Living abroad - Androcentrism in Morocco

Androcentrism in Morocco

Androcentrism (Ancient Greek, ἀνήρ, “man, male”) is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing male human beings or a masculine point of view at the centre of one’s world view, culture, and history.

Agourai, the place where I live, is a beautiful, charming town on the outskirts of Meknes. It’s a place where one can find donkeys, and cats, and tractors, oh my. However, living here isn’t always easy. Morocco is ultimately a man’s country; they dominate the home and the streets. Women avoid going out at night due to an innate fear of harassment, and parents often forbid their daughters from attending local youth centers for this very reason. Women rarely walk alone because they might be perceived as prostitutes, and when they do, they tend to look down. Read More

Teaching - First Practicum Activity: Simu Gal (Simon Says)

First Practicum Activity: Simu Gal (Simon Says)

Note: “9” denotes a throaty “K” sound in Darija, or Moroccan Arabic.

“Simu gal, 9is nose dyalk,” I shouted at the roomful of eager-looking teenage girls.

Glancing at one another through bashful giggles, they shot their hands to their noses.

Immediately noticing how quickly they learned the words I taught them, I attempted to trick them:

“9is head dyalk,” I exclaimed.

A few girls touched their heads, then immediately realized I didn’t say, “Simu gal.”

Through hysterical laughter, the girls who didn’t touch their heads immediately pointed at the girls who did, and shouted, “Gilsi,” or “Sit down!” Read More

Moroccan Mondays: 10 Unique Observations

The Peace Corps has three main goals, with the Third Goal focusing on bringing our host countries to our readership. With that being said, understanding my host country is exceedingly important to me, and one of my own goals is to bring a deeper understanding of everything Morocco to all of my readers. “Moroccan Mondays” are blog posts specifically catered to educating all of you about my host country, not necessarily the Peace Corps.

Morocco is a captivating country, and in some ways, it reminds me of the United States. Yet, it’s still pretty foreign to me. I’ve noticed a number of things in this country that are strikingly different than anything I’ve experienced in the US, so I thought I’d share them with you: Read More

First few weeks in Morocco

Shwiya b-Shwiya

“Shwiya b-Shwiya,” the airport worker said to me as I pathetically tried to make conversation with him on my first day in-country. “Little by little” is the direct translation, and numerous Moroccans have used this phrase with me since I arrived here. In Moroccan Arabic, or Darija, this phrase represents more than just its literal translation: it ultimately represents the humble pace of Moroccan life. For me, “Shwiya b-Shwiya” is more than just a popular phrase in Darija; it’s an all-encompassing philosophy for Peace Corps life. Read More