Dismantling the Misconceptions of Morocco

In September 2017, I took the most incredible and exotic trip to Morocco. I traveled through all the main cities, the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains, and more. In doing this, I was able to get an in-depth, inside look to the cultures and people, and I must say, they are pretty magnificent.

But, you wouldn’t know this without having traveled there. It’s come to my attention that people have many negative misconceptions about Morocco and I’d like to clear those up for you.

The first misconception about Morocco is that of safety. Some people have the notion that Morocco is dangerous and unsafe to travelers, but that is just not the truth. The cities in Morocco like Fes, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Rabat are like any other, with the addition of friendly people mainly keeping to themselves. Of course, you should never walk alone at night or go down any deserted ally ways, but that’s common sense for being in any city in the world, even your own. Women do not get sexually harassed, crime rates are very low, and it’s perfectly safe to head out to the beaches, medinas, souks, and all the other great sites on your own during the day.

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The second misconception is that the people of Morocco are rude. Well, I don’t how that rumor spread, but I’m here to set things straight. The only people who think Moroccans are rude, are the ones who said or did something rude to them first. I had someone ask me if I had any shop or café owners yell at me while I was there. I was puzzled by this. Um… no I most certainly did not. Nor did I see anyone ever get yelled at by anyone else. Even when I was in the souks and markets trying to purchase souvenirs, and I didn’t want to buy anything from someone’s shop, they were very respectful of me passing up what they had to offer. Yes, they annoyingly bargained and bargained with me, but they always politely let me go on my way after I politely turned them down. Be nice and people will be nice back – it’s that simple.

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The third misconception is that the country is too traditional and has old ways of thinking, but I think the most beautiful thing about Morocco was the mixture of traditional values with innovativeness. Morocco is beautiful because of its traditions – the architecture and buildings, the clothing people wear, the food they eat, the daily prayer. It all makes for such an enriching experience, but that’s not to say they don’t have a lot of progression and modern ways of thinking. The cities are bustling with people running off to their corporate jobs, everyone is using the latest technology, and there are new age advertisements hiding around every corner. They have new medinas which are like high-end fashion malls, but they also maintain and keep open their old medinas, which are local markets with traditional food, spices, and clothing.

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When it comes to females, many dress traditionally, but they don’t expect female tourists to dress the same way. Women don’t need to cover themselves up everywhere they go anymore, but they dress traditionally for prayer and visiting mosques and houses of worship. They are modern women who choose to dress how they like whether that’s in traditional clothing or jeans.

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The last misconception about Morocco is about the nomadic Berber people being poor vagabonds because of the images we see of them – traveling over land on foot, herding cattle, living in tents. In reality, the nomadic Berber people always have a light shined on them because of how culturally and economically valuable they are. They are traditional people who live off the land, farm and grow crops, and continually move around to wherever the land is plentiful. They are the richest people in the country, but they don’t look it. They are the biggest producers of crops, milk, and meat. They are highly respected for their work and the food they provide to the people of the country.

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Everything about Morocco is positive and enlightening. From the sensational architecture of the cities and kasbahs to the warm and captivating dunes in the Sahara Desert, tradition, beauty, and modernity blend together to create an unforgettable and entirely unique experience.

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