Day 1: The plane landed at Rabat International Airport.

We ate Harira (Lamb, Lentil, and Chickpea Soup) for supper then I went to sleep. My host family was a young Moroccan business man, and his wife. He works in Rabat the capital city. It is very hard to find work so he is lucky to have a job, his wife is completing collage. The country is very religious, Islam is their religion. The king of Morocco is also Islamic, and a spiritual leader. The government is a constitutional monarchy, which means they have a king, and a Constitution.

Day 2: I the morning we ate Mint Tea for breakfast. It was terrible, way too minty, and not very filling. In the morning I decided to go to Marrakesh.We went to a souk or market in the city, which we could have easily spent a day walking around. I went on a guided tour of Marrakesh, and saw that most of the buildings looked red. It is called the red city, because most the buildings are made from red clay. I stopped for lunch, and had some Bidaoui Couscous, which has lots of meats in it, and is much more filling than tea. Then I decided to visit the Koutoubia Mosque, because of the importance of Islam in the area. It's very tall, and it has been the inspiration of buildings around the world. I thought that it was kind of boring, however very tall. Day 3: We headed of to Casablanca by tour boat. It is the largest city, and the largest port in North Africa. In 1942 a movie was made about Casablanca. During WWII people fleeing Europe went to Morocco to go to America. The movie was about a man who owned a restaurant there. It looked like any other city, In contrast to the deserts we often think of in Africa this was a big city with skyscrapers. I checked into a very nice hotel called the Idou Anfa Hotel. There was so much to see I decided to stay there another day. Walking around on the street was very scary many people drive every where, and don't respect pedestrian crossings. I finally rented a cab, and went to see the Port of Casablanca. So many boats! Before I went back to my hotel I toured the Casablanca Twin Center, it is two identical skyscrapers. They very tall 28 stories, and occupied by businesses. Day 4: I am still in Casablanca, and I just checked out of the Idou Anfa Hotel. After I checked out of my hotel I visited the Hassan

II Masque which is on a piece of land that overlooks the Atlantic ocean. It's 689 ft. tall. It was built on the water because in Qur'an it says god's throne was built on the water. King Hassan II had it built in 1986, and was inaugurated in 1993. King Hassan died in 1999. The Mosque has glass floors, and has many mosaics, and paintings done by Moroccan artists. After visiting the King Hassan Mosque it looked like the king, and the government played a big part of Moroccan life. I interviewed a young Moroccan that just got a job at the port of Casablanca. I asked him about the government, and king. He stated that: "we don't like to talk about the government, but the king has the final say in everything." He had heard stories about King Hassan II, King Mohammed VI's father, and how people that said bad things about the king could "disappear" without an explanation. Day 5: Today I'm going to visit a tribe of Tuareg in the desert. After going in, and out of air-conditioned cars, and buildings it was very hot in the desert outside the city. I got on a Camel with a departing Tuareg tribe. we traveled for one week before we got to their land by an oasis. I have heard before that the Tuareg "wander" from place to place. However they have a very good idea of where they are going, and what land to farm on. They trek across the desert for supplies they cannot make or grow in the desert, and at their oasis. The Tuareg have adopted Islam as their primary religion. The Moroccan government doesn't like the Tuareg, and encourages them to blend in with the rest of the country.
Day 6: I am meeting my next host family today, and am leaving the desert. He is a tour guide that takes tourists through the big cities, and the desert. We were headed to Essaouira, he tells me that in Essaouira tourism is the biggest industry. There is an "old city", and "new city". The old city is an 18th century fortified town. There is also a "new city" that has hotels, and markets. A big draw for tourists are all of the small craft businesses, and shops. Essaouira has many skilled crafts people. They do a lot of wood-work like cabinet making. Day 7: We are going to the Medina Quarter of Essaouira, which is the main tourist attraction. The Medina Quarter of a city is a section, or district that is sometimes walled off. They contain many shops, selling everything. However they are much more than just a flee market. They contain historical landmarks. They also show a lot about the cultures from what they sell, to what landmarks they find important. There were many mosques, and religious landmarks, because Islam is extremely important in the Medina Quarter, and all of Morocco. Day 8: Islam is so important I though I would find out more about the history of Islam in Morocco. We were going to go on a trip around Morocco to see all of the religious sites, and learn more about the history of Islam there. Islam was brought to Morocco, and Africa from the Arabs that occupied North

Africa in the Seventh Century. Morocco is a more liberal country than other countries in the Arab world. However during Ramadan the rules of Islam are followed strictly. One of the biggest things that separates Morocco from the rest of the Arab world is the women's rights in Morocco. King Mohammed VI has enacted laws that are supposed to give them more rights. Walking down the streets you can see people wearing traditional Muslim clothes, and more Western-like clothes. Moroccans also consume, and brew alcohol which is against Islamic law. Day 9: We went back up the coast line to Casablanca. I have all ready seen the King Hassn II Mosque, which is a very big land mark. My host, a tour guide, However knows of more places to see, and some people that knows lots about Islam in Morocco. First we visited Sidi Abderrahman, a very old suburb of Casablanca. In Casablanca's suburbs most of the people are very religious, and there are some Muslim extremists there. This is definitely a part of town the government isn't proud of, It has lots of shanty-towns. We met older people that remember people that have"disappeared" for being extremists, and disagreeing with the king. Day 10: Morocco is a very diverse place. A liberal Islam State that is very modern but, still has religious extremists. We are back in Rabat, and it is my last day in Morocco. It was a very interesting trip. I had been everywhere along the coastline, and even learned about the Tuareg in the desert. Morocco has a culture of it's own. It's economy is not just based on tourists, but also on shipping, and natural resources. Their government has a King, but tries to keep to a Constitution. Morocco would be a fun place to go back to, and it was a great trip.

Sam_Wanous 5

Hour: 4February 11, 2008