Africa

Rabat Coast waves

The Highlights of Morocco

This past Spring Break I finally got the chance to travel to Morocco! My friends and I traveled to Marrakech, Rabat and Fes, spending two days in each city. Overall I would have to say Rabat was my favorite, besides being the only place we weren’t harrased, it has the coast an beautiful gardens! Every city we went we visited the Medina, although full of life with plenty to see, it was very tiring. We were lucky enough to tag a long with a study group for a tour of Fes’ Medina and that was one of the best times. I would reccommend getting a guide, it makes the medinas seem just a bit more relaxed. I never got the chance to take an excursion into the desert, but it is at the top of my list for next time!

In Marrakech: don’t miss the Ben Youssef Madrasa, it is confusing to walk to but absolutely stunning! All the mosques in Morocco are closed to non-muslims, but the Madrasa’s are open, usually for a price of 10dh (that is only about 1$).

Rabat: the Casbah gardens, and be sure to grab something at the cafe inside the gardens which look over the coast.

Fes: Try to find the Foondooq, where the weavers make scarves and tapestries. The word literally means hotel, but this is an open building where you can see massive looms set up and buy some beautiful cloth!

June 30th, and Modern Cairo

Before I go much into this, let me just say I am all for change in Egypt and agree their leaders have not done much to help the people.

That being said, here is what I noticed about Modern Cairo, there are very many fast food restaurants, and a lot of american food around . In fact at times, in certain neighborhoods, except for the Arabic signs, speech and level of poverty, one could easily think they were in a western city. Though there isn’t that much wrong with this, I just found it funny that many would complain about American and Western Powers, but lived very similar.

My biggest observation, is though much of the city is developed, in terms of architecture, shopping, malls, restaurants, car dealerships, etc. It’s basic needs, such as military, government, police, traffic, road construction, trash maintenance, power and water are either basically non-existent, or are put together in a way they don’t work, and people are unhappy with them. ┬áNot saying that every country should have perfect functioning institutions or democracy, a world of western style countries would be boring. Take Italy for example the reason I adore it so much is though everything is set up, nothing quite functions perfectly, store hours are random, buses run when they want, cleaning happens, but there is still some aspect of dirty city, it is western based, but with it’s own twist. ┬áBut Egypt should at least have completed some of these necessary aspects to it’s country before it developed in other areas.

Now onto the Government, something that a mass of Egyptians have never been happy with, and what they are trying to change again today. While their leaders have often taken their own needs before those of the people, and citizens are often not allowed the freedom of speech. It is easy to see why the people constantly want the President out, however, what plan do they really have? Presidents can not be constantly thrown out if there is no solid plan to fix things. And for every President that is thrown out, there is still a group of people who did support them and will be unhappy when they are thrown out. There is no winning. Egypt has truly been unhappy with their government, and constantly in some form of revolutionary state, since way back when Alexander the Great set up Greek generals to be in charge of the country, though this unhappiness has grown with time, it has always been present at some level.

The Egyptian people are a strong, and passionate group, I do believe they can change anything they hope to. They have the power to change their country for the better. Only they need to focus, on what they want changed, rather then who they want out at the time.

I believe maybe, finally this will be a new start to Egypt, as long as they stay focused.

Cairo

Cairo

View from the back of the Citadel, looking over the entire city, on a clear day the Pyramids can be seen. What is seen in this photo is a mosque in Old Cairo, it functions also as a University teaching the Islamic Pillars of Faith.