Thaqafat Association offers three-week group programs designed to discover the Moroccan culture through participation in everyday life. Group members live with carefully selected Moroccan families and also engage in volunteer projects in different fields in the cities of Sale and Rabat.
The program begins with orientation sessions that cover such topics as private and public space, daily life in Morocco, preparing for the homestay, basic Arabic and the Moroccan dialect, and an introduction to the volunteer project. Included also are experiential sessions such as “writing on the wooden board,” cooking and oriental dance.
Excursions to Marrakech, Fez, Tangier and Chefchouane round out the program and enable group members to discover the beauty and historic importance of several different places in Morocco.
The Thaqafat Association, a cross-cultural Moroccan association and the VIP (Volunteers for International Partnership) representative in Morocco, is a non-profit organization founded by young Moroccans in 2002. Its objective is to promote Moroccan culture by exposing it to those of other countries throughout the world.
Thaqafat Association cooperates with a number of NGOs, mainly in Rabat, Salé, Casablanca, and rural regions that offer volunteer projects in the areas of child disabilities, womens’ rights, education, the environment, and health care. Thaqafat’s relationship with these NGO’s enables this association to match applicants’ various interests and needs to those of a specific NGO project.
Multiculturalism in the Arab World
Slide a traditional djellaba over your shoulders, hear the call to prayer echo from the rooftops, and prepare for an unforgettable month in Morocco.
ORIENTATION IN RABAT
Learn about Morocco and Islamic culture through discussions about cultural differences and gender roles, survival Arabic language lessons, city walks in the shadows of thousand-year-old buildings, and scavenger hunts in Rabat’s ancient medina. Your introduction to Morocco concludes with a few days in Fès and an overnight in the Sahara on a camel caravan trekking along rolling dunes.
Spend two weeks living with a host family in a rustic Arabic- or Berber-speaking village community. Strolls along winding earthen paths with host siblings, discussions over cups of hot mint tea, and visits to open air markets deepen your understanding of daily life.
Sample activities: Share couscous or tajine with your multi-generational host family; visit a souk; play soccer with local youth; work with nonprofit social services organizations that serve your new community; improve your French, Berber, or Arabic language skills.
Sample communities: Taouniya, Oulmes
ARTS IN RURAL MOROCCO
Working side by side with local artisans, musicians, and educators, you learn how to
cook traditional Moroccan meals; move to ceremonial music; and create authentic
handicrafts through carpentry, wicker making, and weaving.
Sample activities: Engage in small-scale community service work; weave an Oriental carpet; teach English to elementary school children; make your own Moroccan-style wicker basket; practice traditional dances.
TRAVEL AND EXPLORATION
Your journey through Morocco concludes with a visit to Marrakech and the coastal community of Essaouira.
Sample activities: Visit Marrakech’s famous Jama Lfna, a centuries-old market teeming with vendors from remote Atlas villages, storytellers, snake charmers, fortune tellers, dancers, and acrobats; rest on sandy beaches and reflect on your Moroccan adventure.