Moroccan Women: Myths and Reality

Moroccan Women: Myths and Reality

Myths and Reality

Moroccan women are all homemakers

This may be the case in remote villages, where the occupation of women is only to run the household. But in the big cities, like Casablanca, Fez and Marrakesh, there are many ladies who work in official offices, mainly in services and trade. Quite a few women work in police stations as well.

Moroccan women are all plump.

This is not true, the women of Morocco have absolutely different sizes and complexities. On the street you can meet skinny as well as pudgy women. And in the neighboring country, the girls are purposely fattened up to get married, because it is believed that precisely the plump forms are in demand.

Pants and open clothes are not for the women of Morocco.

It should be noted that, in fact, local girls dress much more modestly than Westerners. But, for example, a covered head is not at all an obligatory element, although many prefer to cover their heads.

Many women wear jeans or leggings with short tops. Nikabs are very rare, especially in big cities.

Interesting! The Wolof are the most majestic people of Africa

Oriental women are very beautiful by nature

There really are a lot of contradictions. Everyone has his own taste, some like the ladies from the posters, and some prefer a more natural beauty. But almost all women from Morocco have thick eyelashes, swarthy skin and big eyes.

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Camels are the most popular mode of transport in Morocco

For the local population camels are exotic. They can be found on the beaches and tourist areas, with the offer to take pictures or ride. People move around mainly by car or train. There are streetcars in major cities, and cabs are painted the same color, each city chooses its own.

Moroccan men are polygamists

The harem past has long since left the country. Even the king has only one wife and two children.

If statistics are to be believed, there are two children per Moroccan woman. By the way, men are often engaged in purely feminine activities: weaving carpets, sewing clothes, also among them there are many teachers, sellers of cosmetics, clothes and even underwear.

Interesting! A woman has seven husbands – polygamy in Tibet

A lot of illiterate or illiterate people.

Of course, if you take the general knowledge threshold for the country, it’s low. But Morocco has its own approach to education. In addition to Arabic, French and English are studied here, although in everyday life residents communicate in Tamazight or a local dialect of Arabic.

Therefore, it can be said that most people speak if not four languages, then certainly two. After finishing school, graduates take state exams. Usually more than 50 % of people pass, the rest are given a second chance, that is retake.

It is dangerous for tourists to be in Morocco

If you pay attention to international maps, Morocco is in 10th place in terms of tourist security. Moroccans joke that the authorities treat tourists better than locals

Moroccan families are closely linked to many countries, and it is very hard to find a family that does not have relatives in Europe or America.

Tips for tourists on a Morocco Tours

As the locals say in the popular resort: Agadir is a completely European city that does not respect Moroccan traditions and there is no morality. Some residents of Agadir are used to short skirts and naked bodies on the beaches, and religious families left the city after the invasion of European tourists. So no one demands compliance with the local rules of conduct, but in the older and more Moroccan cities, morality is above all.  By the way, the French are quite loyal to the views of the Moroccans and try not to go out in the street looking attractive and rent hotels only with private beach, so as not to embarrass a huge number of Arabs in veils on the public beach.

Say “hello” back if someone says it to you.. Use words of courtesy in your speech, show your gratitude. Many do not know English, so thank them in French or Arabic (shoukran).

If you are offered Berber tea, do not refuse the invitation. Moroccans are friendly and it usually means that the person is bored, wants to chat and learn Russian.

Try not to openly take pictures of the locals. Some, especially the smart ones, may start to aggressively demand money for a photo (usually it’s young people). An adult may also come up and express his indignation, but only without the demand to pay, but just ask to delete the picture. Do not point the camera at women in veils, especially if they are with men. It could end badly.

The rule of thumb for girls is not to wear short shorts, dresses.

No one asks you to cover your shoulders and head, but naked legs in any case will attract the attention of men, not everyone is adequate. There was a case where one young lady in an ultra-short mini was photographed in front of a mosque

Of course, no one said anything to her, but they drew conclusions about the morality of Europeans.

