All the clues in this post refer to one Ya’lla Tours destination: Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, or United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).
We’ll show you images of popular tourist sites in our mystery country, along with descriptions of those sites.
See the bottom of the post for the answer.
Pictured below is Essaouira, a walled, seaside city on the Atlantic coast of our mystery country. Crystalline light and wide vistas have been attracting visual artists for decades, maybe centuries. Musicians and writers are drawn here too, including Beat poets and 60s Rockers. The annual Gnaoua Festival celebrates the sacred music of the, Gnaoua (Gnawa) people, the descendants of slaves brought to Morocco from Sub-Saharan West Africa. Surfers love the near-constant wind, sunbathers, not so much. Besides the wind and music festival, visit for the scenery, the low-key medina and fresh fish.
Jews have lived in our mystery country for millenia, but their numbers dramatically increased there in the 15th century, when they were persecuted and finally expelled from nearby Spain. They settled in cities around the country but were segregated into neighborhoods called mellah. The mellah of Fez, pictured below, is the country’s oldest. The neighborhood stands out for its Andalusian architecture, with balconies facing the alleys, very different from the local-style buildings, with windows opening onto inner courtyards.
Pictured below are Gnaoua (Gnawa) musicians, a distinct ethnic and cultural group in our mystery country. They are descended from Sub-Saharan slaves and still practice a form of Sufi Islam, heavily influenced by the Shamanistic traditions of their ancestors. Although primarily an element of sacred ritual, Gnawa music is increasingly popular in the mainstream and Gnawa groups tour and perform in clubs and in the streets to make a living. An annual Gnaoua Music Festival is held in the above mentioned seaside town of Essaouira, where there is a large Gnawa community.
Can you name that country?
This week’s mystery country is MOROCCO.
Clue #1 – Essaouira
Clue #2 – Fez Mellah
Clue #3 – Gnawas
Click to see tours to Morocco.