Chronicle: The Journey of Words

This text is brought to us by our friend and familiar with our columns, the filmmaker and author Saad Khiari. The subject is topical since it evokes the “h’rig”, but with great detail in an evocation which recalls “The Thousand and One Nights”. However, it has a very surprising feature that will be fully revealed in our edition of next week to those of our readers who may not have noticed when reading it. But for all those who understood that he understood some French words of Arabic origin, please count them and send us their answer to the following e-mail address: FY The three original men African woman, sleeping on the sand and as if stunned by a sleepless night, could hardly open her eyes because of the sun. Obviously, they were coming out of a mishap or a harga that would have gone wrong. The most resistant of them managed to tell us the following story: – “My comrades and I had taken all the risks to flee to Spain. Determined to do like all Harragas, we had paid the full fare and the necessary bribes, taken our hashish rations and embarked at night, ready to face the reefs, the coast guards and the cold. The skipper took himself for a mogul, and generously distributed the blows of the baton and whip. As a dhow for a boat, we were treated to a simple felucca which had already suffered numerous damages, caulked with tar. The captain, who called himself Admiral, was a hell of a swarthy jackal-headed rascal, assisted by a argousin who spoke incomprehensible gibberish. Leaving Essaouira, our attempt at harragas ended in Sidi-Kaouki. Here we are immediately summoned to abandon bardas and other coats, under the threat of a band of satraps, probably Saracens or Kroumirs, boasting with their hiccups girded with kandjars glossy with colcotar and shining yatagans. Their admiral, rather caïd or pasha, took himself for a sultan at the head of a real smala. We were the victims of real trafficking. Their leader with the pointed Sloughi face, had guessed that we had understood the masquerade and wished to leave us a less unpleasant memory of him and his minions. He suggested that we visit their marabout to stock up on baraka. So here we are escorted by a long caravan, preceded by a very beautiful fantasia and under a deluge of baroud towards a gigantic guitoune, which smelled of musk and benzoin and in which were busy innumerable houris, resplendent in their caftans in satin and taffeta, while the favorites lounged on their sofas like odalisques with eyes outlined in kohl and surrounded by carmine. Their hands, shining with the thousand sparkles of lapis lazuli and decorated with henna, did not let go of the hookah from which escaped the scent of kif and the odors of distant shores. But nothing could erase the thousand scents of jasmine, bergamot, lilac and musk. The men, in burnoos, slumped on mattresses covered with cotton percale and mohair headrests, sipped their elixirs and spirits, as in a happy nouba. Some were wearing red fez, in memory of the distant raids of their ancestors; others let themselves be lulled by the melodies of the guitar and the drum and by the melancholy of the lute. The master of the place proposed to summon a doctor to reassure us. We had opted for a visit to the souk. It would be after the hammam, we were told. The Souk of the medina was famous for its spices. We had filled baskets of apricots, artichokes, eggplant, spinach, limes, merguez, oranges, watermelons, pumpkin, tabbouleh and yogurt. After having had a cup of cardamom mocha, we headed to the Spice Bazaar: a true wonder for the senses. True symphonies of Star anise, amber, antimony, sandalwood, borage, cumin, turmeric, tarragon, ginger, saffron; in short, enough to make a very good tagine or a good couscous. Not to mention the varieties of syrups, sorbets, sweet cakes and Turkish delight. At the exit we had noticed the merchant of tarama and boutargue, which the people of the neighborhood call the poor man’s caviar. »At the end of the totally incoherent story, we could not know if it was an algarade of bad jinns attacking sleep deprived brains, or if it was a failure with irreversible damage. . Either way, it’s kif-kif; there would be an urgent need for a talisman. Saad Khiari, filmmaker, author