When Larache reminds me of Sidi Ifni
Omar Bihmidine is a high school teacher of English. He holds a BA from Ibn Zohr University, Agadir. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine and ALC Oasis magazine in Agadir.
Upon arriving in Larache, a beautiful city in the north of Morocco, for the first time, I felt as if I had already lived, worked, and enjoyed life there. Certainly, I did not. But it reminds me of a place in the south of the country where I used to work and live, which is Sidi Ifni.
They have so many traits in common. At first sight, we can notice that they belong to the same family and history. The two cities were once invaded by Spain. They both have the same colours: blue and white. As I was walking along the Tahrir Square, I immediately felt as if I was walking along Barandilla in Sidi Ifni.
As I drink my morning coffee in my new city in early mornings, I could notice that the city dwellers do not get up early, a habit that Sidi Ifni dwellers have been notorious for. They are both small, yet holding an amazing sceney and landscape. While Sidi Ifni is priding itself on Lagzira beach, Larache is boasting a beautiful shore, too.
The two cities are famous for an abundance of fish and a blue sky. Yet, fish is not at hand as it is exported most of the time. People here live simply just like in my old city. No noise! Streets are often empty. Serenity and quietude are attributes of both cities, except that the Southern city is more militant than the Northern one.
Legend has it that Spain left a vice on the corners it once invaded: laziness and calmness. Yet, at the same time, the economy is unsteady in both cities. Most important of all is that geographically speaking, they are both a unique beauty to behold over and over.
Historical monuments are everywhere you go in both cities and they bring to mind glorious days. The question remains: how come the two poles still preserve the same history and traits. Not surprising. Hassan the First high school has got its like here. It is Moulay Mohammed Ben Abdellah high school. Exploring Larache has made me conclude that every piece of it has its like in the Southern city, ranging from way of life to the landscape. Both were built by Spanish invaders. Generations have studied at the same schools and some of them still hold memories of the golden days. Days of Militancy in Sidi Ifni and days of Glory in Larache.
Yestetday evening, as I was strolling along the shore, I enjoyed beholding the panoramic view and the waves crushing against the shore and I could not tell which was which: Is this Sidi Ifni or Larache?