Welcome to morocco
Moroccan Landscape Like a Berber carpet, the varied countryside enjoys stark contrast from deep, lush, valleys to crashing oceans. From the Gorges to Sahara desert all the way to the magical peaks of the High Atlas and Riff Mountains.
Morocco is a breathtaking oasis and a dream destination for many travelers.
Morocco is a tree with roots in Africa and branches in Europe, which is to say, there is a large variety in the Moroccan way of life.
In many places there is the hustle and bustle of modern life but in the rural areas it grinds to a halt and we find people working in the fields and doing the same work that’s been done for decades.
No matter the place, Moroccans remain closely connected to the environment, and with each other.
Cafes are a meeting point for Moroccans where they take time to discuss their daily life. You can find most of the cafes full of men waiting for their mint tea, the trick is to leave enough time to watch the world go by with the locals.
Of course, that can be tricky since there are so many activities to do starting with the cuisine: learning how to make a tagine, rolling, swelling, and steaming the couscous to camel trekking, shopping in the souks, and let’s not forget getting lost in the medina which can be one of the best experiences you might have. One unforgettable experience you must enjoy in Morocco is sleeping in a traditional riad.
Moroccan families values are given a lot of importance in Morocco, The elders in each Moroccan family are respected and strongly influence the rest of the members of the family.
When greeting in Morocco it is very common traditionally to kiss each other on the cheeks for the same gender.
Also, should you have the chance to visit someone’s home, it is customary to take dates, flowers, or some fruit when someone opens their doors to you, Moroccan families love to share with their guests and this small gesture goes a long way!
Most women in Moroccan society are housewives, so you’ll rarely find a woman working in the factories, companies or any industrial, business buildings, however; nowadays women play a big role supporting men side by side and making the Moroccan community a strong and unique differ from any society and that happens in the modern big cities, in the rural areas women are still working at home and in the fields.
Principles of sound democracy are heralded in Morocco and are already on their way to modernize the country. The new family code adopted by the parliament in 2003 has granted equal status to women in marriage, children and property.
Fighting against religious fanaticism and striving to modernize Islam, Morocco is emerging as a model for democratic Islam. Ethnically and culturally, one can say that today’s Morocco is the least Arabic among Arab countries.
Ancient fortified cities are often exotic and found in most of the imperial cities, the Medina is an outstanding and well preserved ancient capital of Morocco.
Unesco has bestowed world heritage status on several medinas including Fes –the Wolrd’s largest Medieval Islamic city.
We can’t forget about and the carnivalesque Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech, or the world’s Largest Kasbah found right here in Morocco: Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, the home of Berber traders.
The Ksar; a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-saharan habitat. The Houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers and promise to hold steady under attack.
Ksar of Ait Ben-haddou is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco.
If you’re wondering the difference between a Ksar and a Kasbah, here it is a Kasbah Means a fortified Town that is pierced by the towers in the corners for protection and it’s under control of only one family.
Morocco also considered by some a berber-arab country, while others back the african-berber identity, as the majority of people practice Islam. Morocco is an open-minded and modern yet traditional country and enjoys religious diversity as Christianity and Judaism are also practiced within the country, though mainly in Casablanca.
Morocco has been greatly influenced by the traditions and passage of time, that’s reflected in their traditional dress and way of living. Even though modern life is making it’s way into Morocco there are still parts of tradition deeply woven into the fabric of the country, and arranged marriages even exist in many parts of the kingdom.
Berber Art and Culture
Culture and traditions within each Berber community is very tribal and will differ from region to region. Day to day life is nomadic with men taking care of the livestock and women taking care of the family and handicrafts. The community will move to ensure that the livestock has ample grazing, water and shelter.
This allows the women to continually collect different plants that they will use to dye wool and cotton. Their livestock provide them with wool which they use to weave kilims, a tapestry like woven carpet. These are sometimes made for personal use but are also often sold at local souks (markets). The patterns woven into the kilims are distinctive and characteristic of the tribe and region. The Moroccan Berber women like to embellish their kilims with fringes and sequins whereas other Berber weavers from different regions will simply use geometric designs such as diamonds and triangles.
Berber art is predominantly crafted and expressed as wearable or useable pieces such as in pottery, furniture, fabrics, jewelry or carpets. Artistic design is also represented in their architecture.
Berber Social Structure
There is a very definite hierarchy within each tribe but how the chain of command is regulated depends on the region. Each tribe will have a leader and in the Middle Ages some leaders were women. The most famous is probably Kabylia who fought for her people against the French.
It is typically the men who choose a wife for themselves within their tribe, but in some tribes the decision is taken from him and is made by the families. Although in the Tuareg tribe it is the woman who chooses the man she would like to marry. It will depend on the tribe whether the family structure is patriarchal or matriarchal. The strict adherence to custom has given the Berber people a strong sense of unity and has protected their culture.
As with everything Berber, the style of cooking and range of food differs from tribe to tribe. Inevitably the various cultural invasions throughout the generations have influenced and evolved the Berber cuisine. Some of the staple ingredients such as couscous still remain though.