This past week, we were visited by a group hailing from Philadelphia, PA and Charlotte, NC. The common thread between these two cities? Anjali Power Yoga Studios!
Returned Peace Corps volunteer Lucia coordinated a week-long yoga retreat for practitioners from these studios in Marrakech, Morocco. In addition to planning what sounded to me like the most fabulous crash-course in all of the fabulous things that Marrakech has to offer, Lucia also highlighted some of the most authentic things, as well. This included teaching everyone survival Darija, discussing customs and traditions, making sure to taste all of the local fare, and, most importantly (in our opinion!), visiting the town of Tameslouht.
Our morning involved meeting at the most popular cafe in town, ordering a round of nss-nss coffees, and engaging in a discussion about Tameslouht. The retreatants had many questions about the economic life of Tameslouht, the women artisans, and the religious aspect of Tameslouht and its zaouia, or ancient Sufi religious school.
We walked through the town, stopping spontaneously at the olive oil processing center. Tameslouht is famous in the region for its aromatic and absolutely delicious olive oil. We watched the olives get mashed and pressed, all while smelling the beauty of the distinctive oil.
Afterwards, we arrived to Abdelilah’s house, where two of Maslouhi’s women artisans, Meriam and Rabiaa, awaited us.
The retreatants learned the art of basket embellishment, a popular craft that has ignited the tourist markets in recent years. Although no one got anywhere near close finishing their baskets in the time allotted, everyone went home with new knowledge of a craft that they were seeing everywhere in the souk.
We enjoyed a massive and delicious lunch in the zaouia, and then went on a tour of some of the different properties of the religious complex.
The last part of our day in Tamesouht involved a visit to some of Maslouhi’s other artisans: our weavers! We had the pleasure of catching Si Hassan, who is one of Tameslouht’s “m3allam,” or master weavers. Two of the brave retreatants even tried their hand at the loom!
We at Maslouhi genuinely enjoyed our time getting to know Anjali Power Yoga Studio’s retreatants. We hope that you all enjoyed your time in Morocco, and in Tameslouht especially!
If you have a group coming through Marrakech and would like to visit the artisans of Maslouhi, engage in a workshop, eat a traditional lunch in a beautiful, ancient religious school, and see what life is like in a rural village, let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org