Quarantined in Marrakech & Istanbul

An interview with two of our suppliers abroad

haggia sophia in istanbul




Is your workshop running right now? When do you see yourself getting up and running again?

The workshops are not running right now. The cases and death rates have started to decrease, so hopefully in a month we’ll be up and running again.

Who are you quarantined with?

My family: my parents, sister and brother.

What is it like being with them all day?

It is totally different than what I would have thought because we talk about things we’ve never talked about before. We’re learning new things about each other everyday. We cook together, keep the house clean, and generally enjoy life together. I never thought I would get a haircut at home, but that happened recently!

Turkish breakfast and dinner photos

Some of the incredibly delicious meals that our supplier enjoys with his family. His favorite food is his mother's lentil soup (a culinary staple in Turkey)- seen in far right dinner spread image. Image on the left shows a traditional Turkish breakfast of bread, honey, butter and different types of cheese, briny olives and eggs. In the summer you can expect fresh cut cucumbers and tomatoes with breakfast.


What is the best part?

Spending time with my family. Since we were so busy with work and life before, we didn’t get to spend quality time together. Therefore, it is a chance for us to enjoy each other as much as we can.

What is the worst part?

The worst part is that many people are sick with the virus and some of them are passing away. That is so sad and you never know when your time comes.

Are you reading anything good?

I read Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns because feeling good is what we need the most right now! 😄

What else are you doing to keep busy?

Slowly, but surely I am learning to cook 🙈 We ordered new seedlings and I am going to plant a little garden to keep myself busy. I am reading coronavirus news daily. Also, I started working out.

Does anyone in your family have any interesting hobbies they’re taking on?

I know, we are supposed to keep ourselves positive and motivated, but I guess, our hobbies at home are probably limited. My mother likes to sew, my father likes to garden, my sister likes to read, my brother likes to play games, and I like to watch and read interesting things.

What have you learned about yourself since the hustle and bustle of daily life has come to a stop?

Our lives can change in a second. That is what I learned during this period. I guess, I will spend more time doing the things I desire in the future.

How are you keeping connected to your community?

I am spending most of my time at home, so I keep connected virtually. I give people phone calls if they need anything from us. Wishing them good health, motivating them, and recommending them to stay away from other people.

Many people stuck at home for last couple of weeks. It is so boring for everyone of us, but it is better than lying on hospital bed. If we stay quarantined, good days will come for us. However, if we don’t protect ourselves personally, we may get in trouble as a country.

I feel so sad for the people who are lying on hospital beds and dying due to virus. We are getting better in Turkey right now. The U.S is my second home, so I check the U.S news couple times a day. Hope, the cases and death rates will decrease very soon in the U.S, too.  Hope the best for everyone on our planet.




 Marrakech from a rooftop 

Is your shop open right now? How are you keeping your business afloat?

Our shop is closed- in fact all of the shops in the Medina are. We are using Etsy and Whatsapp to stay in touch with customers and continue to sell products.

Jemaa el-fna and empty marrakech medina

Who are you quarantined with?

My mother and father and sister, and her kids. 

What is it like being with your family all day, everyday?

Enjoying each single moment with my family, helping in the kitchen with cooking and cleaning.


What is the best part?

Training and exercise in the early morning and taking a nice hot shower. (Life really is all about enjoying the little things!)

What is the worst part?

When I get sucked into watching too much TV!

salim's courtyard in Marrakech

Salim's family's home in Marrakech has the most idyllic, dreamy courtyard. His mother enjoys taking a little bit of extra time to nurture her courtyard garden of potted herbs and vegetables. 


What else are you doing to keep busy? 

I like to visit my shop and take the extra time to get it really organized and cleaned. Airing my rugs out, and generally spending more time being careful about cleanliness. I like to take care of my pet birds. 


What have you learned about yourself since the normal hustle and bustle of daily life has come to a stop?

That I’m very active person and that I love working so much!

How are you keeping connected to your community?

I’m staying connected by using social media and sharing news and funny things that are happening on my story.

moroccan bread and vegetable tanjine

Salim with a moroccan rug background

Thank you for sharing a bit of your quarantine life with us!!