It is forbidden to enter mosques. But you can admire the architectural beauties outside.

Do not talk to the veiled women. It usually ends very badly, even if the woman is unaccompanied by a man.

By the way, when you go through passport control on arrival, do not indicate in the migration card that you work in the media, blogger, photographer, etc. You could be mistaken for a foreign agent who is a danger to the Moroccan kingdom. You are likely to be asked a lot of questions in French, and without knowledge of the language you will need to find an interpreter. Morocco likes to deport journalists from the country. And don’t bring professional photography and video equipment. Or learn a few phrases in French that you want to take a photo for the family album.

Discussing the king, politics and religion is taboo, haram. Even if your Moroccan interlocutor began to express his opinion about a situation, it is better to keep silent, or agree to not cause conflict, which may result in the involvement of the police to the conversation.

Do not abuse the national currency (for example, tear it up). Funny or not, it leads to imprisonment for five years. The fact is that each bill depicts a king, who is equated here with a prophet.

Vietnam is a dirty country with straw shacks and poor peasants.

Fifteen or twenty years ago it was like that. But in the 21st century, all of Southeast Asia began to develop rapidly, and now Vietnam is full of skyscrapers and Vietnamese increasingly tend to work in offices rather than farms.

This is what the Vietnamese city of Saigon looks like

Poor regions remain, but they are mostly concentrated in the north of the country, where tourists don’t look. In the south, civilization reigns with restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls.

But with the dirt in Vietnam is difficult. The locals throw trash right on the streets, it’s true. But the streets are regularly cleaned, so you can’t say that Vietnam is drowning in mud. It feels dirtier there than in Europe, but cleaner than in many other Asian or Caribbean countries.

Interesting facts about Morocco. 13 unknown facts about Morocco

Although it is located on the African continent, but very close to Europe. This is the reason that the territory of Morocco was one of the first to which the Europeans turned their eyes in ancient times.

The centuries-old culture and traditions of different civilizations, which have mixed in this multinational cauldron, make Morocco a special place. The fabulous palaces and resorts attract many tourists.

But that’s not what we’re talking about now. We’re going to tell you a few fun facts about Morocco that you probably didn’t know.

1. Solar energy instead of oil and gas

There is no oil and gas deposits in Morocco, so it is actively developing alternative sources of energy. The Sahara is home to the largest solar power plant in the world.

2. Snow in Morocco

Morocco even has a ski resort, where you can go skiing, sledding and snowboarding. Snow lies here from December to April.

3: Don’t admire the host’s belongings.

If you are invited to visit, under no circumstances praise anything. The host will have to give you the thing to protect himself from the evil eye.

4. It is forbidden to throw away bread.

Bread is eaten here in large quantities and is highly respected. The leftovers are used to feed the cattle. If one does not have a farm, he exchanges the bread for items he needs.

5. One should not pour hot water into the sink.

This is due to the legend that says that genies live near water. And they very much do not like hot water. In order not to make the spirits angry, you must turn on the cold water if you need to drain the boiling water.

6. The liver is a symbol of love

In Morocco a healthy liver is considered as a symbol of strength and prosperity. When confessing love, here they say, “You have conquered my liver!”

7. It’s the year 2967 in Morocco.

According to the religious calendar of the natives, the Berbers, it is the year 2967 in Morocco. Although officially the country lives according to the common chronology of the entire planet.

8. Not to give up meat

In Morocco, tea and meat are revered. It is very impolite to refuse offered meat. Also one should not eat with the left hand, it is considered unclean.

9. Morocco is very close to Europe

Spain and Morocco are separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, which is only 16 km wide. In good weather, standing on the shore of the strait on the Moroccan side, you can see the Spanish coastal cities. The kingdom included the Spanish outposts of Ceuta and Melilla..

10. Rolls-Royce interior trim is made from rare Moroccan Thuja

The red-brown Moroccan Thuja tree is used to trim Rolls-Royce interiors. Only found in the mountains of Morocco.

