When you mention Morocco, many Malaysians would react by saying: “Oh… I just love their food and the country is so beautiful”.
When asked whether they have been to Morocco, ironically they would say it is their dream to go there one day!
People in this paets of the world know about Morocco through reading and watching documentaries on TV channels. They love Moroccan dishes such as targin, harira and couscous and other popular dishes found in Moroccan restaurants around Kuala Lumpur.
Morocco is situated in North Africa bordering North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea and is just about 14 KM from Europe.
It has a population of 33.8 million while the most spoken languages are Arabic and French. Moroccan culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African and European influences.
The saying, “seeing is to believe” is very true when I discovered some specialities that other countries do not offer but are available abundantly in Morocco. Living with a Moroccan family on my two weeks holiday recently, gave me a golden opportunity to experience the Morrocan daily routines and more importantly to taste their authentic food.
A variety of spicy and delicious mixed Mediterranean and Arabic food is of course the main attraction that makes many European tourists flock to Morocco in summer holidays apart from the beautiful beaches and friendly people.
Harira, targin, kafta are some of the favourite dishes among tourists. Almost all restaurants serve such authentic Moroccan food. Most often it goes fine with pickled olive fruits and fresh vegetable salads.
Fresh crispy french bread and Moroccan bread called khobz will go along very well with mint tea. Hot mint tea is usually served sweet and because of that one could only drink a small glass each time.
The local people do not serve coffee like the Malaysians do – with their “kopi o” or “teh tarik” but they mix fresh milk with small spoon of coffee and boil it in a silver teapot. Once it boils, it will be poured into small glasses and it really tastes wonderful. The coffee will be served during breakfast or tea time. Most of the time mint tea or coffee will be served to guests.
As Morocco is an agricultural country, you can buy lots of fruits like oranges, peaches, bananas, apples, apricots, grapes, water melons in big sizes at the market place or souk as Moroccan called it.
Fruits and fresh vegetables are abundantly found in the souks and supermarkets.
Kenitra is an old city where American armies were once based there. Nevertheless, the French colonialism in Morocco from 1912 until 1956 had left behind some French architecture.
The French houses in Morocco are normally built in two or three storeys, long and narrow with limited windows. The ground floor is normally for the guests while the second floor is where the kitchen, dining place and also a bedroom are placed and the third floor is mainly for sleeping and space to dry clothes.
Even in modern houses, the Moroccans still maintained the French architecture; houses are built in three storeys and each floor is for different purpose.
Houses in Morocco do not have spikes metal fences but only concrete walls. Houses are very enclosed and they built the garage at a level lower from the ground floor. Garage is a separate portion from the entrance or door to the house.
The other feature that I noticed in Kenitra and also in Rabat was that cafes are mushrooming everywhere, at least one in every 400 metres. The sitting placement is unique too where chairs are arranged looking outward and not toward guests.
Most popular cafes serve different kinds of coffee, from cappuccino to white coffee, besides hot tea and fresh juice. Men like to spent their time smoking and chatting with friends at cafes, especially in the evening.
I observed that Moroccan ladies were free to wear any fashion dress during summer holidays. Some wore very sexy and appealing “sun clothes” while many still maintained their traditional “jilbabs” and head dresses. However, Morocco jilaba is very fashionable and unique.
The Moroccans are generally friendly people. They discuss matters of common interest with passengers beside them on the train. Nevertheless, some passengers remain quiet throughout the journey.
On my way to Kenitra from Casablanca by train, I sat beside an old Moroccan woman and her little son. Surprisingly the old lady showed to another woman passenger who sat next to her the things she bought from a souk. She smiled at me and I said “Assalamualaikum”. When we had to transfer at another station, her son called me to sit with them in another coach. That was a very nice gesture towards a tourist like me indeed.
The Moroccans and tourists enjoy walking along beaches with their families during summer holidays. The young people do activities like surfing, water skiing and swim in the warm waters near the beaches.
From home, the city and the beaches, you see people doing different activities with their children and family members.
Meanwhile in the cool breezy evening, you see many elderly women in jilbabs with their family members sitting on the green grasses in the gardens situated in between busy roads across the streets or just relaxing to breathe in fresh air along the beaches near the city. Local and foreign tourists were seen enjoying their food in restaurants and cafes around the cities and this was the general scenarios across Morocco in summer holidays. – Malaysia World News