Mary has adopted an anti-smoking campaign as a health quest. Any person seen smoking is fair game. The security guard at our bank in Essaouira used to smoke, Mary would tell him of the dangers of smoking, she would tell him there were 4,000 chemical in cigarette smoke, she would tell him there were 40 carcinogens in those chemicals. Every time he saw here approaching he would put out his cigarette. She would give him chewing gum and lollipops to distract him from smoking.
He finally quit for good, now he too is an advocate for not smoking. The guard and Mary now sing an anti-smoking song in front of the bank whenever she passes by. The two of them sing on the sidewalk in Arabic in front of the bank, it is quite a scene. They sing to the melody of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
This success has only emboldened her.
No one is safe from her, she stops the police, the military, anyone and everyone and lectures them on the dangers of smoking.
A while ago we were in the city of Fes, the king has a palace there with guards with very large automatic weapons. We happened to be walking by the palace and Mary spotted a guard smoking a cigarette.
She marches up to the guard with the very large automatic weapon in front of the palace and proceeded to inform him of the dangers of smoking. She finished off her lesson with the anti-smoking song. The guards smiled politely and put out his cigarette and thanked her for caring.
This scenario has been repeated many times at different locations here in Morocco, people have been receptive.
It appears people know of the dangers of smoking, but they just need a little nudge to help them quit.
Attached is a photo of Mary and Yousef the bank guard and a copy of lyrics.