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Give Me Olive Trees

I’ve decided I’d like olive trees like these outside my front door.

Their color, the sound of the breeze in them, and of course the olives themselves are all very important.

Wildflowers in springtime would be nice too.

Here’s the whole photo. I’m with my friend Mohamed in his village near Fez, in the spring of 2005.

Fez is nestled into a large, bowl-like valley in a rich agricultural area, but due to many consecutive years of drought, and I suspect appropriation of the best lands to benefit the rich and well-connected, it is hard to survive any more through traditional farming. As a result, many people have moved to the city in search of work, and Fez has exploded in size to well over a million people. Meanwhile, Mohamed’s village has hollowed out. I’m told that nearly all the young men are gone, many of them to Italy, where they work in agriculture as they would back home. In summer they return with their Italian girlfriends or wives, and eat spaghetti in the village’s only cafe. Then they are off again, already more adapted to the Italian lifestyle than their own.

Here’s another thing they have in that region, fava beans or “fool.”


Comment from Kenza
Time: May 29, 2008, 12:56

been many years since I ate ”fool” the way you do on this pic :)

As for young men leaving their land, it is always so depressing to hear of

Comment from nordin
Time: May 30, 2008, 16:51

you looks very frail as if just recovering from sickness. Take care

Comment from eatbees
Time: May 30, 2008, 17:47

@nourdin — Thanks for your concern. I was actually healthier then than I am now! I was skinny then because I walked a lot and only ate what I needed. Now I’ve gotten fat :(

@Kenza — We even sampled all the other little plants that were growing around. It turns out that most of them have parts that are edible. For example there is one with leaves like a palm that you can weave together (but it grows close to the ground) and the bases of the leaves are edible.

Of course I wish all young Moroccans could have the chance to travel and see the world if they want to, but not because they’re forced to on account of poverty.

Comment from Youssef
Time: August 16, 2008, 05:41

hey …i am assuming you miss “fool “..why you dont write a novel about it !? it could be a great one …you know people nowadays like to read about food ..and it is a good way to make them read and think because a lot of of them have nothing in head but food .

Comment from eatbees
Time: August 17, 2008, 14:30

Youssef, if I write a novel about food, I’ll be sure to make you my food consultant! After all, you’re always eating, so I think that whether it is guacamole, sushi, goulash or saag paneer, there is no food in the world you haven’t tasted!

(I guess we can tell the world that Youssef is the brother of Mohamed in the photo above, so these are photos of his home village.)

I don’t know about novels, but there are definitely movies about food, for example Eat Drink Man Woman, Babette’s Feast or Big Night. But I haven’t seen any of them because none of them are about “fool”!

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