Jewish Maghrib Jukebox

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wikimapia in Guercif

I jumped on the internet before heading to Rabat. There I checked my email on a terrible internet connection. With all my bags I looked like the many disenchanted Moroccan refugees who have no way of getting home now because of the transportation strike and gas rationing.

The owner of the cafe took an interest in me. He wouldn't believe that I wasn't actually Moroccan.

Where had you wanted to go? He asked.
To Debdou. I said.
Ah, it's so beautiful there. Surrounded by trees and isolated.
Great. I thought.

He jumped on my computer and pulled up wikimapia. I was stunned that this was the first resource he used but considering Moroccan proliferation for that website I shouldn't have been surprised.

Here is where it happened - my earlier post on wikimapia as a resource for discovering Moroccan Jewish history was suddenly right before my eyes. Here in the internet cafes of Guercif and similar small cities young Moroccans were marking space - both Muslim and Jewish. It was fascinating to see it up close.

The internet connection proved too slow to fully utilize the wonders of wikimapia (or anything else) and so I paid and headed for the train.

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