11. The oldest university in the world is in Morocco

It was founded in 859 by the daughter of a merchant Fatima al-Fihri. However, this institution, as we understand it, was not a university. No diplomas were issued here. The emphasis was on learning from individual tutors. It was not until 1947 that al-Qarawiyyin became a classical university.

12. The City of Blue

Chefchaouen became the place where Jews took refuge from persecution. It was they who painted the city the color blue sacred to their people.

13. Morocco is a popular location for filming movies and TV series

The beauty of the local nature has inspired filmmakers to film here. In 1983, in Morocco opened the studio “Atlas”. Filming of “Gladiator,” “Alexander” and even “Game of Thrones” took place in this country.

Morocco is an amazing country with unique traditions and customs. It is always interesting to learn something new. After all, the world is so huge, and you will never know everything, but it is worth a try.

7. the Moroccans love to dust their eyes

Yes! Minimalism as a lifestyle – it’s definitely not about the locals. If a wedding, it’s a big one, if gold jewelry, it’s bigger, if makeup, it’s brighter. After the birth of a child is given jewelry (often a gold bracelet). The houses of the wealthy inhabitants of the Maghreb often resemble palaces (they are called villas). They are multi-storey mansions with marble staircases, a garden and perhaps even a swimming pool. And traditional dwellings (riads) necessarily have a courtyard with a fountain. Even the area of the so-called housing here varies from 50 to 80 m. It costs an average of $25,000. In this region no one can be surprised by several bathrooms for owners and guests.

Interesting facts about Berbers. 5 interesting facts about Berbers

Berbers are indigenous people of North Africa who converted to Islam in the 7th century. They live mainly in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Mali, Niger, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Here are 5 interesting facts about Berbers.

1. Over 40% of Moroccans are Berbers.

Although you will not meet many of them if you spend all your time around Casablanca. According to statistics, more than 40% of Moroccans are Berbers, which is about 13 million people. In Algeria, the number of Berbers is much lower – about 7-8 million, in Niger – 500 thousand, and in Mali – 300 thousand people. Outside North Africa, for example, in France, the Berbers are about 2 million.

2. the Berbers have inhabited Africa longer than the Arabs

Berbers inhabited Africa long before the Arabs came here. That is why there are so many Berbers among the local population in the Maghreb countries. Scientists estimate that as early as 4,000 years ago there were Berber states such as Mauritania and Numidia. According to historian Dr. Amira Bennison, Berber empires contributed significantly to the history of Islamic culture.

The Almoravid and Almohad empires flourished in the Western Mediterranean in the 11th and 12th centuries. Despite controlling vast territories, these Berber dynasties were little known outside the Muslim world.

At the end of the 12th century, a Berber prince named Yacoub al-Mansour ordered the construction of a hospital in the city of Marrakech. The building has not survived; only a description remains. Al-Mansour chose the best location and ordered the builders to demonstrate the peak of their craftsmanship by applying the best examples of carving and decorative ornamentation to the decoration of the building. He ordered that fragrant and fruit-bearing trees be planted indoors and that running water be let in all the rooms; in addition, four pools be arranged in the center, one of which was of white marble. Then he ordered rich furniture made of wool, cotton, silk, and hides.

Al-Mansour was a powerful caliph, a Muslim leader during the time of the Almohad Empire, when the second of several Berber dynasties ruled over a vast stretch of land stretching across southern Spain (Al-Andalus) and North Africa (the Maghreb). The magnificent hospital built under his orders was the result of competition between the Almohads and the Ayyubid dynasty, who founded an impressive hospital in Cairo.

