Office Getaway : ANDesign in Africa
The second financial quarter is already underway…we understand the stress that comes with running a business. Believe us. Working in the creative industry isn’t as easy as it may look. Our clients are well educated on product analytics; so going above and beyond is depleting; a moment to reassess is always good.
We love what we do, and, we’re good at it, too.
Our Operations Manager recently got a chance to visit Morocco, a North African country with maze-like medieval quarters, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, distinguished by its varying Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. It’s nice to change perspectives, get out of a normal groove and be immersed in a world outside the office.
It couldn’t have been a more eye opening experience, according to Lisa Duran. Partly because of the travel agency booked, whom’s mission statement is : “Morocco Planet : Our Wish is Your Command“.
If you need to step away from the digital landscape that most of us have grown accustomed to, then, get up, leave, and travel new parts of the world. We looked around online and encountered a particular boutique traveling agency with raving reviews, Morocco Planet.
Sure enough. Like the reviews left by other patrons, the tour guide was one of the highlights to the trip. While on a tour at Marrakech, a former imperial city in western Morocco, the tour guide went out of his way to grab the group a bottle of wine so they could enjoy dinner under the stars. Mind you, there was no store nearby.
While driving through the sand dunes, the guide pulled over, asked everyone in the car to stay inside, only because he saw rare meteorites on the ground and knew it’d make for the perfect souvenirs to take back home. So, while the rest of the group stayed inside the car, the tour guide faced the treacherous sandstorms and grabbed four pieces of meteor, deep in the Moroccan sands, as a token of appreciation.
As we found out later, our tour guide’s academic background in geography was the best asset. We asked Morocco Planet’s : Amar Taouchikht, the chief storyteller at the boutique travel agency, what it takes to go above and beyond when taking guests to his favorite areas of Morocco; ensuring that each chapter of their Moroccan adventure is a truly unforgettable adventure, a trip that influences individual aspirations and creative goals, and challenges every day taboos while uncovering more about our world and one’s self.
As an experienced tour guide the first minute with any clients, taken by consideration of his or her understanding acquired by his or her research and stereotypes about the country; so here the body gestures shown [on my behalf] are very important; including a big smile and short phrases with clear simple language.
The concept of making them understand that they’re on vacation has to be confirmed while injecting great feeling of comfort into our customers. The excitation of language has to dominate the conversation. – Morocco Planet Tour Guide
Especially after the attacks on Paris this past winter, many people reacted extreme about our travel plans across the world. Many biases and stereotypes regarding panic and terror were raised… How safe were we really ?
When searching for safe travel options, we discovered Morocco Planet Day Tours phenomenal track record with safety and security. We checked reviews and ratings about Morocco Planet’s highly praised tour guide; the TripAdvisor reviews speak for themselves. See for yourself. We couldn’t be anymore pleased with every one of his suggestions and his two-weeks of the utmost respectable hospitality.
Morocco is a city of marvelous history. So, we needed to find out : 1.) how influential the culture is and 2.) how exactly did he become such a revered guide…. so we reached out and asked about life as a Moroccan Tour Guide and what it is that makes travelers love Amar Taouchikht so much.
Amar : Well, as an experienced tour guide driver, I have to confirm accommodation from the moment our guests arrive outside of the hotel door and injecting great feeling of comfort into customers. The map in the car is a big issue, you have to show them where they are and where they can go with all available options. Also, making sure they understand that the trip is their own trip and that they have to do it in their own way, by reassuring them we are here to help every need and want by reassuring they have made a great choice to be with our company.
– Why visit Morocco as a getaway ?
A : Imitation, let me tell you, is a big enemy and a useful powder for fertilizing the globalization of an unhealed disease attacking the pure side of Cultures.
A : International Art Festivals are the best examples of what we have said about Morocco as a tolerant and multi-cultural country. For us, as a tour Operator, it’s a free advertisement to make our country be well known over the world.
A : In al-Saheehayn it is narrated :‘Umar ibn Salamah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“O young boy, say the name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat from what is nearest to you.”
[Bukhari (5376) and Muslim (2022)]
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“No one among you should eat with his left hand or drink with it, for the shaytan eats with his left hand and drinks with it.”
This Prophet’s speech gives a brief description to what you are trying to get through in your question. But in a funny way, before the toilet paper, we used to use our left hand to clean ourselves, and as we are sharing one dish to eat together as family, we use our right hands because then all of us know that it was not touched by nothing disgusting.
“Whatever YOUR reason for celebration, let us take care of the details so YOU can just relax and enjoy. From our hearts to Yours – Welcome to Morocco!”
Thank you again, Amar Taouchikht, for sharing your life with the world.
According to Lisa, our Operations Manager, trips like these help inspire creative ways to go about daily routines. You can pick up new tricks, new perspectives, and an appreciation for the “mundane”. The hustle of the merchants, the rural landscape and artisan culture of Morocco displayed the genuine beauty of Earth’s raw materials, which has been a muse of inspiration for artists since the dawn of time.
*all photos by Lisa Duran, interview by Jon Andrino.