you’re even vaguely acquainted with. There’s a message of longing; of survival; of pride and dignity. It’s self expression and competition. Most medinas simply displayed products as they were – hung up, neatly shelved, strewn about a table or the ground. Though the suq inside the Kasbah of Marrakech gave a different glimpse behind the sellers’ products. Everything hand made. Wooden trinkets carved with hand or foot, leather sandals ground down with sander belts and leather bags cut out and hammered together. Metal cages and lamps being put together – sparks thrown about. Art mastered, repeated. The work goes in and profit comes out, although I’m entirely uneducated and unsure about how much each merchant really profits, not to mention the factor of bartering. A foreigner, especially Caucasian, wouldn’t have quite as much ease talking down a price, but locals on the other hand can barter like there’s no tomorrow. Where’s the value? In the dirham? In the business? In the experience? The conversation? The fight? The connection? Maybe, probably, depends. But what is the motivation? There’s a societal feel of compassion and an obvious strive for hospitality. A foreigner sticks out like a sore thumb, but they’re also valued and welcomed despite extreme diversity. No matter the case of geographical representation, there’s a welcome mat within the medina – one you may or may not literally, figuratively or hypothetically wipe your feet on. 

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