We just came home from a trip to Morocco. It was the first time I had been there, so it seemed like a big adventure – and it was! It was very interesting to observe the ins and outs of daily life there, and I thought readers of my blog might like me to share a few thoughts.
You probably know that Morocco is a Muslim country. Only about 1% of the population is Christian, and even fewer Jewish. So I didn’t really know what to expect. I had read that (obviously) out of respect, my outfits should be modest and that it is not considered ‘decent’ to look men directly in the face. Nor should Western men look a Moroccan woman directly, the web advised.
Well, to my surprise, everything was much more liberal than I expected! Yes, it is Muslim, and yes, there is the five-time-a-day call to prayers broadcast over loudspeakers. But during my whole time there, I only saw one woman in a burka – many women covered their heads with scarves, but many did not, and tight jeans and shirts were all the rage!
Women often smiled at Kenton, and men not only looked at me, they had no problem holding conversations or joking with me. We talked to everyone who would listen, because we love to learn about life elsewhere.
The king of Morocco is committed to education, especially for women, and puts his money where his mouth is – 20% of GDP goes towards education. Many remain illiterate to this day, so there is a long way to go, but they are working hard to modernize.
Our conclusions? In Morocco, as in the rest of the world, people want the same things as the rest of us – enough food to eat, a better life for their children. It’s not really such a scary place after all.