Morocco Behind the Veil

In the early hours of the morning, a thick fog envelopes the shores of Kaouki. It doesn’t stop a young rider and his horse racing across the wet sand
Welcome to a world of amazing colours, archaic architecture and mystical natural wonders. Whatever your desired experience, Morocco is sure to capture the core of your adventurous spirit. The Kingdom is truly a traveller’s wonderland, filled with unique, culturally immersive experiences at every new turn. From roadside dining to opulent rooftop evenings accompanied by flawless views of the High Atlas Ranges.
Marrakech, Morocco

But there’s a catch folks…brace yourself for loud calls of , ”no photo!”, moments before snapping that perfect frame. This all too common demand slowly morphed into a daily scold during my three month stay in the Maghreb nation, until I finally succumbed to public pressure and shelved the camera for a while.

 

snake charmers in marrakech
A group of men prepare their daily routine in Marrakech.

Not for long though! After the initial recoil, I decided to truly embrace my volatile surroundings and search for alternative methods of getting that shot; at one stage even trading cigarettes for photos.

Marrakech souks
boy in marrakech

This is a community and environment so visually striking that the thought of replicating it, for many locals, is considered ‘haram’ (an Arabic word meaning forbidden by Islamic Law).

 But a quick scroll through your social media feed and you’re likely to be met with images of gorgeous women, dwarfed by 12th century ornate palaces. Not your style? How about a pair of locked hands, the back of a head, a dromedary, its mahout and a beautiful sunset over the Sahara.

Let’s be clear; by no means are these examples a misrepresentation of Morocco, but your experiences of this North African nation will seldom be one dimensional. So, who’s to say what passes and what fails the “haram” test? After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? 

 

This photo essay depicts Moroccan life away from dreamy palace backdrops and idyllic gardens, as I unveil one of many identities to this magical country. Whether it be the evening storytellers of Marrakech, hard-working Berber women in the High Atlas Mountains or Saturday evening football stars in Essaouira, everyday life in Morocco is humbling, magical and soulful.