I wouldn’t call Tangier tough, I would call it leathery. The influence of many regions has sprouted a culture fixed to hold the west in their head and Africa in their feet. Through long days in the sun fighting to thrive, the locals have earned a grit that is like a worn saddle: Just keeps getting more comfortable.
When walking down tight corridors it is unusually evident how much space we share with others. In a dense area such as the medina, people live next too, below and on top of each other. Even the other buildings curve towards their neighbor, almost begging to touch the strangers hand. It is hard to realize how it is more than just a two way street.
People were meant to be together, and the medina undoubtedly pulls each other closer when on the outside it seems like every man is fighting for themselves. Even through the ostensibly tedious and sometimes selfish labor of each day, people seek to be surrounded by their community just as these buildings seek to pull closer and closer. When a new community comes in and wants their own space, or people refuse to share rooms they are essentially cutting out vital human experience. A community like the medina not only provides a crucial buttress for the rainy days, but unleashes the bare level human emotions of connectivity: humans are made to be with each other and time will push them together.
In community we find sharing, and in sharing we find fundamental prosperity for ourselves and beyond. Each building was constructed by spoiling the land that preceded it, and is unfortunately the heart of human’s unintended consequences. The selfishness and lack of caring for the earth has amassed buildings that scan over every square inch of land. The buildings of the medina test the modern way of living by pulling towards each other and ironically pushing towards a better way of life. Tangier was melded by time’s destined ability to move in a direction that is truly best for everyone.
(If only we had time)
Trying to control our communities will never satisfy our needs as what naturally just happens. We should look at how our world evolves unintendedly and welcome it with excitement, because it is truly the way things should be. Let the world happen and let the reigns guide you, I know we will find something better.