Last week in class, a major theme was "Orientalism". I think it is important to say that Morocco is not some exotic and faraway place, full of veiled woman and controlling men. "Exotic" is just a mindset; it is vital to realize that aside from some cultural differences, people everywhere are not that different from yourself. Though I have been traveling with other exchange students, the people we have met in each city have been overwhelmingly nice and welcoming. Families here are usually close, and both the mothers and fathers are active participants in the child's upbringing. Women here have rights and freedom, and most men here are respectful. Being here is opening my eyes to the destructive stereotypes towards the Middle East stemming from colonialism from the West. If I strip off my "tourist goggles" and see Morocco for what it truly is, I am able to connect with the people and adapt to the lifestyle here. Judging other cultures by your own perpetuates stereotypes and if I did that, I would never be able to feel comfortable anywhere but in the house I grew up in.
|This is the view from the street near our apartment! It was gorgeous to see every morning.|
|Jumping off the cliff!|
|The beach was crowded, but so much fun.|
|Exploring the rocks on the beach!|