3: Adventures of an Arab American, Round 2

Chefchaouen, Morocco –

I’m not very creative with titling these, but now that I’ve been in Morocco for about 20 days, I think it’s starting to sink in. I really am in Morocco: in a country where everyone looks like me, but somehow I still seem out of place. I think it took finding an ostrich on the street for me to realize that.

That was in Chefchaouen, which I’ve finally learned to spell (do you see that hot mess of vowels on the end). In the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is known as the Blue City of Morocco. Why? Because it’s almost entirely painted blue (as you cannot see from this pic):

Here’s a street-view that better reveals the beautiful blue of this city.

Yes, I wore blue on purpose. And in case the city wasn’t blue enough, we stopped to help the locals paint it more blue. I may have been given a toilet brush to paint the wall, but as a general rule of thumb in Morocco, you learn not to ask too many questions.

But back to the point: I really am in Morocco, which is encouraging my own self-awareness. As an Arab American in the Middle East, I am constantly reminded of my American identity. But, being here with non-Arabs has been a constant reminder of my Arab identity as well.

Exhibit A: I had to explain to my fellow American interns how you cleanse yourself while using a Turkish toilet. One of them started crying – I wish I was joking.

Morocco, it’s been real. See you in the next blog post (if I’m not roadkill by then).

6 thoughts on “3: Adventures of an Arab American, Round 2

  • May 20, 2017 at 6:12 pm
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    It’s funny how long it takes for an experience like this to sink in and become real. I’m Arab-American too, so the idea of being reminded of my American identity in the Middle East has never occurred to me (I have yet to travel to the Middle East). I hope you continue to have lots of fun in Morocco!

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    • May 29, 2017 at 3:59 pm
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      Right? And that’s awesome, hopefully you’ll get a chance to visit the middle east!

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  • May 21, 2017 at 11:41 pm
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    This is great, Fatima! While I know it might be somewhat difficult at times, it sounds like this is a great opportunity for you to evaluate / appreciate your identity. Have a great week and stay safe — don’t become roadkill!!

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    • May 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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      Haha thank you!

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  • May 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm
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    Fatima, your posts are always so fun to read! Although it can be challenging (believe me), I can’t imagine there’s a better place than Morocco for you to be able to reflect on your identity. Be safe, everything sounds like a blast there!

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    • May 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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      Thank you Angela! It’s gonna be sad to leave

      Reply

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