Thursday, March 15, 2007

The blond boy who went on a Moroccan roots tour


Though a roots tour in Amsterdam would have been more fun, N.B. Simon found himself in a family pressure cooker in Morocco. To his surprise, he felt at home, ate nonstop and even got emotional. Ynet News has the story:

"I have a confession. I am as Moroccan as Arkady Gaydamak is Israeli: I do not go to Andalusia symphony concerts, I cannot stand Avi Toledano, I do not celebrate Mimouna, I do not establish protest movements, I do not read Maimonides’ writings, and I am a blond.



"If one morning my father would come to see and say, “Son, the time has come for you to know. Our last name is not B. Simon but Van der Koegen, we are Dutch, and we are going on a roots tour to Amsterdam. Go pack your bong,” no one would be happier than me. But this is how it is with Moroccans: They are faithful to their traditions. So we went on a roots tour to Morocco.


"Any annoying first year student of psychology can testify: To take a group of adults, whose only connection is that they are family, stick them in a crowded minibus for ten days to search the streets of North Africa looking for the place where Dad played soccer with Uncle David when they were eight, is no picnic. It is a family in a pressure cooker, and here are the consequences: hidden feelings come to the surface, traumas are revealed, and extreme nerves are torn out."

Read article in full and the comments thread

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