Let It Rain, On Morocco

TALIM Precipitations annuelles mois secs
From "Précipitations Annuelles," dry month map inset at TALIM research library, from the colonial era Institut Scientifique Chérifien

The Scientific American picked up Reuters' article from today "Morocco prays for rain for first time since 2007."

Now, I don't think that my prayers for dry weather last fall, when the Embassy contractor started our latest re-roofing project, were the cause of Morocco's extended dry spell.  No, it wasn't really a prayer anyway, more like fingers crossed, with a dose of inshallah.  It worked; the roof was stripped and re-surfaced, all before the first timid rains of the usually torrential November – April rainy season.

TALIM Precipitations annuelles nord

"Précipitations moyennes annuelles, 1925-1949," showing Tangier and the Rif in blue, reflecting rainfalls traditionally much higher than the rest of Morocco

This year, there has been no such "season."  No, Morocco's tourist industry has been blessed by blue skies and mild weather, which is causing concern for its other big employer, the agricultural sector (said to represent some 40 percent of the workforce).

We have no political position on prayers for rain, and understand when nations (and US state governors) feel the need to invoke the Almighty to make the heavens pour.

People here remember when Tangier had to ration water use, and had to bring in water on board cargo vessels, just like Barcelona did in recent years.  Since then, dams have been built, and water distribution appears to be stable, though its high cost is a cause of popular ire.

So, on the day when the faithful in Morocco prayed in mosques for rain, we say let it pour, and leaks be damned.  Sorry, that's not terribly pious, but we're keeping our fingers crossed – this time for rain, inshallah.

Gerald Loftus

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