“Moroccan Hospitality” by Ammarah Rehman
Morocco is all about hospitality. It has only been about a week since I have been in Rabat and I have already noticed the way people want to genuinely help you. The day I moved into my host family’s home, I was introduced to the family and told to treat this house as if it were my own. My host mom told me I had full access to the house and was able to bring my own guests to the home. Our home also has a beautiful balcony attached to the living room where you can sip tea in the morning and watch the sunrise. I was fed until I could no longer eat any more for my first night. My host family values their guests and want to make sure that anyone staying in their house is as comfortable as possible.
Daily life is very different for every Moroccan here is Rabat. In my host family, generally people will get up for breakfast and work till about lunch time. After lunch they will take a nap and then go out to drink tea with their friends and finish up some work. Dinner is usually eaten at around 10pm at night in my host family’s home. However, my host mom will ask me if I want dinner right when I get home from class. And the food is absolutely amazing in the colorful streets of Morocco.
Meals are also very important in Morocco and meant to take time out of your day to enjoy. I haven’t seen a lot of fast food restaurants or to go options in Rabat. Instead people are meant to sit down at coffee or tea shops for hours and enjoy their time with their company. Food is no joke here in Agdal. There is a place to eat at every step in Agdal and endless options for food. At a nice restaurant the meal starts off with bread, then salad, then an appetizer and then finally your meals. Following your meal is tea and dessert. The portions are enormous as well and meant to take you a while to eat. There are a lot of food options for beef and mostly every meal is eaten with bread. I have never been used to eating so much food and never know when to stop. My host mother will joke about how I am too skinny and need to eat more and then will put more food on my plate. The culture around food and serving your guest is very different.
One of my friends brought me to his house for a few minutes to show me his home. While I was there for only a few minutes, his host grandmother insisted that I stay for lunch. Since, I only had a few minutes I kindly declined and told her I would be back another day for lunch. She still insisted that I sit down and drink some juice and eat some cookies. She had her younger son run downstairs to the local shop and buy some juice and cookies. As I was leaving, she repeatedly told me I had to come over on Friday after prayer for lunch. I told her I would try my best and if not I would be back some other time. She reminded my friend over and over again as we were out the door that he had to bring me back for lunch on Friday.