The question, “is it safe to visit Morocco?”, is becoming timeworn and has already been debated.
You would be better-served to ask, “what can I expect in Morocco?”, if you’ve already concluded that you’re visiting.
If you are still having doubts (it is North Africa after all!) I would urge you to read something of my insight into Morocco culture before passing judgement.
We’ve previously touched on some of the cultural aspects in other blogs, such as the tea ceremony, social etiquette with greetings, or dining the Moroccan way.
The guide-books will also help you steer clear of any basic faux-pas.
What follows is what you glean when living in a small community in Morocco, not from the books or the media.
Use this as a benchmark to guide your expectations of the country (and, perhaps, of its safety!).
Morocco culture and its community spirit
1. Gratitude and happiness are derived and enjoyed from what you have in life, not from that for which you yearn. In other words, you are content with your lot in life.
Take pleasure from the simple things (such as the beauty of nature) and be thankful to God at all times.
2. Treating a guest generously and selflessly. A proverb says ‘The guest is always a guest, even if he stays for winter and summer’.
Moroccans regard travellers and foreign residents as guests in their country and Moroccans take the safety of visitors as a point of honour.
3. Charity begins at home and is then very much continued outside of the home. One of the pillars of Islam.
4. The ability to share freely, e.g. a small meal will always go a long way and a stranger is never allowed to go hungry. Often those who have the least to share, are the most giving.
5. An open-door policy and acceptance, the knowledge that you are welcome in a stranger’s home, at face value.
6. The family unit is key and many generations still share the same home; this promotes selflessness. There may only be one bread-winner supporting a large family. Respect for elders, especially your parents.
7. Knowing your neighbours and treating them as an extension of the family. You may have to call upon them in times of need.
This also leads on to the fact that everyone knows each other’s business (good or bad!).
8. Above all, bear in mind that underpinning all of this is the Muslim faith and the piety of Moroccans.
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