3. The word “Berber” comes from the Greek word for “barbarian.”

They were considered as such by the Romans, the French, and the Arabs. Incidentally, in Arabic literature, Berbers are portrayed as unruly and awkward. So the term was used in reference to people who fiercely resisted domination from outside. But, as is often the case, resistance was combined with assimilation. Arab forces moving eastward through North Africa to spread Islam among the “barbarians” became increasingly Berber in character. A succession of powerful dynasties emerged from tribal societies that made a living from farming and cattle-breeding. These empires created their own strands in the study of Islam and left a marked mark on the history of Islam in the Western Mediterranean.

The Berber self-name “Amazigh” for men, “Tamazight” for women, and in the plural “Imazigh,” which means “free people” or “noble people.”


The national cuisine deserves a tasting, to say the least. For breakfast, locals drink green tea or coffee with a bun. The main meal is lunch. Products for its preparation are bought in the morning.

Sandwiches and snacks are bad taste. Lunch should be a full meal, consisting of a salad, a hot meal with meat, and a snack. Families eat lunch at home, gathering around a common table. There is even a lunch break at school.

On Fridays, the people of the Kingdom traditionally gather for couscous. Its time is right after prayers. Couscous is made from corn grits whose grains are milled by hand by the women.

In the Kingdom, they don’t serve all the dishes at once; they are served one after the other. Dessert time comes after the hot meal: fruit, fruit salads, yogurt, and sometimes cakes and other pastries are usually served.

A favorite drink of the locals is mint tea. It is drunk at home, on visits, at work, in restaurants, and in souvenir shops.

Political Environment

Morocco has a peaceful atmosphere, unlike other African and Muslim countries. There have not been any terrorist attacks or national conflicts for a long time. Morocco is quite a wealthy country; the beggars in the streets are mostly refugees from Syria.

The cities are well developed police patrols, which among other things can draw attention to you because of inappropriate behavior. Once a policeman came up to a European couple kissing and explained that you can only behave like that in a hotel

It is safe to travel around Moroccan cities, but hitchhiking will not work here. The locals don’t actively select people who want to travel with them.

How do women live in Morocco?

It is an axiom that the Koran and Muslim traditions must be respected, but it is up to Moroccan and Russian girls to wear the hijab or not. The husband and his family are not violent in this regard..

Life for women in Morocco, especially in the larger cities, is moving closer to the European style. Girls increasingly appear on the streets in comfortable T-shirts, jeans, dye their hair, and wear light makeup.

But the tight tops with deep necklines, leggings, emphasizing all the curves of the body, the local population does not understand and will not accept. The same applies to the length of the dress: it is better to cover the knees.

Certain conventions do not limit the freedom and rights of the fairer sex. If in the past they were unquestioningly subject to the will of their father and then their spouse, today the situation has changed dramatically.

Moroccan women:

They go to university, though not all went to school before.

They work, including in government jobs. Almost 25% of doctors and teachers are women.

Getting married after the age of 18. Previously girls were married off as soon as they were 15 years old.

A bride does not need her father’s consent to start a family. She would not be forced into marriage either – the girl’s consent was required.

If previously the children were considered the property of the father and in case of divorce stayed with him, now they can live with their mother.

It would seem to be a paradise, but not everything is so serene. A Muslim man is still entitled to have four wives. True, the first wife has to give her written consent to each subsequent marriage. No consent means no harem.

It is difficult for foreign women to find a job. Doctors are an exception – there are plenty of jobs for them. In any case, the diploma of education issued in another country will have to be confirmed. It is difficult to do this without knowing fluent French.

French is not a state language (Arabic is the state language), but it is used for business communication, culture and education. Without knowing it, you can not get a qualified job.

The house and the household are completely on the shoulders of the wife. It is not customary for men to help her in the household, but every family has the opportunity to hire a domestic helper. For the equivalent of 2,000-2,500 rubles a month, the housekeeper will clean and do other work.

Housekeepers are mostly villagers, which is why the cost of services is so low. Theft is not uncommon, so wealthy families prefer to hire proven helpers and pay them more.

The only thing local men do is cook mishui. This is lamb cooked on a spit with spices and vegetables. The dish is considered a ritual dish, so it is served on royal feasts.

