Moving to Morocco’s remote mountains #1

To talk about the reasons why I came here and how the decision to move from modern Europe to traditional Berber lands  was made, leads directly to faith and trust in God.

When I look back to the many fundamental changes that have occurred in my life over the past thirteen years, I cannot explain otherwise than with predestination and divine guidance, mashaallah.
Much of it happened very fast and unexpected and the decisions that led me here were founded on trust in God, both, deliberative, well-thought-out and planned but also intuitive and driven by a strong inner urge.

It all began in winter 2001/02, right after the shocks of 09/11, when we went on a field trip with the south-German university where I studied interior architecture at that time.

hft stuttgart Stuttgart Panorama

I came to Morocco as a student to learn about the ancient architecture, about Islamic art and old building techniques like adobe, mud and rammed earth. The trip was intense and made me want to come back.
I then had the chance to live in Marrakech and to do an internship there for six months. During that stay my inner longings were confirmed and the most important changes happened to me, subhanallah:
I learned more about Islam and became a Muslim,
my husband and I got to know each other and decided to get married,
and the desire to live in Morocco was much strengthened by  the experiences in Marrakech and then even reinforced by the discovery of the homeland of my husband, alhamdulillah.

RAK moschee RAK souk

Back in Germany, despite all the difficulties that occurred and all the warnings and advices I received,  it was so clear to me that I have to move to Morocco right after finishing my master thesis.
That time in Germany was everything but easy, not for my family, but also not for my husband and I. There were many discussions, questions, doubts and some fear, feelings of loneliness and tears. But there was also a deep sureness and the feeling of being guided.
What helped during this period was prayer, my newly gained faith and a strong inner certainty about what I have to do with my life, alhamdulillah.
In autumn 2004, after the birth of our first son and my graduation, we bought an old van, finished all papers, finally packed everything and said goodbye to family, friends and Germany, ready to start a new life as a young family in Morocco.

FesStopp rabat autobahn

Fate led us into the city of Fès, where we both worked and tried a living.
But we quickly felt uncomfortable and alienated by city life, stuck in the busyness of monotonous office work, with real life very much limited to the weekends.

We saw no future here, we were not living according to our values and the urge to be free and independent, to live in the mountains and in nature became so strong that we decided to take the plunge and to move to my husband’s family.
We had no idea how to earn the money to live and realize our dreams, nor how our son and  I would  manage the traditional life in an extended family. I did yet not speak any word of the local language nor have I ever lived so simple and sparse before.

But once again, despite all doubts and fears, it was the inner confidence that I will be able to manage my life whatever may come; and it was divine guidance that let us take this new step into the unknown, into the adventure of my life. Allahu akbar. …
[to be continued] 

bgmz tizale

The journey of my life – living in Morocco’s remote mountains _ the-insights-series begin

bgmz dorf berge

Now in 2015 it is exactly ten years that I live in the High Atlas mountains, alhamdulillah, amongst the Berber tribe of my husband and his family.

Subhanallah, when I first came here as a young student, a tourist visitor, I could not have imagined where this trip would lead me, that it would change all my recent life in so many different ways, and that Allah had foreseen things I could not have dreamt of, mashaallah.

Ten years mark for me now a time to remember, to reflect, to ponder about all the things I already experienced and lived here, about all that happened, all the things that changed, especially about how I changed myself and what future will bring, inchallah.
Those have been ten years of big challenges, many family happenings, great insights, a lot of personal development, some difficulties, wonderful people met and many chances offered.
Alllahu akbar, I am deeply grateful for every second lived here.

bgmz ait hakem

There are many aspects that make living here so very different from living elsewhere, in a city or in Europe, where I originally come from and where most of my friends and readers live.
I cannot put all of it in one article, so I decided to write from time to time about certain aspects in depth, about Berber life, culture, traditions, being an expat, etc., inchallah.

And I would like to take this opportunity to give you, dear friends and readers, finally the chance to ask questions. I am often asked and contacted by people who want to know more about a life abroad, about making hijrah and about living in Morocco, “back to the roots”, far away and remote.

So this is your chance!
You can now ask me any questions in the commentary section or by mail and I will try to respond over the year in posts concerning the various topics, inchaallah.
Hear you soon, Salam aleikoum and Peace be with you!

bgmz sm wald

February Inspiration

soft time reading soft time positive

« My life is my message »

This very deep and inspiring quote originally comes from Ghandi,
but it would fit to so many other inspirational people,
including our dear prophet Muhammad (sas) who’s life-message was Islam and the holy Qur’an.

What great aim to achieve, what responsible task to take, mashaallah.
May Allah guide us, to be, by the example of our own life, the best messengers possible, inchaallah.
Blessed February to you!

soft time thoughts

Text passages from the spiritual book “Pure Bliss” by Gill Edwards 

 

this winter…

schnee love
I love winter, the crispy air, the blue skies, the quiet of a snowy night, the innocence of a white landscape…
the glitter and sparkle of snow,  subhanallah.

scheetief schneebaum

this winter is a special one, it is rare that we ever had so much snow here, knee-deep, mashaallah,
with some real hard storms. often electricity goes off and water is frozen every morning until midday now.

schnee peace
walks in the snow, gliding and even skiing are real pleasures these days, subhanallah – and I never dreamt that I would once be able to ski right behind our home, in Morocco! – this year it is possible and it is such fun after 12 years to go skiing again  and to share this joy with my children.

scheetag

the little mud-houses have to support a lot now and unheated rooms behind the thick walls really cool down now.
its in the kitchens, in front of the stove, under thick blankets and with some sweet tea, that one gets comfort and warmth.

schneevoegel

the birds are looking for things to eat and the cat snuggles under the woodpile and in thick blankets.

gratitudeskis diy warmofen

these days there is gratitude for essential things:
a heated house, a dense roof, thick socks, something warm to eat, little comforts at home,
alhamdulillah.

schnee wander
happy winter, and may you all stay warm, inchaallah!