Majid, on the right, tasting the local prickly pear cactus honey, good for medicinal purposes.
I was recently asked what the most important requirement is when starting a philanthropic business in a third-world country. The first thing that came to mind was having a trusted advisor and guide who knows and lives in the country. For me, this person is Majid Alaoui.
Majid was the person who introduced me to argan oil as my guide during my first trip through Morocco in 2007, when I was searching for something to replace my cosmetics which had been confiscated on the flight over. When I decided to create Kahina, I contacted Majid to ask him to send me some bulk argan oil, and then asked him to be my guide through the south while identifying Kahina's argan suppliers. Kahina has come a long way since then, but Majid has been a constant by my side in Morocco helping me locate argan cooperatives, communicate with his fellow Moroccans, and navigate the tricky cultural waters of an American woman doing business there. He has also allowed me to travel not as a tourist, but as a local, eating the best street food, obtaining the best quality at fair prices in the souks, and discovering places otherwise kept from tourists.
Having been raised on a farm in the North of Morocco, Majid is also well-versed in traditional remedies, most passed down from him Mother, and knows where to find the best regional products and ingredients.
Here are a few of Majid's traditional remedies:
For back pain, place crushed cooked potatoes on area.
To stop gas and bloating, drink a cup of hot water with cinnamon after eating.
To lose weight, drink hot water with a spoonful of apple vinegar.
Drink grape juice or raisin juice for antiaging.
With Majid in the village