A Berber Wedding

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A wedding is maybe the biggest event in a Berber’s life. In our region of the High Atlas, it is still a celebration in traditional ways with many old rites and customs.
It is a huge party for both families and the whole village of each spouse.
The celebrations go on for at least three days and everybody is singing, drumming, dancing and eating a lot.

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Women wear their most beautiful garments and the bride is especially beautifully prepared with hennah, scarfs and jewelery.
The hand drum is played a lot and all sing old traditional Berber songs with poetic lyrics and trilling alternating between men and women.

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The women, when among themselves, playfully dance and sing and have a lot of fun with the bride,
wishing her a happy farewell into married life – and that is what I wish to you, dear Naima, inchaallah!

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Discovering the Central High Atlas of Morocco

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we went discovering our region, the mountains behind the last villages of our valley and the beautiful and only temporarly visible lake of Izoughrar.

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and after the long walk we enjoyed the warm hospitality of Touda, alhamdulillah.

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a little brake and a magic place of quiet and peace, subhanallah, only a few kilometers from our home…
here you can see it on the map: click.  welcome to beautiful Morocco!

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Reading right now

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During the week I am actually reading the following books:

“Reinventing organizations” Frederic Laloux

“Tawhid” Bilal Philips

“I quit sugar for life” Sarah Wilson

“Martin Luther King, biography” Arnulf Zitelmann

“The power is within you “- “wahre Kraft kommt von Innen” Louise Hay

„Leadership lessons from the life of Rasoolullah“ Mirza Yawar Baig

Several books from Prentice Mulford, Orison Swett Marden and Emil Coué

Books on Landart and pedagogy in nature

And what are you reading these days?

 

I wake up with the birds…

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Sometimes I get asked how I do it all: school, family and children, managing a project and other social activities, household, garden, hobbies and self-development…

Well, yes, I do a lot, alhamdulillah, but there is also a lot I don’t do.

Over the years I mainly learned two things: setting boundaries and setting priorities. I learned to say “No” to some things and people and I learned to focus on my important goals and values.
For this I regularly (re-)define my values, principles and long term goals, and I plan very detailed the short term ones.
I read a lot on time-management and -organization and I learned to manage my to-do-list and my availability to people and situations. AND I learned (an still learn) to ask for and to accept the help of others.
My days now are well balanced, I have a great team of supportive and involved people, I scheduled my working hours and mostly stick to my program.
I go to bed very early to get enough sleep, I reserve weekends only for family and home (no internet and school-work at all) and I do not stress myself anymore with the ambition to have a super clean house. This helps a lot.

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Since several years I established a morning routine which is my key to personal success, subhanallah:
I wake up with the call to morning prayer (when it is still dark – about one and half an hour before sunrise) and benefit of this blessed time when everybody else sill sleeps.
I wash myself, pull oil, clean my teeth and pray; I then very often stretch my body or sit still and reflect on the coming day and my inner feelings; I affirm positivity and think about the things I wish to accomplish that day; I ask for God’s guidance and His wisdom.
Then I often drink a glass of hot ginger-lemon water and then my joy of the moment: a big mug of hot and strong milk coffee –  sometimes accompanied by a date or a little treat!

This is my time, alhamdulillah, it is often the only me-time I have during the day.
It is the magic quiet moment that gives me power and energy and helps me to renew myself. Alhamdulillah.

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While drinking my coffee, I read most mornings.
I divided my week and dedicated every day to another subject which is important to me; that’s how I make sure that I learn and get the input in all areas I wish or need to. Sometimes I also blog or look for online inspiration, or I plan meetings, design our architectural projects or work on the realization of my wider vision.

Without the discipline to wake up early and to dedicate this time to me and my self-development, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
Subhanallah, this really is my “secret” and the most precious moment of my day.

 

late winter and quiet life

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what a contrast: the busy-ness of Marrakech and the quiet-ness here in our valley…

I inhale the silence and am thankful, thankful that Allah brought me here 11 years ago, thankful that we have the chance to live here, alhamdulillah, thankful to be part of a small tribal society, living close to nature and strongly influenced by the power of the seasons. Subhanallah.

To live so abroad and far away from modernity was a personal choice (guided by God).
Everytime I travel, everytime I realize the difference between here and there, between my old (european) life-style and the life I live here up in the mountains now, I feel very thankful for living here.
I am no city-person, not any more. The hectic of urban life fills me with inner stress. I feel as I have to protect my self with a shell of  indifference. The anonymity of being one in the middle of thousands makes me feel lost, detached from my soul and my real being.
In a city, I sometimes feel like an Indian in New York, trying to grasp a look towards the sky, searching for a piece of nature and listening to the little maggot in a lonely tree in the middle of concrete buildings and car noise…

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here, in the midst of high mountains and surrounded by pure nature, I feel at peace,
I feel home and close to my creator and my true self.
Subhanallah, I can hear my inner voice and I feel deep thankfulness for the fact of knowing the few people that cross my ways, greeting each other with “as salamu alaikoum”…

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travelling home

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through mountains and snow, hour after hour…

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in a public taxi…

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finally being back home, alhamdulillah!

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home sweet home, you are my castle. it’s here where I feel best, subhanallah.

Thanks God for having a home – my prayers are with all those who suffer homelessness and war, mashaallah.
may Allah bless the world with peace.