Arriving in Fes

June 26th 2010
Published: July 2nd 2010
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We arrive in Fes June 26 at 2:00 pm

My mother in-law greets us at the CTM. Again I am overwhelmed with emotion as she is too, its been 7 years since I last saw her, and about 4 years since my husband saw her.
We pile into 2 taxis and a family friends car to go to my mother in laws house. She has moved from the old medina (city) to the new medina. As we drive I am impressed with the changes made to Fes. Everywhere there is new construction or historic restoration going on. It is beautiful. The place where my mother in law lives is a newly developed apartment complex. Most people buy their apartments in Morocco. My mother in law sold her huge home in the old medina to a fellow who planned on using as some sort of investment property. Many Morrocans who sold homes in the old medina where able to make a decent profit when they sold there homes. These homes are of historical value and are 1200 years old. This area of fes is where the original capital of Morrocco was. It is the birthplace of the sciences and contains the famed Karaoine University. Fes was established by Moulay Idriss, who came from Bagdad, He was a sufi calipha. He is buried in the medina and people have built a masjid around him and they worship him. This is haraam (forbidden in islam) but there were more people there than in Karaoine (which currently is a masjid, but still has a famous library which contains alot of original ancient texts) I did take a picture which I will post. Many people who lived in the old Medina took advantage of the housing market and sold their old homes to move to the new medina. Life is more progressive there. The old medina is a labryinth of narrow walkways it is impossible to get cars through there, difficult to have items such as furniture delivered, and houses are not equipped to run modern machinery well, such as computers. My husbands whole family now lives in the new medina. One of my husbands aunts who sold her old home made a great profit. She said some one stole the doors from her home and the value of the doors was 400,000. Unfortunately in this economy those who bought homes in the old medina do not have enough money to restore them and turn them into investment properties as they originally planned and at least the ones that my husbands family sold remain empty.

Upon arriving we have a great lunch prepared by my mother in law. This is a good time to tell you about Khadijah...

Khadijah is 14 years old she is the housemaid of my husbands aunt Hesna. I ask my aunt about this girl as I am uncomfortable watching Khadijah. She irons, washes dishes, cleans, runs errands, plays with my children, gets them what they may need. In particular I thought it was not good to have her carry heavy luggage each bag weighing at least 50 lbs, while we were traveling to Fes. My husband tells her to leave it to the men, but she, eager to please, does not follow his instructions and continues to move this luggage.

Do to family problems, Aunt Hesna has agreed to take Khadijah and care for her. She gives the grandmother (family) some money in return Khadijah works for Aunt Hesna- Khadijah benefits by being spared from her moms lifestyle. She eats regularly, she has a stable home, she has luxuries she would never experience otherwise. I asked does khadijah go to school. Aunt Hesna responded that she bought her books and paid for her to go to school, but Khadijah threw the book in the sand and preferred to go play. Khadijah remained very quiet while I asked about school. We did not discuss her mother in front of her.

We spent our fist few days in Fes having visitors and seeing some of the sites

Additional photos below
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Khadijah in the red shirt

father-in-law, Wadia, Asiyah, Abdullah

right-left My mother-in-laws brother(Hameed), aunt Toria, Hameeds wife (Toria) hameeds daugher(Asma) Aunt Hesna (mother in laws sister)

My husbands little brother

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