Silvia Irace

Silvia Irace (Ain Leuh Weaver's Cooperative): Silvia was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where she studied Arabic for her BA at “L’Orientale” University. To help her studies, Sylvia travelled to Cairo and Saudi Arabia, where she interned at the Italian Embassy in Riyadh. In Riyadh, she taught Italian language and culture at cultural associations affiliated to the embassy. Sylvia was studying for an MA in Arab Studies at Georgetown University on a Fulbright scholarship when she went to Morocco for AP. After her fellowship she wrote: “I have learnt about the legal steps to set up a non profit in the Moroccan legal framework, how to frame an Association mission, as well as video taping, editing, and using social media in a more effective way. I improved my Wordpress and website building skills, and my knowledge of Amazigh and Moroccan culture and language. Finally, I have learnt some handicraft skills, by weaving for advocacy.” sirace@advocacynet.org Email: sirace@advocacynet.org



WWW: Women Weaver’s Wisdom

07 Jul

First week of Ramadan has gone by and I am still striving to adjust to the new pace of life here in Ain Leuh. Nor do the ladies seem to actually be affected by the deprivation of food and sleep, their rhythm of work being basically unchanged, if not actually increased with the beginning of the Holy month. Indeed, I still find it hard to understand when do they find time to recharge, since – far from my own idyllic idea of a relaxing time in the rural countryside of Morocco – I strive to keep up with them and I often can’t help but falling asleep in the less appropriate moments (my boss would be relieved to hear that this took place outside working hours!).

 As it occurred to me a couple of nights ago, when my host, Khadouj, invited me to join her for a sadaqa, the first of a three-day long vigil for a dead neighbor. Despite the difficulty I encountered to keep my eyes open given the late time, I am grateful to her and the ladies sitting in the room that night for letting me, a total stranger, taking part to even the most intimate and private aspects of Moroccan and Muslim life, which I indeed consider a privilege to be treasured of.

This also served to remind me how easy death can occur in conditions of deprivation and poverty, as it happened this same week to one lady who lost her baby of miscarriage for the hardships of working in the cherry picking and the lifting of heavy weights that this job entails. Or to Rouquia, my host’s niece, who has almost risked her life out of a simple infection, and the difficulty of her mother, Fatima, in paying for her medicines, which obliged her to contract debts with neighboring shop-keepers for basic foodstuff she would not be able to pay for a while.

 On my part, I learnt the weavers’ way to ward off bad luck, which I am explaining in the following video, shot during a tour I happened to give in occasion of the visit of a group of American volunteers serving in the nearby village of Toufsalt. Enjoy!

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\n
\n  As it occurred to me a couple of nights ago, when my host, Khadouj, invited me to join her for a sadaqa<\/em>, the first of a three-day long vigil for a dead neighbor. Despite the difficulty I encountered to keep my eyes open given the late time, I am grateful to her and the ladies sitting in the room that night for letting me, a total stranger, taking part to even the most intimate and private aspects of Moroccan and Muslim life, which I indeed consider a privilege to be treasured of.
\n
\n This also served to remind me how easy death can occur in conditions of deprivation and poverty, as it happened this same week to one lady who lost her baby of miscarriage for the hardships of working in the cherry picking and the lifting of heavy weights that this job entails. Or to Rouquia, my host\u2019s niece, who has almost risked her life out of a simple infection, and the difficulty of her mother, Fatima, in paying for her medicines, which obliged her to contract debts with neighboring shop-keepers for basic foodstuff she would not be able to pay for a while.
\n
\n  On my part, I learnt the weavers\u2019 way to ward off bad luck, which I am explaining in the following video, shot during a tour I happened to give in occasion of the visit of a group of American volunteers serving in the nearby village of Toufsalt. Enjoy!
\n<\/span>
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