Asilah: The Glamor of Morocco

Asilah, a small port town in Morocco is an artisan wonder. Artists flock into this small town annually for with fresh paint to revive the innovative getaway. Read more below from, Shedding What’s Shabby at a Moroccan Port.

“It was a crisp Sunday afternoon, and the narrow terrace of Casa Garcia, a small seafood restaurant in the Moroccan port town of Asilah, exuded a rarefied air. Fashionable Moroccans in big designer sunglasses feasted on grilled fish, while a party of British women exchanged air kisses. All around, waiters in white jackets and skinny black bow ties weaved between the white-tableclothed tables, serving bottles of chilled white wine and luscious bowls of fresh clams.

While such scenes of glamour have burnished Asilah’s reputation as a stylish playground for North Africa’s elite, it wasn’t long ago that this ancient fortified port, about 30 miles south of Tangier along the balmy Atlantic Ocean, suffered from obscurity.

Moroccan guidebooks written before the late 1970s only mentioned Asilah in passing, usually as a curiosity. But in the last few years, Asilah’s medina has become a clandestine getaway for Moroccan and European jet-setters who hide behind the thick carved doors of their exotic holiday homes, lounging on electric-blue roof terraces with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other.

Much of the turnaround can be traced to 1978, when two local friends — Mohammed Benaissa, a photographer and diplomat, and Mohammed Melehi, an artist and curator — came up with the idea of inviting artists to paint murals on the town’s peeling walls. That grew into a summer-long arts festival, with flamenco concerts, design exhibitions and poetry readings, that attracts artists and fans from throughout the Middle East and the West.”

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