“Wakha, you look Moroccan, but don’t talk when you’re shopping with me. They’ll double these prices,” my host mom laughed on my first day in Rabat. “But seriously though, I have a budget.”
I’m Lebanese (flag above, because I’m obnoxious), but look just enough Moroccan to blend in – that is, until I expose myself and speak in Shami Arabic. Durija is what they speak here, which they claim is Moroccan Arabic, although I often can’t tell if it’s French or Arabic. But really, I don’t have it all that bad – I can at least rely on the fact that Moroccans understand me, even if I can’t understand them. And I owe that to the fact that almost all the Middle Eastern soap operas that are in Shami Arabic. Shout out to Moohanad, the heart-throbe of the Middle East #heisn’tMiddleEastern #hisnameisn’tMoohanad:
Ah, it’s my fellow American interns that I’m concerned about. I wasn’t expecting to be able to understand Durija at all. But here I am, translating for my fellow American interns when we go out together. And what makes me proudest is that, in reality, they don’t even need me. We’re all making it work in a country we’ve never seen before. Meet the interns:
Looking forward to what these next few weeks hold in store for us!