Ok, so last night was so much fun. Let me give you a little background first.

2 weeks ago, I was with Cindy in Taghazout. We were waiting for our lunch and sitting at a table chilling and talking. There were like 4 other people in the place and all of a sudden this girl and her boyfriend walk in. They sit down next to us and introduce themselves. Turns out... it was Hindi Zahra. Who is Hindi Zahra you ask? She's this Moroccan chick who's a very popular singer here and she's the closest thing to a hipster I've seen in a while. I saw her for the first time on tv about a month ago and she was singing at a huge live concert in Rabat. 

After that, I started hearing her songs every day. You know how that goes-- you don't know of somehting or someone and they all of a sudden they start popping up everywere. Well that's what happened with her. So she came up to me and introduced herself and was like, "Nice to meet you, I'm Zahra." In my head I was all, "Wait, aren't you that one singer?..." So long story short we ended up talking and turns out she's a painter, too. She showed me some of her artwork from her iPhone and she's a really talented! At the end of her lunch, she invited Cindy and I to come see her perform in Agadir for the Timitar Festival. That was last night. If you know me at all, you know I have amazing luck at concerts. Most of the time I'm either ON stage, backstage, or at least in the front row. Last night was no different. Thanks to some handy little white bracelets, we had an outstanding view.

This is Hindi Zara. She's a soulful songstress with a sweet voice. 

We got to see her and she is really good live. She sings in Berber, French, and English so we understood some but not all of it. Either way, we were happy to be there. :)

Before Hindi Zahra came on, the production crew was getting things ready on stage and doing sound check. Sitting next to us was this little 2 or 3 year old Moroccan girl who was absolutely adorable. She wandered over to me and sat down next to me. With her big brown eyes she just stared at me and giggled, her tiny pigtails bouncing with every move. Her parents let her kind of mosey around since the concert hadn't begun yet. Next thing I know...she made her way towards the stage. I don't know how she managed to escape, but she actually got ON stage! There she stood all alone with her little red dress and the stage all to herself. She started twirling her dress and it was as if she had no idea anyone could see her. 

It's hard to see her but she's in the center, about 2 ft tall

The crowd went crazy! There was this huge uproar and it was the best part of the show! Here's this little ham twirling and dazzling the crowd and she was so cute nobody stopped her! Every time she twirled the crowd encouraged her and it was so stinkin' cute. Here's a tiny video of it. It's kind of hard to see but you get the idea: 

So let's review: Awesome seats, cute little girl on stage, live show from Hindi Zahra...check, check, and check. What else could make the night better? Oh yeah. One more thing.

There's this duo that is really popular here and I've become a fan of their music and more so of their story. There's a man from Mali (if you don't know, Mali is a country in Africa) and he's a very talented singer and guitar player. There's just one small detail: he's blind. The twist in this story is that he found a woman to sing with him and they are the perfect team. Now it gets interesting--they're married. And she's blind, too. It's the sweetest love story and it makes listening to them that much better. 

Their group (and real) names are Amadou & Mariam.  The music they sing vibrates into your heart. I was sooo happy to hear them live and in fact it was a surprise. I had no idea they'd be coming on stage after Hindi Zahra. BONUS!  

So here I am in Africa, listening to this soul-gripping music from Mali. Djembe drummer banging his heart out, blind couple singing their life songs, Moroccans dancing completely sober and high on life. No drugs, no alcohol, just the heartbeat of Africa binding the crowd together. It didn't matter who was who or what country you were born in-- every person in that ampitheater could feel this rhythm. In a way, it felt surreal. I was surrounded by people so proud of their heritage, so happy to be alive, and so lost in the beat. I felt so happy to be exactly there at exactly that moment.

I wish you could feel the pulse of this live...

Whatever you're doing right this second, stop.

 Listen to this and watch this video:

Here's another one:

 We had a wonderful time and I am very thankful that I got to experience such incredible energy. The people of this country is what makes it come alive...

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Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom,

Very fun story! Isn't this an adventure?! You never actually know what in the world is going to happen to you each day----ya, I know it's like that anywhere but in North Africa it's sooo very apparent.

The little girl is you, by the way. That is your alter-ego twirling around. Keep her in mind as you keep your soul from getting crushed in the harsh moments of the journey. No one told her she could or couldn't get on stage. She just DID! God bless her for being that free spirit.

Jaime Brown said...

It's a few minutes past midnight here in Morocco and i just turned 30 years old. Your post is exactly what I needed to read at this moment. I'm trying to type through the teardrops--and smile at the same time :)

You called it! I AM that little girl-- still free, still dreaming, still twirling...

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Bday Girl,

I'm glad that I said what you already knew. Sometimes we need the truth to be louder than our fears.

Love to you this day and always.