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Archive for April, 2011

While in Morocco, I couldn’t help but notice the ubiquitous pictures of the king adorning the walls of every home, restaurant, and often shop we visited. It reminded me a lot of a trip to the Gambia I had made during spring break the previous year, at which point I had still been in the […]

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Call to Prayer

One of my favorite and most moving Moroccan moments took place on the rooftop of the Hotel Dahlia shortly after our arrival.  Amidst the confusion of room allocations, a few of us escaped to the roof with a glass of tea in hand.  We waited eagerly, marveling at the sight of the dramatic mountains and […]

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Morocco has long been the leader amongst nations in the Middle East when it comes to religious tolerance—and for good reason. The presence of Christians and Jews dates back several centuries, even though their numbers have fluctuated over time. The 1492 expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain led to an influx of followers of […]

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Once again, when thinking about a possible topic for my last blog post, I caught myself juxtaposing some of the thoughts that sprouted after my first-hand experiences in Spain and the impressions I had grown up with as part of a half-Spanish family in Venezuela. When I think about my childhood, I can very clearly recall […]

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Sometime in between rolling my suitcase through the rocky Medina streets and taking in the sidewalks overtaken by makeshift stores and the commanding presence of only men in the outer parts of the cafes, I realized that I was in Morocco. The friendly smiles and curious glances and the unsure “holas” and the confident “hellos” […]

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We had returned to our home stay in Tetouan to find sobering images of Libyans standing vigil in Tripoli plastered across Al Jazeera, the Arab world’s leading English-speaking news network. While waiting for the U.N. delegates to deliberate, one of us began to flip through the channels in search of more information. Instead, we were […]

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Que parla català?

Spain’s regional diversity would not be complete without the linguistic differences. The most striking linguistic difference we came across in Spain was that between Spanish/Castilian and Catalan spoken in Barcelona and Girona. This difference reflects cultural and political divergence among regions. With linguistic identification comes regional solidarity, and in some cases in Catalonia, defiance of […]

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Professor Woods’s trip to Casa Arabe was one of the highlights of my entire trip. Casa Arabe, an Arab cultural center in Madrid, was much more progressive than traditional cultural centers in the United States. It completely challenged my preconceived beliefs of the role that cultural centers should serve in the community. The […]

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On our trip through Spain and Morocco many students often sought out locations in various cities that could be seen as less touristy. However, as a temporary visitor, an “outsider,” it was impossible for any of us to gain access to an “authentic” experience. Since we couldn’t live an “authentic” experience, many […]

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Tangier, Morocco. Approximately 18:30 Spanish time. Medina:
Immediately upon entering the medina (literally meaning town, medinas are a section of a Moroccan city in which goods are sold. Specific characteristics include narrow, winding streets, booths on either side of the path, and relentless salesmen) we were swarmed by men trying to sell us this things.  […]

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