Kemel from Marrakech

Today I found this picture I took at Jemaa el Fnaa, August 2005. This is the story.

My friend Kemel from Marrakech, Morocco, sells tea at the bazaar. The Market. He started when he was 13 years old. And when he comes home, his mother, mama Fatima, already made him a warm meal. He takes time to play with his little sister Nadia and after prayers and dinner, he listens to the radio. I recognize the songs from Khaled, Samira Saïd, Amr Diab and Nancy Ajram. I explain Kemel I worked for a radiostation in The Netherlands, who had these songs in their playlist. Kemel was very amused.

I try to remember how we communicated. He spoke only Arab and a little bit French.

My tourist English didn’t help me a lot. But my Moluccan Malay language did. I discovered many of our words were derived from Arabic. And even though we didn’t spoke the same language, we could understand eachother quitte perfect. Through food. And music. And even the little Nadia played games with me, made fun of me and we laughed. It was fun. The same feeling got to me when I found this picture. Kemel and Nadia showed me Marrakech from their perspective. I am thankful and I wonder how they are doing.

I keep a journal. Ever since I was a teenager. And when I looked for this chapter, I couldn’t find the missing pages. But it’s beautiful to discover how one image can recreate the moment, feeling and joy.

God bless photography. And memory. And mama Fatima. And Nadia. And Kemel.



2 responses to “Kemel from Marrakech

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