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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Chasya Cohen


Ruminations from Rabat: On ‘Morocco time’

When first I arrived in Rabat I was warned about “Morocco time,” which is used to describe the common Moroccan habit of always being late or doing things last minute. Many cultures have similar reputations of tardiness as a result of their collective easygoing attitude. Morocco, however, is different; behind “Morocco time” is a very specific culture of care and intentionality.  


Ruminations from Rabat: The month of caring and sharing

Last Monday night Moroccan officials caught the first glimpse of the crescent moon, marking the beginning of Ramadan: the holy month of Islam in which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking until sunset. The beginning of Ramadan coincided with my spring break, meaning I was not able to experience the first few days of Ramadan in Morocco. But between watching the city frantically prepare for the holiday and returning to a new environment, completely immersed in the Ramadan spirit, I can now say that I’ve experienced the unique ethos of Ramadan in Morocco.


Ruminations from Rabat: The women of the hammam

Last weekend was the second weekend I spent in Rabat since the beginning of the semester. My host mom decided to commemorate the special occasion by having a quintessential Moroccan Saturday: We went first to the Souk Sebt, a massive flea market about an hour away from Rabat; then we went to a traditional Moroccan hammam, a communal bathhouse prominent in the Muslim world; then, of course, we had an enormous Moroccan dinner.


Ruminations from Rabat: Urban or rural?

As evidenced in my last installment of Ruminations from Rabat, traveling has been a main priority of mine this semester. I have been particularly committed to traveling within Morocco and to experiencing all the rich cultural diversity the country has to offer. I spent the first three weekends traveling to Tangier — a colorful Andalusian wonderland — Essouira — an artsy beach town on the Atlantic coast — and lastly Casablanca, the buzzing heart of Morocco.


Ruminations from Rabat: First impressions

I arrived in Rabat, Morocco just over a week ago. I was, of course, immediately struck by cultural differences: everyone eating out of the same dish at dinner, an immunity to Western cultural influence that I’ve seldom experienced and the sheer amount of time many people spend sitting at cafés, drinking tea. Yet the first thing I want to write about in this column is not my cultural observations but what my host mother told my roommate and I over dinner the other night. A conversation which I ruminated over and concluded must be the mindset with which I approach my semester abroad in Rabat.

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