Eid al-Kbir in Fez

That time of the year has come when is not really wise to be a sheep ready to be sacrificed for the greatness of God

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā) "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of two and most sacred Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims. Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country, but in Fez you will find that your workers -in case you are restoring your riad or you are some kind of business owner- ask for about two weeks of holidays that you should kindly decline. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

During the precedent days in the medina of Fez we have seen all kind of knives to be sold and people sharping the old ones for a smooth operation that will be traditionnally performed by the head of the family.

Also you could find your perfect dream sheep in Marjane and other supermarkets, the prices ranging from 1500 dirhams up to 3000 dirhams or more if its a real good looking one. And believe Gatsby when it says that nothing of that poor thing will go to waste: head, horns, lungs, skin...whether edible or wearable, everything will be kept or sold.

The rasta-sheep shown above was found wandering in the Fez medina and lodged by Gatsby who spared it from the ritual, and seems that artist Damien Hirst may be already interested in tranforming it into a piece of art.

Restaurant Les Truites, Immouzer

Opened before most of us were born, Les Truites is the perfect refuge restaurant in the skirts of the forgotten Imouzzer. In there everything is old school: the decoration -including the old Martini posters-, the curtains, the efficient heaters, the fireplace. The waiters are also part of the furniture with about 300 years of experience, and the nicest this side of Morocco.
Les Truites makes a perfect stop for lunch on a lazy Sunday before heading for Ifrane, or on the way back from the Cedar forest where everyone likes to feed the monkeys.
On the menu delicious 'escargot a la bourgogne' (snails with parsley and butter), wild trout, wild rabbit, txuctxuca, and other regional delicacies, all washed down with the obligated wine Guerrouane Rouge. Don´t forget to reserve the apple cake as soon as you sit down and keep place like Gatsby does for an extra portion... You'll have the best nap on your way back to Fez...

Hôtel Restaurant
Les Truites

Avenue Mohammed V
Imouzzer du Kandar
Tel+212 (0) 35 66 30 02

How to Bargain in Fez

With the exception of the supermarkets and the modern western shops that we find most comontly in the Ville Nouvelle, bargaining is still the way of buying goods in Fez. Traditionally is also a way of making conversation that may lead to a friendship. In an environment like the medina with very little reglamentation it is furthermore a way of finding the real value of an object. Oscar Wilde used to say that nowadays the people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Well, good news is that in Fez you will be challenged constantly to review your abilities and inner truths about how much to pay for something, and you will find that without guiding you are lost. Gatsby has been there and has trained widely on that domain, but experience cannot be wrapped and given, so the first step you will make is being honest to yourself, and then pay whatever you feel. Note that bargaining is an elegant game highly codified and should be practice with manners but firmly. Accept that cup of tea or coffee and do business with them, but remember this quote from the Godfather:

Michael Corleone: C'mon Frankie... my father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth.
Frank Pentangeli: Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth... but he never *trusted* Hyman Roth!

Gatsby dixit.

Bridge in Fez

The 7th edition of the growing Bridge Festival of Fez will take place at the hotel Jnan Palace from the 12h of March to the 18th of 2010. While many may have never heard of this initiative, the contestants face an hectic week filled with games, yes, but also with visits to the Medina, the Middle Atlas, thermal therapy, gala dinners and much much more. People fly from all over the world but you can mostly find there some moroccan jet-setters along with english, french and spanish. The setting is very nice and straight out of an Agatha Christie book, let's only hope no murder will be committed, in which case probably they will call Gatsby for help.
The program and all the details can be found in their website:

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