Zenib’s Wedding (Party #1) – حفلة الزفاف زينب: الحفلة الأولى

Roger’s host sister Zenib signed her marriage contract last weekend. In Morocco, there are usually three parties to celebrate a marriage: one engagement party, one wedding party after the contract is signed, and the third and largest wedding party: a big blowout celebration that involves the groom on a horse and the bride carried through the streets on a decorated platform.

From L to R: Ilham (Zenib's mom), Zenib, Said, Benouna (Zenib's dad)

Zenib showing her father respect. Check out her beautiful henna, done in Gulf-style.

The first wedding party celebrating the marriage contract is usually a smaller affair that only the bride and groom’s family attend, about 50 people. I was honored to be invited to this party last weekend: Roger’s host mom Ilham even loaned me a beautiful Moroccan Caftan.

The evening began with a glass of milk and dates stuffed with almonds for each guest, followed by fruit juices and countless types of Moroccan cookies made by Ilham and Zenib’s aunties. They were hard at work for about two weeks prior to the wedding making different types of doughs and cutting them with tiny cookie cutters to make them bite size, then rolling them in sesame seeds or filling them with fruits or drizzling them with chocolate.

Roger and his favorite host uncle, Mustapha

Loud, festive music was blasted the entire evening, and I was pulled up to dance a few times with a couple of the other younger girls at the party. I am sure I was quite a sight, trying to keep up and dance like a Moroccan.

Then Zenib and Said exchanged rings and fed each other dates and milk, like how a bride and groom feed each other cake in the US during their reception.

The Qur'an and assorted jewelry for Zenib and Said.

(Did you notice Zenib’s grandma sprinkle the couple with rosewater for good luck?)

I woke up the next morning ears ringing and excited for the next big wedding party in April!

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.

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