DESTINATION GUIDE: MOROCCO BEAUTY & SPIRIT by ANUSH MIRBEGIAN
DESIGN BY REBECCA JOHNSON
DESTINATION GUIDE: MOROCCO ARTS & CULTURE by ANUSH MIRBEGIAN DESTINATION GUIDE: MOROCCO FAVORITE MEMORY by ANUSH MIRBEGIAN
  BEAUTY:
 
LOCAL:
Argan trees scenically dot the landscape between Marrakech and Essaouira and there is no shortage of so-called cooperatives that harvest and process the nuts in the region. I’ve been a faithful fan of argan oil in skincare since I discovered the New York based brand Kahina Giving Beauty and was thrilled to get an opportunity to visit the area. We stopped by Afous, which not only sold the oil in cosmetic and culinary form, but had women present, working through the process of cracking the nuts and extracting their oil. I had the chance to try my hand at turning the grindstone to crush the nuts and it a challenge of pure strength. The ladies were all too kind and also benefited from honing killer biceps. 
 
The Herboriste Le Musee in Marrakech is a Berber apothecary that supplies tourists and locals alike with spices, cures for every aliment and essential oils. I stocked up on Ras el-hanout cooking spices, orange flower oil and Berber lipstick and rouge that came packaged in tiny tajine pots.
 
ACTIVITY:

I am a self-professed traditional bathhouse addict so I knew I had to try a local hammam. The hammam du Kasbah was the neighborhood stop close to our Riad in Essaouira. While the setting was a bit stark, I loved the rough scrub and deep massage the attendant offered me, exfoliating all the tense and tired bits from my traveling soul, only leaving me wanting more. I promised myself a hammam tour for my next trip to Morocco.
 
 
SPIRIT:

Listen for the daily call to prayer. The tone and rhythm slowly awakens you in the morning and encourages you in the afternoon. The sound proves to be enrapturing and you will remember it long after you depart.  
 
Morocco is layered with rich oral traditions, often times fueled by mysticism.

Ask your local guide about the significance of the Hand of Fatima, also known as the Khama or the elusive Djinns and other mystical beliefs. Without a doubt he or she will have strings of stories to tell you.
 
August 2013