wandering through the medina – التجاول عبر المدينة

I was sucker punched by Fez today. I’m going to chalk it all up to the fact that I need to get out of the city: in two days I’ll be on the train to Marrakesh to climb Mt. Toubqal, the highest peak in the Atlas mountains, see saffron fields during harvest, visit the Tin Mal mosque at what was once the heart of the Almohad empire, and listen to some live music on the coast in Essaouira. Alhumdulleleh.

Though I need a break, I still enjoy exploring Fez.

At the risk of sounding like a tired guidebook, the best way to explore Fez, I’m certain, is to first have a vague idea of what you’d like to see, head in that general direction, and to not be too upset if you never reach your destination. You’ll probably come across something just as exciting.

Saturday mornings are the best time for these types of excursions. The shops are open, Fassis are out taking care of business, and I am itching to get out as I usually spend Friday nights at home. Last week I went in search of the Al-Andalous Mosque via Bab Fetouh, in the east medina of Fez. (Bab generally means “door” in Arabic. Here in Fez they’re entrances to the medina.)

On the way to the Al-Andalous Mosque from Rsif

Seeing a field of white through Bab Fetouh, I made my way up to the cemetery.

Muslim graves face Mecca

I passed through a busy market and ate a few prickly pears.

The Al Andalous Mosque wasn’t really worth a picture from the outside, but nearly next door was a beautiful medersa, where students of the Qairaouine University used to live.

About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
This entry was posted in Fulbright Student Research in Morocco, 2010-2011, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to wandering through the medina – التجاول عبر المدينة

  1. Amy McAdams says:

    correction *an inspiring

  2. Amy McAdams says:

    I’m sure that it’s exhausting getting used to the Moroccan culture. I can’t even imagine, but I give you mad props for going out there and experiencing a typical Moroccan Saturday morning. It looks so different!
    Good luck climbing that mountain. I hope you are singing and inspiring song as you climb…*cough* Climb every mountain…sound of music *cough* What an accomplishment!

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