Overwhelming- the souks and bazaars in the old medina of Marrakech. A claustrophobic labyrinth of streets filled with tourists, vendors, donkeys, camels, cars, and scooters. However, within this chaos some bazaar owners sit on their chair watching the world pass by. Slowly, taking time easy. Some worried for the rapid development and change the city experience.
One of these bazaar sellers that take life easy in the chaotic environment is Karim. Saying following about why he do so: “People take it easy here. We believe in God. We believe in faith. If the customer will come, he will come”. A common way to look at life for a Muslim – Insha’Allah or If God wills it.
However, not all the merchant are quiet as Karim. Bargaining is a traditional way to exchange news, views and ties. That being said, the new tradition of many vendors in the souks that shout “hello my friend” to tourists, is something different. For most tourists this have the opposite effect. Often making them annoyed and distanced.
At the same time, some of the local bazaar vendors are worried about the fast development their city is experiencing.
Karim, furthermore stated: “We need to take it slow. We do not want rapid development. We feel our life. If you make a lot of money, you have no time to feel life”.
Every year, around 2-3 million tourists visit Marrakech. This provide a growing market for luxury hotels in the median. Often, demolishing four to five old and traditional houses to build up a new one. Making Marrakech a more modernity city. Today, having bars. Having swimming pools in what is a desert city. Having tourists sunbathing on rooftops, in what is a Muslim city. It helps the economy. But it destroys the heritage and historic houses.
What is more important?