I’ll sum up my orientation to Morocco in lists. You can await a breathless oh-my-god-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into-what-is-that-and-how-many-ways-can-you-make-a-guttural-noise at a later juncture.
My scheduled seminars for first day of orientation, in order:
1. Health Issues
2. Safety and Security Guidelines
3. Fears and Expectations
5. Introducing Bargaining
Badrdine’s tips for bargaining in Morocco:
1. Show indifference
2. Shop around. Every store is the same.
3. Use Arabic. “ssalamu ‘lekum”, peace be upon you, is the way to any Morccan’s heart.
4. Bring a companion.
5. Have change in your pockets.
6. Always ask ¼ of the price.
7. If all else fails, just walk away. They’ll call you back if they can make profit.
Words taught to survive the first night at the homestay:
Shukran: Thank you
Safi: Enough, I’m full.
Shabaat: I swear, I’m fine.
Kuhli: Eat. (usually repeated by host mom)
Thursday, Febuary 3rd
Friday, Febuary 4th
Begin Survival Arabic
Lunch with your families
Enjoy your Week end (:
My only description of my host family before meeting them:
Daughters: Iman and Hamid
Languages Spoken: Moroccan Arabic, English (few), French
Harper’s index, SIT Multiculturalism and Human Rights in Morocco version.
Number of monarchies in the world: 27
Number of Arabic countries in the world: 22
Number of Islamic countries: 57
Number of countries in the world: 193
Total world Arabic population: 350 million
Total world Muslim population: 1.7 billion
Total Moroccan population: 33 million
Percentage of Moroccans that identify as Muslim: 99%
Number of newly appointed judges in Morocco that are women: 25%
Percentage of Moroccans whose mother language is Berber: at least 50%
Percentage or Moroccan’s who are Berber: unknown.
Total number of people in my program: 37
Number of men in my program: 7
Number of people in the other SIT Morocco program: 12
Number of men in that program: 0
Percentage of participants majoring in International SomethingorOther: 78%
Percentage of people with a major name that is too long: 89%
-i.e. Politics with a Minor in Peace, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. Major in Humanities, Media and Cultural Studies. Double Major in Anthropology and International Studies with a Minor in English Literature.
Number of women with a major and/or minor with “Gender” or “Women’s” in the title: 7
Middle Eastern Studies majors: 6
Jewish Studies majors: 2
(the last five stats are educated guesses).