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His softly modulated voice comes from the highbrow and literary previous of luminous Fez. He jogs my memory of a storyteller I had visible in Fez years ahead of. Ali says he'll now not be there within the wintry weather. The sq. the place sword swallowers, water providers, rug dealers, dancers, acrobats, and storytellers amassed is just too chilly and no position to linger in. yet i'm obdurate, and on Friday, the Islamic vacation, i am going to the sq.. although it has in basic terms fifty or 100 viewers, i locate my storyteller status within the middle of an attentive, rapt workforce of listeners of every age. They squat at the flooring, totally absorbed through him, now not wavering of their consciousness for one second. he's younger, wears a heavy wool jellaba of black and white stripes, and a white cranium cap, and he contains a stick for emphasis. He has large gleaming eyes, a swarthy epidermis, and ordinary beneficial properties. he's telling the tale of Ali Baba with dramatic emphasis, with suspenseful pauses, with a flowing, incantatory type. as a result of Ali’s emphasis at the ephemeral great thing about Fez and the potential for its vanishing, my recurrent feeling that i'm dreaming inside different centuries, I search with much more depth to carry this dream shut not less than in the course of my remain. I see the tiles damaged into small items for the mosaic paintings, I see the lightness and readability of the air, I see the previous ramparts, the city’s partitions, coated with delicate verdigris, lichen, and moss. the key essence of Fez is serenity. it truly is expressed in its stillness at evening, the infrequent lighting fixtures, within the tamarisk timber that by no means glance baggy, within the figures stirred via the wind, in Cézanne blues, Dufy pinks, pearl whites, and charcoal blacks. the key essence of Fez involves me at five-thirty within the morning whilst I wake up to the muezzin, the prayer name, from the minaret. 5 instances an afternoon this prayer is chanted; it sort of feels like either a lament and an invocation, a comfort and a lyrical thanksgiving. At five-thirty within the morning it takes on a different caliber, that of a lonely religion maintaining the slumbering urban, a prayer that's additionally a choice to evoke these prodigious, dynamic palms, agile and supple, by no means nonetheless and not lazy, resting basically in the intervening time of prayer. it's Ali who tells me the legend of the identify of Fez. It had its inception within the democratic spirit of the founder, Idriss II. whilst the location used to be selected and construction started, the king took a decide and gave the 1st stone-breaking blow. The be aware for choose used to be fez. in the course of later excavations a gold decide was once discovered, stated to were given to the founder as an emblem. whilst this legend is wondered, museum keepers are apt to reply to with silence—respect for legends being as nice as admire for truth. Ali isn't really content material with quoting Omar Khayyam and the Koran, yet he recites his personal poetry, poems to the wonderful thing about Fez, naming its trees—araucaria, ginger, bamboo, date, monkey puzzle; its fruit; its plants. He has theories approximately viewers. they need to no longer be taken care of as travelers. they need to be invited as neighbors to weddings, funerals, birthdays, and ceremonial dinner days.