The birthplace of higher education and the world's oldest functioning ancient city.
Akin to an ancient playground, the old Medina of Fez – or Fes – unravels like a rabbit warren that hides just over a million people. Sometimes dubbed the “Athens of Africa”, this ancient city is listed as a World Heritage Site and houses the first ever university - still operating today since 859, founded by Fatima al-Fihri. Along with Alex Dellow from HADENOUGH Media, we had the pleasure of being guests of Palais Amani who introduced us to a world far removed from what we’ve ever known. As the once-capital of modern Morocco, Fez continues to function in many of the same ways it did centuries ago. Built very much on traditional craft, this maze-like metropolis is rich with artisan trade, a lot of which is hidden behind closed doors. Its beauty is evocative of best-kept-secrets and the discovery of hidden treasures. If we weren’t snaking through narrow passageways or navigating the colourful souks (markets), we were on higher ground listening to the hauntingly beautiful call to prayer that rang through the ancient walls and across the Medina rooftops. We enjoyed mint tea, an array of traditional foods and snorting tobacco (we assume) from a tradesman at a fishmonger.
The magic of Fez is difficult to depict through words, though we have certainly captured the essence of the place in our short film. While we are blessed to able to take away the smells, the sounds and the humming energy of the city, we encourage you to explore the “Mecca of the West” and open doors to your own Moroccan journey.
We would also like to extend a very special thanks to Palais Amani and Mehdi who introduced us to a brand new world, full of ancient treasures.
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