Morocco

Essaouira: The Portuguese

Essaouira

Morocco

April 29, 2013 

Dear Friends and Explorers,

King Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama (1460 – 1524) might not be as well known as Ferdinand and Isabel and Christopher Columbus. But surely the Portuguese King and Captain are significant figures in navigation, exploration and conquest during the Age of Discovery. 

Like his Spanish counterparts, King Henry of Portugal (1394 – 1460) never set sail anywhere.  Instead he sponsored and encouraged his Captains to “discover” new lands and return with boatloads of treasure. 

Jews of Morocco

Ouezzane

Morocco

May 4, 2013 

The history of Jewish migration and settlement in Morocco goes back to Roman times after the Romans conquered Jerusalem in 70 AD. * 

In the Middle Ages, the Jewish population in Morocco exploded as the result of the their expulsion from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1497). 

By the middle of the 20th Century, 248,000 Jews were citizens of Morocco.  Beginning in 1948 when the State of Israel was born, almost all of Jewish population of Morocco departed.  Now, only a few thousand remain.  Moroccan Jews are one of the largest ethnic groups in Israel. 

During my three week trip to Morocco, I visited just three of the many Jewish sites.

Oued Laou: Seaside Blue and White

Oued Laou

Morocco

May 6, 2013 

Dear Friends,

The blue and white seaside town of Oued Laou … what a fitting conclusion to my three week trip to Morocco! 

East of Tetouan, I carefully follow the 45km winding that road hugs the mountainside that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.  

How can I resist stopping once or twice to admire the hillside greenery that descends down the mountain to the very shore of the placid sea? 

In town, I stroll through the food market and the town square.  But the sea beckons. 

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