A couple weekes ago a few friends and I took a trip to Marrakech, where we explored the souks, visited many different gardens and monuments, and even watched a Moroccan fashion show! On Saturday night, Fatima, David, and I were walking around the medina when I came across a man working in a small art studio. We began to talk and after a few minutes, Fatima and David joined us as well. We spent close to 45 minutes that night with Adberrahim, who’s wisdom I cannot put into words. He lives his life based on the simple premise of “when we die, we leave everything behind, so spend every moment doing what you love rather than acquiring what you don’t need,” and he truly practiced what he preached. Every piece of art he sold provided just enough income to cover material costs and provide his family a meager standard of living, but for him this was more than he needed and he couldn’t be happier because he loved what he was doing. Abderrahim told us that he also loves to write and is in the process of writing a book. I was sad to find out it will only be available in Arabic because he felt too much would be lost in translation, but honored the fact that he appreciated things as they are.
We visited Abderrahim again the next morning, and he told us more about his dreams, aspirations, and life advice. I could spend countless hours trying to re-explain the things he told us and his unique point of view on life, but it wouldn’t do him any justice. He insisted that I take a piece of his art home with me for a simple reason. He told me that he was a lot closer to his death than I was, and when he was gone, his paintings would be nothing. It would just be him buried in the ground among thousands of his distant family members and friends, and an empty store filled with paintings that no one wanted. But for me to take the painting meant that I would be able to spend the rest of my life enjoying its beauty and that hopefully it would make me smile to think back to when I happened to come across an incredible artist in Marrakech.
So thank you to Abderrahim for so graciously accepting us into your art studio and talking to us for hours. I will never forget your kindness, generosity, and extraordinary views on life, and your painting will be hung on the wall at my house for everyone to enjoy.