Thursday, June 18, 2009

برنامجي (My schedule)

In just over a week, I'll get on a plane to Boston, then one to Paris, then one to Casablanca. I'll be picked up and driven to Rabat, where I'll check in and be given an orientation to the Qalam wah Lawh Center and the apartment I'll be living in for 6 weeks. I'm a little nervous, but mostly just really, really excited!

At the Center, I'll have an apartment with a roommate. There are three different residences that the Center uses, all within two miles, so walking distance for sure, and I can always catch a bus or taxi if I'm running late. All the residences have private or semi-private (3-4 people) bathrooms, kitchen areas, living rooms, gardens, etc. There is wireless internet in all of them, and a cleaning service comes in to clean 2-3 times a week. They provide breakfast at the Center for all students staying in the residences, and you can order a lunch service as well. Dinner, as well as breakfast and lunch on the weekends, is on your own.

I'll have 6 hours of classes a day, broken into 2-hour blocks. Breakfast is from 8-8:30, with the first class block from 8:30-10:30. We have a a 15 minute break, then another class block until 12:45, at which point we have an hour and fifteen minutes for lunch. At 2 we have the last block of classes. Block 4 of the day, from 4:15-6:15, allows time for Arabic calligraphy lessons, art class, clubs (cooking, music, film), lectures, and the weekly excursions.

Included in the cost of tuition is two local excursions each week. These excursions, around Rabat and its sister city Sale across the Oued Bou Regreg (a river), are meant to expose us to the culture in Rabat, and I'm pretty excited about them. They include such sites as the National Archeological Museum, the Royal Palace, the اسواق (markets) and the beach.

On the weekends, we're pretty much left on our own. I'll definitely be taking time to travel around Morocco. The Center does offer weekend excursions; they have 5, so I could potentially do them all in my time there, or pick a couple and do some other travelling on my own. I'm defintely going to do the 3 day, 2 night trip to the Moroccan Sahara and Merzouga: it includes a "two-hour camel trek to Berber campsite"! The rest look fun too, so I'll decide cost-wise which to do, and whether I just want to travel some on my own.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


مرحبا (Welcome) to my Morocco blog!

I thought I'd start a blog to update everyone on my time in Morocco so that I could have a central place to upload updates and pictures. Once I get to Morocco (June 28), I'm hoping to update regularly. We'll see what happens...

In two weeks I'll be in Morocco!! With a fairly detailed packing list drafted and a gift of the "Lonely Planet" Morocco guidebook from my mom, things are really shaping up. I'm pretty psyched about going; I'll be studying Arabic for 6 weeks at the Qalam wah Lawh center in Rabat, the capital. I'm hoping to knock out a full year of Arabic study at Stanford so I can take advanced next year.

Look for more posts to come, especially starting on June 28.

(go with peace/goodbye) مع السلامة,

عائشة (Aisha)