Hercules Cave

by

As waves crash into the cave there is the smell of the salty ocean and fresh air, I am given a minute to relax and reflect on the last week in Spain. The ground beneath me is hard as I think about the transnational history of Spain and Morocco. As legend goes this history between the two countries began with Hercules. Hercules is said to have pushed apart what we now know as Spain from Morocco. Where I stand now was the resting place for Hercules as he separated these two continents and created two separate countries. These two countries have a long, intertwined history.  This connection began in 1911 with the treaty of Fez, putting Spain in charge of Morocco. This brought on the Rift War full of murder and discrepancies against the Moroccan people. The Spanish army came in and took over Morocco killing many innocent people in the process. The war lasted till 1927 when the Spanish returned to Spain leaving Morocco behind with little means for economic prosper. Just 10 years after the Rif war ended the Spanish civil war began and brought about pain in Morocco when the Moroccans were drafted to fight alongside the Spanish with the promise of food and compensation and the hope of being able to remain in Spain. The Moroccans were used as a buffer in front of the Spanish and placed on the front line. Many Moroccans died and the ones that returned were sent back home with little compensation or help from the Spanish. The next generation, are full of desire to go to Spain and start the life their parents were deprived of with the idea that Spain would bring prosperity and a brighter future.

After all of the chaos and excitement of the last week in class and exploring Spain this moment in the cave is a great relief. I am able to look forward to Morocco with a new energy and begin getting re-energized about this next step in our journey. I can’t wait to discover more about this new culture and experience firsthand this new culture and more about their transnational history.

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