After a few weeks in Morocco, I have come to a decision: I want to share my adventures through this blog in the hope that I will inspire others to push their boundaries and get out of their comfort zones, whether that be geographically or simply culturally. While the thought of leaving one’s home may seem daunting, making the effort to live in someone else’s homeland will give you a brand new perspective. More importantly, you will come to realize that home is not necessarily a physical place or a set location, but any place where you have good friends and good food!
Without further ado…here is a little background on Meknes (the town where I live):
While not a top tourist destination, the city of Meknes offers the best of both the old and new Morocco. It is one of four imperial cities in Morocco, meaning it was once the country’s capital. Moulay Ismail, the second ruler in the Alawite dynasty, chose Meknes as Morocco’s capital in 1672. After Moulay Ismail died, the capital moved again; however, during the French protectorate in 1912, Meknes again gained notoriety by becoming the headquarters of the French military. Consequently, the architecture of Meknes combines French and Moroccan designs.
One very visible French contribution is the concept of a ville nouvelle or a “new town.” Such towns throughout Morocco boast orderly, more grid-like streets. In contrast, the medinas or “old cities” have winding alleys with no set pattern. My apartment is situated in the ville nouvelle, which provides a taste of modern, Moroccan culture. The whizzing cars, quaint cafes, and more modern offices show just how far Morocco has developed since gaining independence in 1956. Yet, the medina, about a mile away, provides a glimpse into Morocco’s rich past, a past which revolved around small artisan shops and food stalls.
In my following posts, I will try to give you a well-rounded picture of life in Morocco, including food, people, and beautiful landscapes.
Bye for now,