If you are travelling solo in towns you don’t know well, it’s best to keep your camera tucked away until you wish to use it – particularly during festival periods.
Last Sunday a disturbing incident happened in the usually charming town of Sefrou, located about 30 kilometres from Fez. A Fez gallery owner was assaulted and his camera stolen while attending the end of the Cherry Festival.
“I’m well travelled and usually I feel safe in daylight, especially in the mornings,” said the gallery owner. (Name withheld on request.) “However, this happened at 10.15 in the morning.”
After crossing the bridge, “I lined up for a drink and to wash my hands at a fountain inside the medina. Before I realized what was happening, a young man of about 23 grabbed my camera strap from around my neck. When I held onto it he pulled out a sizeably sharp knife and proceeded to slice my arm - quite deeply in one place. An artery shot out a considerable quantity of blood. I quickly became soaked in blood as he continued to slice away at me.”
|The victim's sneakers after the assault|
The gallery owner said the thing that shocked him most about the assault was that between 40-50 other people, both men and women, stood by passively as he cried for help.
Just outside the medina he managed to find two policemen who called an ambulance. He was then taken to a hospital where he received seven stiches for the wound to his hand.
|Some of the stitches needed|
The gallery owner suggests that, particularly if travelling alone, “you only take your camera out when you are going to do a shoot.”