The Doors of Fez

3 min readDec 24, 2019

There’s much to say about Morocco, from musings over the tourism industry to seeking out beneficial experiences, but as usual, it’s the little details that marinate in your mind.

I try not to overly romanticize visiting any location — in the sense that, considering what I usually discuss online and offline, being cognizant of sensitives regarding politics, nationalities, and my own limited knowledge, a topic for another time — but often, a community gets something right.

An old building with chipped paint

The walls of most of the buildings in the old Medina of Fez look like this. Unadorned. Our tour guide, a local, took us through the winding streets and into the residential areas, away from shops and monuments, to spend a few minutes pointing this out. We even strolled past what was an old palace and you could not tell from the outside that it was a palace. It was simply a long stretch of beige, mostly cement wall.

When the medina was built, normal homes were not built with balconies, but rather, if you could afford it, some homes had a courtyard inside. Residents then and now don’t adorn the walls, but they hide decadent interiors. The floor plan allows for a small corridor that turns immediately after entering, so anyone at the door can’t immediately peek and see what lays inside the atrium — the home of a rich person, or a poor person.