For our second edition we asked one of our current students, Rachel Brooks to practice her journalism skills! A junior studying journalism at the University of Missouri, Rachel spends her time in Rabat focusing on Arabic and exploring the city. With future journalistic aspirations in the Middle East, learning Modern Standard Arabic is key to her success. From all of us here in Rabat, hope you enjoy the news and happy Spring!
Students relax around the pool and welcome Spring!
After spring break travels, students returned to Rabat eager to continue studying Arabic language and Moroccan culture. Students have class Monday through Thursday and spend free time traveling Morocco or with their host families. Outside of class time, students have participated in several cultural activities provided by CIEE.
Arabic Speed Meetings:
On Friday, March 20 for the first of two sessions of Arabic speed meetings, students were split into groups based on level and were joined by local university students. Each group was assigned conversation topics, such as cities, gender issues and life in Morocco. Students talked one-on-one for 15 minutes each, rotating among partners, or were part of a roundtable discussion. At the end of the day, students wrote a report about what they learned. These meetings gave the CIEE group a great opportunity to meet more local students and continue to learn about the culture of Morocco.
CIEE students went to Fes for two days, March 21-22. They enjoyed lunch at Café Clock, including camel burgers, before enjoying a tour of the Fes medina. Built in the 800s, the medina features a Koranic School - the world’s first university (which was founded by a woman) - a water clock, a leather tannery and a weaving warehouse. Students enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere of Fes and the chance to speak Arabic with local Moroccans. On Sunday, the group traveled to Sefrou to explore the Jewish history of the region and talk to local artisans.
Blue sky in the Medina of Fes.
CIEE students and Moroccan buddies spent Friday, April 3 at the Orient-Occident Foundation (where many students volunteer) to learn more about racism in Morocco and life as an immigrant. Students attended an African dance workshop led by a Congolese refugee. The group learned a dance expressing racial tensions, frustration and tolerance. An African buffet lunch was then provided, featuring dishes from Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco and ?. Students then participated in a discussion about racism with immigrants and refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Student of the month:
Name: Andrew Taylor
University: University of Colorado – Boulder
Major: Creative Writing
Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
Andrew is a junior at CU – Boulder studying creative writing. He enjoys writing poetry and short stories. He decided to study abroad in Morocco to see Arab culture first-hand. Ahead of time, he couldn’t imagine what life in Morocco would be like, which intrigued him. Andrew is from Colorado, but considers himself a citizen of Earth. He has also spent extended time in Italy and Guatemala.
His favorite activities in Rabat are surfing at the beach and attending yoga classes on Mondays. He enjoys talking to people in Morocco in order to get a Moroccan perspective, a Muslim perspective, and a Moroccan-Muslim perspective on aspects of life. His favorite city in Morocco is Tangier, for the hip and multicultural atmosphere. Andrew’s favorite Moroccan dish is pastilla, a traditional Moroccan pie made with chicken or fish, and almonds.
His hobbies include playing piano, writing, surfing and making terrible puns on an hourly basis. Andrew’s first experience studying Arabic has been in Morocco. Though learning the language has been hard, it has been very fulfilling. Andrew is passionate about writing, love and lions (not lines.) Look for his published works in a store near you, coming soon.
Chellah is an archaeological and historical site in Rabat. The city has been occupied by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Imazighen. The fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes an ancient mosque, school, and bath houses. The city features distinct architectures from each dynasty of its occupation.
Andrew Taylor in the ruins of Chellah.