June 14, 2019 | Oumaima, Major in Criminologyand Minor in Women's Studies, Morocco, Forum of Federations

My name is Oumaima and I am currently interning in Rabat, Morocco with Forum of Federations. Before I share my experience with you all, it’s important to mention that I was born in Morocco and I immigrated to Canada 15 years ago. I visit Morocco at least twice a year but I have never stayed longer than one week. This internship will be the longest time I’ve spent in Morocco and away from home. The main reason I visited Morocco was to see my family and learn more about my culture and traditions.

Morocco is located in the northwest corner of Africa and is bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. I was always aware that Morocco is a popular tourist destination and known for its beaches, deserts, and mountains. I’ve been spending most of my weekends in Casablanca with my family. I’m grateful and thankful to have family here. Being around them has made me feel less lonely and they are always ready to give me plenty of advice on the lifestyle and culture here. Even if I am Moroccan, I still feel like a foreigner among the locals. I speak Arabic-Moroccan (Darija) fluently so I never had an issue with communication but oddly when I speak to locals they automatically pick up that I am not from ‘here’ and ask me: ‘Where are you ‘really’ from?’. I would laugh because I definitely look Moroccan but I guess the way I dress and my accent gives them the impression that I’m not a local.

Last weekend, Anna (the other intern) and me went on a weekend trip with my cousin and three other girls we met in Rabat. This was my first time travelling alone without my family and it was an experience that I will never forget. I visited northern Morocco: Tanger, Chefchaouen, Tetouan-Martil, Akchour, M’diq and Fnideq. Every city was so different from the others. Each city is so unique and even the people there had different accents. Chefchaouen is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen and all of the city is painted in blue. Every corner of this city is picturesque and wandering around with the girls was just so relaxing and peaceful. The first thing that attracted my attention was the doors, doorknobs and the different shades of blue on the same street. We explored almost the whole city and I just couldn’t stop myself from taking over 100 pictures within 3 hours. The architecture in Chefchaouen was something I have never seen before. The city is located on a mountain side and is surrounded by hills and mountains. The view on top of the mountain of the whole city was just breathtaking especially watching the sunset. I definitely fell in love with Chefchaouen and I wasn’t ready to leave after only a day of exploring. The beach in Tanger, Martil, M’diq and Fnideq were so beautiful. The sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the smell of the salt water, the blue sky above the sea were very calming and peaceful.

The moroccan cuisine is considered one of the richest in the world. Trying the food here is definitely something that I enjoyed the most during my trip. The taste of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and spices are just so delicious. I can’t get over how amazing cooking at home is with all the different spices. Hence, discovering my native land is something new to me and I’m looking forward to other weekend trips in the upcoming six weeks that I have left.

I hope you all get to visit Morocco one day and get to explore the cities here because I promise you that it’s definitely a destination you wanna add to your list.

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