Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Below are a handful of random pictures from my stay in Rabat. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the capitol; and, thanks to my host, Amine, was able to meet many people throughout the city. I know I will return to Rabat in the next few weeks or so.

This picture is from a jazz quintet (the keys player is blocked) at Hotel Pietri. Morocco has a thriving jazz scene, thanks to the French influence.

The medina in Rabat is surprisingly orderly and (for the better) lacks the intensity of the market in Fes. Small hand drums are a common souvenir for the tourist; this shop keeper
For me, these drums are not particularly interesting: they are mass produced (as you can see) and are very poorly made. I do think it is neat that some drums are made of clay; but, I am sure they break very easily!

This darbuka (also called a goblet drum) is plated with (faux) mother of pearl. The pattern on the drum is very interesting. The head is a plastic and easily removable if broken. The actual shell of the drum is a composite of lightweight metals.

While visiting Amine’s extended family for a Friday night couscous dinner, I was shown these three drums. All three are made from clay and sheep hide. Amine’s uncle said he bought the biggest one for only 20 Dirham (about $3). The big drum is rested on your shoulder when played. The sound of the drum is fairly dull; although, because there are three pieces of string attached to the inside of the head, the sound has a “twanging” ring to it – almost like a very makeshift snare drum. Amine’s uncle told me he bought the drum for his wife.


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