A Muslim woman and a Russian immigrant with at least a little knowledge of the law and courage would never be left “at the bottom of the barrel. In order to kick her out, her spouse must have good reasons, for example, to convict her of adultery. Witnesses are required because words alone won’t suffice..

Moroccan couples, tired of each other, prefer to divorce in a civilized manner. If the laws of Islam in relation to the family have been preserved, then only in some villages.

The life of Russians in Morocco is inextricably linked to gold. They, like local women, greedily buy gold jewelry. Greed in this case is synonymous with pragmatism. Articles of precious metals will remain with them in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse.

First and foremost, as in any other country, tourists should clearly know the phone number of the embassy and the nearest consular office of their country. This will make it much easier to solve problems.

Morocco is a Muslim country and women should not provoke the local population with a frank appearance. Do not take pictures of the military and police officers. Particularly dangerous to photograph women in a veil accompanied by men, it can end very badly. Also, do not try to communicate with veiled women.

Even if you know Arabic or French (the language is common among the population), when dealing with Moroccans, you should not discuss politics, religion and the king – you can get in trouble with the police.

Also, you should know that for defacing the national currency bill, there is a prison sentence of five years. It depicts the king, and in Morocco he is equated with a prophet. Be vigilant to make sure you don’t get a tarnished or torn bill when exchanging or returning it. It will be impossible to prove you didn’t do it.

A snake on the neck?

Do not stop near the presentations of magicians and snake charmer. They can easily throw a snake around your neck and pester you for a photo.

The best way out is to bend over, drop the snake and walk away. Reject any offer of baiters and pushy vendors. Learn to politely but firmly say NO. It works! If you begin to verbose refusal – you will not get off. Or talk to a policeman.

Traffic is congested.

It is very difficult to cross the road, even at a crosswalk, the rules of the road are nowhere and no one respects them. Drivers of all types of vehicles behave aggressively and the number of various mopeds, motorcycles, cars and horse-drawn carts is off the charts.

It’s dangerous here.

According to the International Security Map, the country is one of the top 10 most comfortable for tourists. Locals even joke that foreigners in the Maghreb are treated better than “their own. Moroccans are closely tied to other European and American countries: you’d be hard-pressed to find a family without relatives living outside the country. And, in turn, many foreigners live here. How Russians are received here is the subject of an interview with “My Planet”. Local television broadcasts news in Spanish, Arabic, French, and Tamazight throughout the day. In spite of its rather traditional social life, cultural diversity is not alien to it either. There are, however, some restrictions – about them in our article “What not to do in Morocco”.

The Fourth Story of Essaouira

Moroccans are very carefree people, they don’t care if they have an appointment with someone, they don’t care if they have promised someone something. Photographers don’t show up, tour guides are late, bus drivers at city bus stations are special guys in general. To get back from Essaouira to Agadir, we had to wait an hour for a bus, then another hour in the desert while the driver waited for another bus to transfer us. It was a hell of a ride, they drive like hell plus the crazy serpentine. If you want to take a tour to Essaouira, stock up on mints, bags, and iron patience. They say the buses from Essaouira are always at least 40 minutes late.

Be vigilant! Still, there are places in this corner of the world worth going to the Moorish kingdom for and enduring the attacks of crooks, beggars and gypsies.

They have a strict regime of government.

No, rather than yes. Freedom House (an organization that annually ranks states based on their observance of political and civil liberties) in 2017 ranked Morocco as “partly free” (Russia, incidentally, is in the company of “not free” in this ranking). In the Moroccan state, the head of state is the king, and the people respect him, but they are not afraid of power. Moroccans are fighters for their rights. If their doctors’ salaries are unsatisfactory, they go on strike; if the tax laws are changed, the workers organize strikes; if the prices go up, all the citizens refuse to buy water and milk of a certain company (as a result, for example, of last year’s action, the producers reduced the prices).

The first part of the introduction to Morocco in our article “Ten facts about Morocco, which will surprise you.

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