…a big part of why I am here is to hear those narratives. Our narratives – the stories we tell about ourselves – help us understand who we are, and help us communicate that understanding to others. The sharing of narratives helps bind individuals together as a family, or a tribe, or a political party, or a faith, or a nation. Narratives are the stories of how we came to be who we are, and where we are going. They are the collective memory of the group or groups that we identify with, the groups that help define our place in the world.
As I write this, I am sitting down to dinner here in my hotel room in Rabat. The sun is setting, and I hear through my open balcony door a Muezzin reciting the Adhan: the Islamic call to public prayer, at a nearby mosque.
Since I do not understand a word of Arabic (let alone the Moroccan Arabic dialect [Darija], or Moroccan Berber, or even French) the lyrics of the Adhan are a mystery, as are most of the conversations that have been going on around me today.
When I need help, I’ve been able to find English speakers fairly easily – which helps a lot while traveling alone – but I am definitely looking forward to joining my tour group in Marrakech tomorrow afternoon, when I can be certain there is always someone nearby who can communicate with the people of this beautiful land.
Even so, not speaking the language really limits me ability to hear the narratives, and so learn a bit about the lives and loves and concerns, of the people of Morocco.