Morocco: coming full Circle and to Veil or not to Veil


a few days I will be back in Morocco, the country that is in a way where it all began, how fitting it is that I should end my formal study of Arabic in the country where my formal face-face forays into Arab culture began… Almost 10 years ago…

My first Arabic teacher was a Moroccan so in a way his culture is the one I most identify with the Arabic language, which I guess is ironic since a good chunk of the population speaks Amazight as a mother tongue, including my first Arabic professor! 

in 2004 I went there for the first time, in 2005 I had the Moroccan semester from hell, in 2006 I returned to see some of the sub-Saharan African friends that I had met. Now it’s 2012, six years later (man, I’m old) and I’m going, going, back, back to Morocco!!!!!!!!! 

Things are going to be mighty different, for one thing I can communicate in Arabic a world of a lot better than I used to. For another thing, coming off the Egyptian experience, I think I will appreciate Morocco more.  But there are some apprehensions:


1. Street harassment in Morocco is no joke, if you look like me.  I find myself thinking about what I did back in the day in order to make living there bearable, and wearing a scarf was up there… too bad I have never experienced the heat that is a Moroccan summer, so let’s see how that goes… sigh.  To bear harassment or to not bear it, that is that question.


2. host families are mandatory.  I hope it works out with mine…if not, they will kick them to the curb so fast… no summer from hell for me…. but let’s stay positive:  Inshallah all will be well.


3. Homesickness!  one week in America is not enough!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s so strange to do an about face like this.. and head back to the lion’s den… I mean the Arab world… ha, ha…

3 thoughts on “Morocco: coming full Circle and to Veil or not to Veil

  1. KG

    Good luck! Here’s hoping that your experience in Morocco this time around is more like the first time (which was fairly positive) than the second time, and that your host family this time is better! Keep us posted!

  2. You may be en route now, but safe travels, and insha’Allah this is a great experience for you, rounding out your studies. I don’t know how hot hot is there, but I just barely was able to wear hijab in the DR when I went, and that was in the mountains where it hovered between 85-92F (relatively cool), so I feel your pain! But being street-harassment free is a good thing…

  3. gazelledusahara

    thanks ladies…. @ Chinyere So far, it’s not been as big of an issue, nothing like Egypt to give you perspective on how bad street harassment can get, and how conservative dress can be considered in an Arab-Muslim country….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s