Having just returned from a lovely vacation to Marrakech, I am both elated (by my beautiful photographs, nice tan, unforgettable afternoons, and lovely purchases) and disheartened. Disheartened because I cannot believe how the medina has changed in just a few short years since I first arrived in Morocco.

I recently wrote an article for an English-language magazine here, the first of its kind  in recent years, anyway. Writing about foreigners in Marrakech, I found myself hard-pressed to find many good points. Sure, they're buying up properties tha no one else might otherwise, but they're also driving average Moroccans out of neighborhoods that they can no longer afford. The price of a coffee has jumped nearly MAD 3 (that's about 30 American cents  a lot to some people here), and it's nearly impossible to find Morocco's staple dish, the tajine, for normal prices.

Yesterday, speaking with a Moroccan colleague, I discovered her vacation had similar properties  visiting the southern coastline, she discovered that a French man had come in, bought land for MAD 8 per square kilometer, built luxury villas, then resold them for a price no Moroccan could dream of affording, thereby gentrifying an entire fishing village.

And then today, I came across a press release from a certain UK agency advertising a "Moroccan lifestyle" for only £82,000. The PR pointed specifically to La Palmeraie, a wealthy area of Marrakech that is essentially a protected palm grove  but laws are being sidestepped to make way for luxury  hotels, villas, apartments, and nightclubs.

Meanwhile, ordinary Moroccans are being pushed from their communities to make way for the European invasion, and yet, Moroccans can hardly cross the border for a vacation.

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