The souk. This magical place, messy and full of life and people who run in all directions. From traders who proudly display their products and women who offer you their homemade delicacies. It is this place that brings together almost the majority of Moroccans on the eve of the feast of Aid Al Fitr.
The feast of Aid Al Fitr has always been joyously and above all carefully celebrated by Moroccans. New clothes, cakes, dried fruits… everything must be ” almost perfect“. It is the day when families and friends gather to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
To do this, Moroccans go to the Souks to do their shopping. For traders, it is high season. They have more customers than the rest of the year. And so much the better for them, especially since the last two years have been a hell of a nightmare for artisans, small clothing traders ” Beldi And other types of merchants, with the spread of the coronavirus and the many restrictive measures that have accompanied this pandemic.
But the traders in Salé do not give up hope and do their best to serve their customers well and bring them the new and best on the market. ” Fortunately, there is Ramadan and Aid Al Fitr which allowed us to move a little“, Laughs a trader of Moroccan leather slippers, made by hand.
” We were able to work a little before the start of Ramadan, since people are also preparing for the holy month. And then we also had an overload of work from the third week of Ramadan when Moroccans are preparing again for the feast of Aid. We can tell when these pandemic times is high season for us” , entrusted to Hespress Fr another trader from Jellaba, traditional Moroccan dress.
Usually, the traders of the Souk de Salé work throughout the year and do not necessarily depend on the holiday season, although it is the period when they sell the most. But with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, everything has changed.
” The economic effects of the pandemic have been disastrous for us. There have been no tourists for almost a year. This is the first factor that brought us down. Then local tourism is not enough to liquidate all our products which we have invested a lot. And even local tourism has been very timid since the start of the pandemic as several families have lost their sources of income and as a result, purchasing power has largely fallen. There are traders among us who could not bear the repercussions of the health rise and have closed shop ” lifts this trader from Jellaba.
Despite this, the traders of Salé are hoping for better days. They are in any case happy to see their customers again on the doorstep of their stores and thus sell their products which they have carefully prepared for the occasion. ” We pray every day for the virus to go away. The epidemiological situation is currently under control, but we do not know what can happen, especially with the appearance of new variants in Morocco. We just want to resume our commercial activity and live with dignity with our families with what we earn. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that we respect the barrier measures to avoid another health crisis and the restrictive measures that prevent us from working.“, Concludes our interlocutor.
In fact, in the Souk de Salé, a let go was observed by the citizens, in particular in terms of barrier measures. There are those who wear the mask, but not properly. Or those who don’t wear it at all. For distancing, it was almost non-existent. Everyone seemed to be more concerned with their races than the pandemic.
Fingers crossed not to witness an outbreak of cases …
Photos Mounir Mehimdate