Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights
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Gain new perspectives and insights into Moroccan culture and society through program excursions, field trips, and village stays.
The program typically visits the imperial cities of Meknès, Volubilis, and Fès; the Middle Atlas, the Southern Palm Tree Valleys, the Erg and Hmada Deserts, the High Atlas, Marrakech, and Essaouira; Casablanca; and universities and NGOs throughout Morocco.
Topics of inquiry on excursions include Morocco’s history, indigenous industries, impact of tourism, development issues, environmental problems, civil society questions, cultural diversity, and interactions between Berbers, Jews, and Arabs.
Students also learn to relate Morocco's geography and ecology to its diverse cultures and the historical roles played by different regions, cities, and towns.
During excursions, students make observations and rapid appraisals, complete photographic essays and mapping exercises, and learn from lectures and presentations by experts and specialists.
- Southern excursion - The southern excursion covers a wide geographic area; students experience the Middle Atlas and its cedar forest, the High Atlas Mountains and their breathtaking gorges, as well as the desert. The excursion is punctuated by lectures and field study exercises. Topics of study include sustainability challenges in the Middle Atlas region, nomadic history and culture, and multiculturalism. Students will have numerous opportunities to engage with the culture; the excursion includes a camel ride on the sand dunes in Merzouga and a performance by a Gnawa music band in the heart of the desert.
- Northern excursion and village stay - The village stay takes place in the village of Taouniya located in the Western Rif area of Morocco in the province of Ouezzane. Taouniya is known for farming, in particular olive planting and animal breeding. As part of the excursion, students meet with a local NGO working to end illiteracy and to promote human development, including women’s empowerment. Students learn about the region’s history, development, and environmental challenges.
Taouniya is eight kilometers away from the famous pilgrimage center of Ouezzane, known for its maraboutic shrines. Ouezzane is well known throughout the Islamic world as a spiritual site and for its pillars of Sufism. Many Moroccan Jews consider Ouezzane a holy city and make pilgrimages there to venerate the tombs of several marabouts (Moroccan saints).
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Morocco, Rabat
Language Study: Arabic
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