I learned this common greeting while I was in Morocco several years ago. We were doing a few days of language school, and this is the only Arabic I can remember!
What I do remember from this trip are the sights and sounds of Morocco. Entering the town of old Fez, (only by donkey or foot) was like a scene straight out of Aladdin. We had to hire a donkey to carry our luggage to our hotel.
I was privileged to see many sights of Morocco; Casablanca, the old city of Fez, the markets of Marrakesh and the Volubilis Roman ruins…
I also remember the food. Our usual fare was rotisserie chicken with fries, or even better, was the lamb tanjine, something hard to come by in North America.
We would always finish our meal with a piping hot cup of Moroccan mint tea. Served in a small glass cup, poured high from above to mix the flavors and produce foam.
Traditionally, the tea is served three times, and each glass has a unique flavor from the steeping process, according to the famous proverb:
The first glass is as bitter as life,
the second glass is as strong as love,
the third glass is as gentle as death.
I think I would like to try my hand at growing my own mint, so I can have this tea more often, and remember the wonder that Morocco holds.
Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe
Cost $1.00 per cup
4 cups boiling water
2 tsp loose green tea
1 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
First, boil some water to rinse out your teapot. Add your green tea and some boiling water.
Let this steep for 2 minutes, then discard the water, leaving the tea leaves in the pot. (This will help the tea not be bitter) Fill pot with another 2 cups hot water, the mint and the sugar. Allow to steep for several minutes.
Pour tea from high up, creating foam in the teacup.