I love hearing other people’s opinions about Morocco and generally about their experiences in different countries. It always makes me look at things from a new perspective, see the life from a different angle. I asked some of my friends and acquintances to express their mind about living in Morocco. Some answers were surprising… Basically, I asked them two apparently easy questions:
What frustrates you about Morocco, what would you change about it? What do you absolutely love about this country and (if you’re not Moroccan) what would you like to “export” to your country from Morocco?
First up is a drunk guy, he doesn’t wanna reveal his name… Or is he too intoxicated to remember? His answers seem to come from the
bottom of his heart tough.
A: Listening to the latest Saad Lmjarrad, hating that this is what Morocco produces now, and about at the half of my bottle
of wine. This is not gonna stop if I start.
me: Can I use that in my article? My common sense tells me that your paragraph is gonna be a good one.
A: Paragraph? Get ready to write a book.
me: Go ahead please. What would you change about Morocco, what you dislike about this country?
A: This is too broad… I’d like some ethnic cleansing and an empty country where I can control who are the
citizens and who comes into the country and who doesn’t.
me: And what do you love about Morocco?
A: haha you’re actually taking my answers into consideration? Two things I love about Morocco: its history
(…). And how surprisingly beautiful this country is…
E. is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. He’s from Canada – a totally different world than the one we’re living in Morocco.
>>I’d have to say that honestly not much here really pisses me off so much as discourages me. The thing topping the list I would have to say is the lack of regard for garbage and keeping the environment clean. A close second would be the lack of organization and communication in any branch of public service here in Morocco. I think one of the things I absolutely adore about this country is the simplified way of life and easygoing nature that most Moroccans carry with them. It produces a very magic ambience and atmosphere to the country that is very difficult to find elsewhere, another aspect that also follows with the first point would have
to be how highly preserved and guarded the heritage of this great country is. I find it magical to see normal everyday process’s still carried out here in exactly the way they were hundreds of years ago, as well as buildings and structures still standing from many hundreds of years ago. For me this is something that my own personal country greatly lacks in as a great part of our heritage and roots were long buried with the advent of technology and efficiency I feel my own culture has lost much of what its roots
are based on.<<
My next victim is C., this American lady that has been living in Morocco for over one thousand five hundred days now…
>>I can’t handle the trash everywhere. Every time I see someone throwing their trash on the street it
makes my blood boil. I’m and English teacher and try to hammer home to all the kids and teens I come into contact with how that behavior is so far from being OK. I know it’ll take a generation to begin to reverse this habit, so I’m trying to do my part.
I’m not sure what I absolutely love. Unlike most expats living here I don’t have many strong feelings about the country
one way or another. But I guess I love how the landscape changes so quickly and how travelling is so rewarding here!<<
Then I asked an Italian girl, G. how she feels about Morocco… What she should like to find here, what she would like to see in her country…
>>What I miss the most is freedom! Dress as I would like and walk with no one staring at me. In Italy I
would like to insert the “keep calm and inchaAllah” culture. I mean… no more stress, inchaAllah everything is going to be all right<<
>>A thing that drives me mad in Morocco is driving
. How they can’t seem to see the white lines that show how many alleys are on the road. And that they always make more lines than there are. Another thing is how you’re never sure if they’ll stop at the stop sign or will keep driving. What I absolutely love in this country, is the sun. And some foods are very good.<<
-tells me H., a Polish woman who’s been living here for quite a while.
Then I turn to a Moroccan girl, R. a born traveller:
>>Some people’s mind: conservative, lack of politeness and respect (the way they drive, throw trash…). I would change education: more respect, more sense of community and common interest… I love the nature in Morocco; beach, desert, mountains, the weather; sunshine, the food, some cultural values; family, solidarity<<
I asked also an aspiring doctor, T. what he would change in his country of origin? I know that he loves it, I can
feel it each time I talk to him but still, I wanted to have his personal answer. So T. what would you change in Morocco?
>>Illiteracy. Instead of building one expansive mall I would spend the same amount of money to build a normal mall and ten schools<<
and I continue – what do you love about your country? He answers firmly:
his brother, M., a doctor-to-be adds:
>>I like easy contact between people which is rare nowadays in the rest of the world. I hate when I am a pedestrian and want to cross the street but no one lets me go. Also I hate when people are driving 1km/h on the left side like there is no one behind (…)<<
S. – a young Moroccan entrepreneur gave me a deep, exhausting answer to my questions… I sent him to questions via Facebook, in exchange I received an over seven hundred word file with his thoughts:
>>I just love Morocco, if you’re asking why? Simply because of Moroccans, the music, the sights and sounds, the food
, architecture, the landscapes. I travel a bit in different places from south to north and I just love the diversity that my country has. I always took the time to meditate of the extraordinary biodiversity landscapes, the patrimony and history – the natural wonders of Morocco. Cities and places like no other, with a glorious and radiant past, a prestig
ious historical heritage. Being a student in toursim made me very conscious of cultural potential, historical, traditional Morocco has. But I’m sad that most of the sites I visited are quite polluted. That’s why we need to learn how to respect, preserve them. And I would like to recommend to Moroccans to travel and visit their country! Nothing pisses me off like doing paper work in Morocco. I’m sorry, but any official or functionary in whatever public administration is supposed to serve the citizens according to the regulatory laws. Many people, like me, complain about Moroccan administration for its sophisticated French legal procedures that sometimes keep you turning in a vicious circle and finally crash your interests. (…)
The notion of time: Morocco is one of the places in the world where the notion of time is more fluid than rigid; Pass time, Waste time, Kill time, Food time, smoke time, Find time, Tea time, Summer time, Ramadan
time, My time, Your time, Old time, New time…The term “Inshallah,” which means God willing, is not just religious, it is also a deeply engrained concept of cultural time. Sometimes it mean maybe yes, maybe not or guess when?! Be on time is 30 minute delayed or it takes even more. Morocco is a developing country that is delayed by more than 200 years, simply because “Inshallah we will do it!” (…) <<
K. a Moroccan lady currently working as a teacher in Poland told me:
>>What I really like and miss is the family time, having all the meals together at the table, mom asking me what I wanna have for lunch tomorrow and makes it… What I hate is how men feel that they’re better than women, call them “half-minded” feeling that they can do anything just because they are men!<<
Another Moroccan lady A. tells me:
>>I can state that the key issue that irritates me is the lack of awarness. I feel so sorry when I encounter many gifted Moroccans but they are hidden in the great ignorance surrounded by them. What’s more, Moroccans are known by intelligence but this intelligence
is used in a negative way. Each one strives to show that he is the most clever one, yet we fail to use this intelligence in its right path. If one day I can change something about Morocco I Will try to raise public awarness and erase the 47% rate of illiteracy.<<
>>What I love about Morocco Morocco is the emblem of diversity
. You can feel overwhelmed when you are digging in the Moroccan history that it is so full of a perfect cultural heritage, however Moroccan popular culture is so rich too. The numerous kinds of dialects, traditions, customs and music from the north to the south makes Morocco very unique. No one also can deny the greatness of the Moroccan cuisine and the delicious dishes that cover many flavours. Last but not least I’m in love with hammam-the most relaxing place that all neigberhoods are not deprived from one. Regardless the flaws that can spoil your daily life in Morocco. You can overcome all kind of bitterness by tasting a sweet Moroccan meal while surrounded by the warmth of your family or relaxing in a hot corner of a hammam
The next person, a Scottish lady, D., married to a Moroccan, was spotted by me on Facebook. I really liked her comment and asked her to develop her idea. That’s the outcome:
>> I have to say that one of the reasons I love Morocco so much is the sense of community spirit that people have. It’s amazing to see the people who live around you chipping in and helping out without expectation of receiving something in return. It’s connected to the Moroccan hospitality thing, but so much more than that. I feel that (most) people here genuinely like to help each other out. The amount of impromptu feasts I’ve had with strangers on trains in Morocco is exactly what I mean. People share
. People help one another out. And it’s something that people in the UK lack these days. I’ve seen people back home respond to kindness with
suspicion. It just doesn’t happen that way in Morocco.
What I don’t like so much is the bribery. I’ve seen the tourist police in Fes do despicable things, like approach a Moroccan guy who is just standing in Bab Boujeloud in Fes, not talking to tourists or anything and threaten to take him away to spend a night or two in
the cells unless he pays them off. Just one example of many. <<
The last person is a Moroccan guy, A.
>>I love Morocco’s geography, the fact that it’s in North Africa and close to Europe makes it easy for Morocco to be an intermediate. But anyway, it’s not what I love the most. What I really love is the diversified cultures you may encounter in one place from south to north.
The thing I hate about Morocco? Well, people! Why? Because most people wait for the government to do some change forgetting that they must take part in it. Another thing I hate about Morocco is that getting a few papers
done may take much longer than necessary.<<
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