I met Atman on my very first day in Morocco. Already when I crossed the busy square Jmaa-El-Fna for the first time to get to my hostel, fully loaded with backpack and shit, he grabbed my attention by his unique busking style. He sings, plays the guitar and harmonica while simultaneously doing percussions on his self-tailored drum kit. Really, the first time you hear and see this guy it just blows you away, and there was a huge crowd gathering around him to see his magic.
When I later got back to the square he noticed me taking pictures of him, so we engaged in a conversation and discovered how we were strongly connected. And a little while later I found myself singing along with him to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, and I don’t even know the whole lyrics to the song myself. But it was fun switching the roles and being the one pictured busking on the streets, haha. And so I started hanging out with him and his friends in Marrakesh, just because they were all such chill dudes.
And thanks to his unique talent it was easy for him to make good money, while others around him were left behind. His direct neighbour for example, whose business was to offer his birds to tourists, who would then take pictures with them.
However when Atman was playing, there was a party. Every night locals and tourists alike would sing and dance together to his music, and the microphone was passed from one person to the next one. Atman gave everyone a voice, a chance to be a star for the night.
And at the end of the day, when his basket was full of coins, he shared all the money he had collected with his neighbours. Including to the berber man and his birds.
Thank you filling Marrakesh with your love Atman, you are a true inspiration.
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