Moroccan Clock

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

In 1964, my grandparents were the first of my family to migrate from Morocco to Canada.  The rest of the family, including my great-great grandfather, Papa David, followed soon after.  His granddaughter and my grandmother requested for him to bring with him a special Moroccan clock that is now over 100 years old.  Although he sent his luggage ahead before traveling, the clock was one of the only objects that he kept with him throughout his journey.  The clock is large, made of wood, with many intricate designs at the top.  Whenever someone asked him about it, he answered the exact same way: “C’est pour ma petite-fille, elle est au Canada!”  This means, “It’s for my granddaughter, she’s in Canada!”  Once, my grandmother decided she wanted to restore the clock, as it had become old and worn.  Papa David always said to her that she would break it, but the day she finished her project, she called him to report her success.  She says she’ll never forget the way he laughed.  Now, the clock is hanging in my grandmother’s home in Montreal, where my father grew up.  He migrated to New York in 2000, which is where I live.  Despite the distance between me and the clock, it is still an iconic object.  It is representative of the journey made by my family, their dedication to each other, and it makes me feel connected to Morocco and my great-great grandfather.

Place(s): Morocco, Montreal, New York City

– Jake Zrihen

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant