Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country and is slightly larger than the size of California. It is located in North Africa next to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a parliamentary monarchy. Though the common language of the country is Arabic, the language of commerce and education is French since Morocco was a French colony. The largest ethnic group is the Berbers.
The Morocco SST program, which began in 2012, was based in Meknes, a city in north central Morocco which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Center. Students lived near the medina, or the oldest part of the city. They traveled to the new area of the city for classes. Meknes is easily accessible by the modern train system from Rabat, the capital, and is only a half hour from the ancient city of Fes.
The first six weeks of the term were spent studying Arabic at the Moroccan American Association for Communication. Students practiced language and culture, and learned about the history, politics and religion of Morocco. There were also field trips, including a day in Rabat, a weekend in a Berber village and a trip into the Sahara.
For the service portion most of the students moved to the countryside. There were a variety of service opportunities with non-governmental organizations spread throughout the country.
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Goshen’s first Morocco SST is now complete. Only the final grades remain to be tallied, and the final reports filed. The 14 weeks have passed by as in a dream. We have experienced so much, yet remain novices; seen so much, yet overlook the obvious; learned so much, yet struggle…
Eid and Service (with cookie interlude)
As the time of formal language and culture study in Meknes came to an end, students prepared to celebrate the Eid – the Festival of Sacrifice (or, the Great Festival) with their host families. Many travelled to be with relatives. Others stayed home and received many guests. All participated in…
Chefchaouen and the Rif
Taking advantage of a free weekend in the schedule, Morocco SSTers arranged to travel north to the “blue” city of Chefchaouen in the Rif mountains. The students traveled in several groups, some exploring the city itself and the surrounding hills, while others did some serious mountain hiking. These pictures were…