Introducing Spring 2018 Blog Correspondent: Ammarah Rehman
I am incredibly excited to embark on a journey in Rabat and look forward to all the wonderful and challenging experiences that lay ahead. I chose to study in Morocco mainly due to the rich history and culture. There are many questions that I hope to explore during my time in Morocco. More specifically, I hope to understand how Islam plays a role in Morocco and how methods of practice differ from people in American and other parts of the world. I also want to explore Morocco’s rich culture, traditions, media, cuisine, music and architecture and how postcolonial ties might appear in society. I hope to make lifelong friends and connections to the city and I am thrilled to learn more about the MENA region through Morocco.
In order to understand Islam in Morocco, I will try my best to visit multiple different mosques and religious centers to observe and ask questions when appropriate. I especially want to visit the El- Atika Mosque which was built in 1050 and is the oldest mosque in Rabat. I will observe the ways in which people are dressed, if they are dressed modestly. I will observe whether or not women wear hijabs. On religious holidays, I will observe the different ways in which people practice and celebrate a holiday. I will observe the ways in which my host family practices and values religion in the house through different symbols in the house. When I feel people are comfortable talking to me, I will ask people about their views on Islam and the cultural values Islam holds in Morocco. I hope to learn more about the religion and culture with my host family. I expect to learn the most while living with my host family. I hope I will be able to have a close bond with the members of my host family and be able to learn about their lifestyle and their family traditions.
To understand the colorful culture I will listen to Moroccan music and learn to make Moroccan food. I will watch the local shows on TV and try to understand the ways in which women and men are being represented in the media and the stories being highlighted. Most importantly, I will walk around Rabat and talk to different people. I will go to the Medina and try to branch away from tourism and actually understand the lifestyle of Morocco. At my internship, I will be able to understand the ways people in Morocco work. I will also try to explore the different hobbies and interests people have during their leisure. In order to learn about the history, I will visit the Oudaias Museum and learn about the different architecture around the city. I hope to take advantage of my free time on the weekends and explore more of the country and travel to the blue city, Chefchaouen and the cost close to Spain, Tangier. Each city is unique in Morocco and I hope to be able to visit as many different locations during my time. I also hope to explore Rabat and learn how the city compares to the rest of Morocco.