MENA Seminar in Morocco

Photo%3A+Emma+Roby+via+Hui+Lian
Photo: Emma Roby via Hui Lian

Photo: Emma Roby via Hui Lian

Photo: Emma Roby via Hui Lian

Kate Farmer, News Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






During the week of April 1, 2018, Maggie Walker seniors in the Gender and Culture in MENA Senior Seminar culminated their year-long study with a trip to Morocco. Visiting hubs of Moroccan culture as Rabat and Fez, the students were launched into an adventure of learning, exploration, and cultural immersion. Taught by Mrs. Cross, the seminar’s study examined patterns and practices relating to gender and culture in the MENA region.

The students travelled first to Rabat, Morocco’s capital, and visited famous sights as the spectacular Medina. “It is the focal point of the whole community,” described Mrs. Williams, who accompanied Mrs. Cross and the seminar students on the trip. “Mrs. Cross shared with us all about how, that when this place was colonized by the French, these doors were once locked. Today you can see with your own eyes the locks on the doors, and even come and go freely in them.” She reflected, “For me, the Medina’s doors are like a symbol for us; the doorway to new experiences and new culture.”

Medina and Rabat only began the students’ experience. In Rabat, after group tours and events, the seminar students met up with their designated Moroccan host families. Although none of the seniors possessed fluency in Arabic, they were still well prepared to venture out into the city to explore on their own. “We learned enough Arabic that we could go to the market, eat at a restaurant, walk by the beach, or enjoy time with our homestay families without needing a guide at all times,” commented Antara Garg (‘18). Following Rabat, the group visited other cities including Fez, a city deemed by the group to be “the heartbeat of Morocco” because of its beautiful architecture and vibrant scenery.

For all participants in the group, the seminar meant far more than just a fun trip to North Africa. Visiting Morocco in an immersive environment, the trip served as an opportunity for the students to be surrounded by MENA culture. They were given the unique ability to experience what they had learned firsthand, instead of through the lens of a camera or writings of a textbook. “I loved that we got the opportunity for full cultural immersion,” stated Garg. “We attended lectures and went sightseeing, but at the end of the day, we were with a teacher who’s an expert on Morocco. She [Mrs. Cross] wanted us to have an experience, not just a class trip.”

For students interested in taking the MENA seminar during their senior year, exciting new developments are on the horizon. According to Mrs. Cross and Mrs. Williams, the areas of Morocco visited in previous years will be modified. Students taking the seminar next year can expect new destinations such as Marrakech. However, certain key parts of Morocco like Fez will remain on the itinerary.

One might wonder if instructors Mrs. Cross and Mrs. Williams ever tire of seeing the same destinations every year of the seminar. According to Mrs. Williams, this is an impossible task.

“You never cease to be amazed when you see a truly beautiful place,” she answered. “It’s like going to the mountains; you always appreciate the view.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    National

    Facebook and Data Privacy

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    National

    Henrico’s New GRTC Plan is a Win-Win

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    News

    Future Dragons Find Fantastic Opportunities

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    News

    GSMUN 2018: A Resounding Success

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    News

    #NeverAgain: Walker Walks Out for Change

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    News

    Inside VORPAL’s Feud With Admin

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    National

    Recent Developments in the General Assembly Session 2018

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    News

    The Bazaar Bash

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    National

    Persisting for Puerto Rico

  • MENA Seminar in Morocco

    News

    AP Econ Hits the Fed

MENA Seminar in Morocco