Walking to and from the hostel everyday on my way out to explore Marrakesh I would pass by many shopkeepers sitting outside their premises trying to attract trade from passers by. One of them would always give me a smile and say Hello waiting for a reply that he could latch onto to keep me talking.
At first his banter was the usual ” Come into my shop, just to look “…….. Since i have been on the road a good many years I already had experience of their phrase book. It is the same the world over. They say Hello, You respond, They respond by asking where you come from and before you know it you are leaving their shop with a bag full of souvenirs that you didn’t want.
Anyway I explained to him that I only travel with a 30L backpack and that it was already full and that my golden rule is that if something doesn’t fit into the backpack it just does not go with me. So it was really pointless trying to sell me a carpet, Tablecloth or anything similar. The only exception to my rule is a carrier bag which may contain food and water for my journey but nothing more.
As the days passed our conversations moved on from him trying to sell me something and onto my way of life, world politics and how i could help him with his business. I had a tour of his shop, without him trying to sell me anything, and he explained to me how the Loom worked for making carpets and other woven items. I noticed that the Loom was empty and suggested to him that he should always have a ” work in progress ” on the Loom so that he could demonstrate to his visitors how the products were made. I also suggested that he could even go as far as inviting his guests to have a go themselves, which might create more of a bond between seller and potential buyer, plus it would offer a good photo opportunity too.
I also suggested that he might have a website built which would enable him to sell his products further afield and may also attract bulk orders from wholesalers abroad. Amine is an interesting guy to talk to and it is well worth stopping by and having a chat with him as you wander the narrow streets of the Medina. You never know, you may come away with a Handmade Carpet !!!!!!
Contact Details for Amine Mouarbit
Amines shop is called Mammad Decoration
and can be found by taking the street to the left of Cafe de France in the Jemaa El Fna, walk down to a junction and bear right and Mammad Decoration is at number 84 on the left side.
You can also contact Amine on his phone
+212 6 31 63 55 47
+212 6 52 71 17 48