I've just returned from Morocco after a 10-day trip that took me from Casablanca to Marrakesh, Essaouira, Agadir, Taroudant and the Anti-Atlas Mountains, and finally to Rabat. Since my last visit, life has continued for the people of the villages, marked by marriages, births, and sadly a few deaths. It was especially wonderful to see how the children have grown up.
The girls were amused by photographs I brought of them which I took on my last visit.
And proud to teach me their weaving techniques.
They presented me with rugs they had woven and a ceremonial "mozoune" to wear to their celebration which lasted well into the night.
I was happy to see the sheep donated by Kahina that supplied the wool for my rugs healthy and happy and living inside the home of the shepherd.
From the Berber villages in the South, I traveled to Rabat, where I was the guest of the Ambassador at Large to Morocco, Assia Bensalah Alaoui, at the henna ceremony of her niece. While the worlds of Moroccan diplomacy and the Berber women of the villages seem worlds apart, the stong fiber of Moroccan culture was evident in the shared traditions of female bonding through dance and joyous celebration.
I return to New York with a renewed passion for Kahina's mission to help the women of Morocco and to extend their notion of bonding through ritual across the Atlantic.