Maryam Montague

Project Soar: and a tale of empowering girls

Project Soar: and a tale of empowering girls

Dear friends, 

I have been thinking a lot about my purpose lately.  This involves questions like, Why was I put on this planet? How can I better be the person that I want to be?  What will my legacy be?

Do you have those discussions with yourself, too?

I think all of us want to be good and compassionate people.  We want to help.  We want to give back but sometimes it's hard to figure out what to do and how to do it.  We say to ourselves, I am just one person.  What can I really do?

Travel and Leisure Magazine: and a tale of my recommendations for what to do, see, eat and buy in Marrakech

Travel and Leisure Magazine: and a tale of my recommendations for what to do, see, eat and buy in Marrakech

Coming to Marrakesh?  Great!  What to know what to do?  I've got you covered!  After living in Marrakesh for 8 years, I'm sharing all my city secrets with you. For the last several months, I've been writing for Travel & Leisure Magazine, as their local Marrakesh expert.  35 concise stories are now live on their site.  There you'll find all my recommendations on where to shop, spa, dine, and go in the Red City


Marrakesh, Morocco: and a tale of Project SOAR

I grew up with a father who was one of those secular believers of doing good simply because it was, well, good. That’s all. There were no religious brownie points.  There was no reward in the afterlife or, in fact, in this life either.  As far as my father was concerned, the best kind of doing good was the kind where you did not make a fuss and draw attention to yourself.  Rather, you quietly did what you could to help and were thankful to do so. 

My Dad's a tough act to follow but he's a big part of why I rarely talk about my 20+ year job in humanitarian aid on this blog.

Nonetheless, in the spirt of my last blog post, I did want to share with you something I have been working on with a group of others for the last 18 months.  It's called Project SOAR.  And it's a social experiment and an affair of the heart.  

I could tell you but it's so much easier to show you.

In this busy world of ours, it's hard to find good ways to help others -- ways that are constructive and worth our time.  I truly believe Project Soar is one of those ways.  

I would love your help.  I would love your kind heart.  Please take a minute on the Project Soar website to learn more about what you can do.  You can make a difference.

    Thank you.


Marrakech: and a tale of a Moroccan ethnic chic Thanksgiving, African-style

So it was Thanksgiving and we were in Morocco, of course.  And rather than let the holiday slip away, leaving us with yet a more tenuous thread to the country from which we came............. we chose to celebrate with 20 friends and family.   

Our Thanksgiving theme was the Wilds of Africa.  {Because Morocco is in Africa, despite popularly confused opinion.}

This is a tale of how it went........  

We got to decorating the Arabian tent at Peacock Pavilions.  We gathered some of our crazy African loot.  

Moroccan Thanksgiving 7

African stools and old beads


Animal skulls and bones.....

Moroccan Thanksgiving 4

 A batik length of cloth from Mali, antlers, strands of African pods. 

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African antiquities, namecards with African porcupine quills.

_MJM944Moroccan Thanksgiving 10Objects dressed up to look their African best........

Moroccan Thanksgiving 5A herd of antelopes and old bauxite beads.


Bunches or yellow roses in vintage Ethiopian tole containers.  Gazelle horns.

Moroccan Thanksgiving 8

 Antique Tuareg nomadic bags and olive branches hung in the air. 

Moroccan Thanksgiving 16

Shiny Amy-- helping out at Peacock Pavilions for two months--took to the African madness with gusto.  


 And it all ended up looking like this....

Moroccan Thanksgiving 1

We put out the horn and abalone serving utensils. 

Moroccan Thanksgiving 6

 And the glimmery dishes.......


The menu was masterminded by Peacock Pavilions very own Michelle, with a 30 pound turkey sourced by the Four Seasons Marrakech and cooked by our friend, Kimo. 

Moroccan Thanksgiving 12

 We filled our plates.

Moroccan Thanksgiving 13

And we dug in.
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 Most importantly, we went around the table, and each of us gave thanks, large and small........


We ate and ate and gave more and more thanks......until some literally passed out......

Moroccan Thanksgiving 15

Happy Thanksgiving.  Today and every day.