The Beauty Of Morocco: An Ode To Color – OpEd


Color has always been my lens to the world since I was a child, a young girl who dreamed of being an artist, turning color into a vibrant palette that paints my reality. Each hue, each shade, tells me a story, evokes an emotion, and brings a place to life in ways words often fail to capture. My journey through Morocco has been an unfolding canvas, a symphony of colors that has deepened my love for this beautiful land and strengthened my resolve to contribute to its prosperity. This is my ode to Morocco, seen through the spectrum of its colors.

The first time I set foot in Marrakech, the city embraced me with its fiery red hues. The walls of the medina, the bustling souks, and the intricate carpets all seemed to pulse with a passionate energy. Red, the color of life and vitality, mirrored the heartbeat of Marrakech. It reminded me of the warmth of the people, their welcoming smiles, and their rich traditions. The red earth beneath my feet felt like a connection to the past, grounding me in a history that stretches back through centuries. This vibrant red is a testament to the city’s resilience and its unwavering spirit, a reminder of the passion that fuels its daily life.

Traveling to the Sahara, the landscape shifted to a sea of golden yellow. The vastness of the desert, with its undulating dunes, was both humbling and inspiring. Yellow, the color of the sun, symbolized the serenity and strength of this harsh yet beautiful environment. It was here that I found a deep sense of peace, a quiet strength that mirrored the endurance of the Berber people who have called this land home for generations. The desert’s golden expanse felt like an open canvas, a space where dreams could be painted against the boundless sky. This yellow reminded me of the endless possibilities that lie ahead and the resilience required to achieve them.

My recent visit to the Moroccan coast, particularly Tangier and Essaouira, was like stepping into a dream painted in shades of blue. The azure waters, the clear skies, and the iconic blue of the buildings in Chefchaouen were mesmerizing. Blue, the color of freedom and tranquility, captured the essence of these coastal cities. It reminded me of the blue of Greece, where my family’s heritage lies, and the sense of belonging I feel when surrounded by this calming color. The connection between these two places felt profound, separated by miles of sea yet united by the same hue. It was as if the blue of Morocco whispered stories of distant lands, creating a bridge between my past and present.

Venturing into the Atlas Mountains and the verdant valleys, I was enveloped by the lush greens that signify growth and harmony. The terraced fields, the olive groves, and the cedar forests painted a picture of fertility and abundance. This green reminded me of the mountains in Virginia, where I spent my childhood and the sense of tranquility that nature always brings. It also echoed the green landscapes of Greece, creating another layer of connection between my heritage and my current home. The green of Morocco’s mountains and valleys symbolized a promise of growth, both for the land and its people.

Each color in Morocco’s palette tells a story of its people, its landscapes, and its rich cultural heritage. The red of Marrakech speaks of passion and tradition, the yellow of the desert symbolizes serenity and strength, the blue of the coast captures freedom and tranquility, and the green of the mountains and valleys signifies growth and harmony. These colors are more than just visual elements; they are threads that weave together the fabric of Morocco’s identity.

As a self-proclaimed artist, I am inspired by how these colors blend and contrast, creating a vivid tapestry that celebrates the beauty of Morocco, similar to its infamous rugs I have been enamored with since arriving. My love for this country and its people is intertwined with my desire to improve their quality of life. Just as colors can transform a canvas, I believe that collective efforts can bring about positive change in Morocco. Each hue, each shade, contributes to a brighter, more vibrant future– a future that the High Atlas Foundation has in its sights and is working with its palette of skills and motivations to create a better world.

In this land of colors, I find endless inspiration and a profound connection to my roots and my dreams. The beauty of Morocco, seen through the lens of color, is a constant reminder of the passion, strength, freedom, and growth that define this incredible country. It is this beauty that fuels my dedication to making a difference, to painting a future where every Moroccan can thrive.

Stella Alexiou

Stella Alexiou is a University of Virginia senior studying Global Development Studies and Education. She is an intern at the High Atlas Foundation in Morocco.

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