Ain Louh: the sun takes a long time to rise when you wait for it

Part of a letter Written on top of a farm house that overlooks the mountains of Ain Louh.

Dear ______,

It’s as if yesterday, now, and tomorrow has morfed into a single entity. Time has lost its meaning for me here in Morocco. Actually, I don’t feel the need to keep track of time anymore; doing so just gets in the way. Interestingly, Lotfi at one point said to us “you guys have watches, we have time.” As the “underground president of Morocco, as Shelby calls him, Lotfinever fails to make witty remarks. This particular one, however, stuck with me the most.

The sun hasn’t peeked from behind the mountains of Ain Louh yet.

Maybe it’s not time that gets in the way, but technology–little miniscule devices that narrow down our scope of perception. You don’t need time to tell you when to do things. If you just do, then you “have time” in the palm of your hands to do…more. You, not your watch is in control. At least this is how I understood it, you may think differently.aS

You see, recentely, I held a picture of an abused child in my hands. The little boy, who was either five or six, had gray eyes and conspicuous bruises above his right eyebrow and his neck area. Yet, he wore a sincere smile. It was a smile so contiguous I suddenly caught myself smiling. I never thought it would be possible to smile at a moment like that–how can somebody have such magnitude of hate towards an innocent child?
Then I wondered. If the same picture was shared on Facebook and not at our meeting with the president of “Don’t Touch My Children” organization in Morocco, would I have scrolled past it, or stopped? I would most likely have scrolled past it. Maybe technology does get in the way.

When peoples’ life experiences and struggles are more than you ever went through, you stop and listen. I may have learned about “Don’t Touch My Children” collectively as an organization that advocates and protects the rights of abused children in Morocco. However, it would not equate the value of having had to listen the president’s personal story regarding her own child’s abuse. You can ignore a post, but not people and the raw emotions they induce upon you.

I guess human experience is what teaches us. We learn from other’s past success and struggles. Thus, by taking what was and refining it to become what is, we come to know ‘ “stuff” ‘ and build our own experiences.

I never felt so alive and so close to nature as I did in Morocco.

-Meron Kebede

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