Travelers have the unique opportunity of being able to share experiences created abroad with family and friends back home. Jumping into every conversation with “When I was in Morocco…” is not necessarily the best way to interest others in your experiences, but there are many creative things you can do to share your Moroccan trip with your community.
Cook Moroccan Food for Family and Friends
During your trip to Morocco, you most likely sampled all sorts of slow-cooked tajines, succulent kebabs, hearty couscous dishes and freshly baked bread. If you enjoy cooking and baking, try your hand at Moroccan cuisine and share the results of your culinary endeavors with friends.
An excellent resource for cooking Moroccan food is CookingwithAlia.com. Alia is a young Moroccan chef with hundreds of authentic recipes on her website and more than 130 informative and easy to follow videos on her YouTube channel. Just watching the videos can be addicting.
If you prefer to follow recipes from a book, check out the beautifully illustrated Flavors of Morocco: Delicious Recipes from North Africa by chef Ghillie Basan and photographer Peter Cassidy. When cooking Moroccan food, keep in mind that you can substitute turmeric for saffron in most dishes in order to cut down on costs.
To make the meal more authentic, set up floor cushions and a low table so your guests can dine Moroccan style. Serve the meal with mint tea, and, if you’re eating couscous, demonstrate how to ball the couscous and eat it with your right hand instead of with utensils.
Learn How to Belly Dance
Sorry guys, this idea is only for the ladies. If you picked up a fancy hip belt or belly dance costume in the Marrakech souk there is no need to pack it away until next Halloween. Belly dance can be an excellent workout and a great way to tone up your abs; it can also be a fun way to spend a girls’ night or entertain at a bachelorette party.
Look for lessons at local gyms and clubs or order some instructional videos. If you’re interested in choreographing your own pieces, performing or simply improvising at home, The Best Belly Dance Album in the World … Ever! Volume 2 CD is a superb collection of traditional belly dance music.
Study Moroccan Arabic
Continue your studies or start learning Moroccan Arabic. If you’ve never studied Arabic before, you’ll want to start by learning basic Arabic script. A good resource is Teach Yourself Beginner’s Arabic Script, a workbook that guides you through learning the alphabet.
Most formal Arabic programs teach Modern Standard Arabic, which is markedly different from Moroccan Arabic. You can learn the standard variety first and then specialize in Moroccan Arabic, or you can jump right into a less formal study of the spoken Moroccan dialect.
Speak Moroccan offers online lessons, and Friends of Morocco has a good list of additional resources for language learners.
The next time you visit Morocco, you will surely impress those you meet with your newfound skills!
Written by Heather Carreiro.
Photo by Pensiero.