Escape from the medina – الهروب من المدينة

I’ve become such a Fassi. Most weekends I stay in the medina, and if it weren’t for classes at ALIF in the new city, I doubt I’d ever find any reason to leave the medina at all. I have, though, made two small escapes the past two weekends. Last weekend I made the two and a half hour train ride to Rabat for a wonderful holiday party at the Fulbright director’s house, complete with a Christmas tree and gift exchange. (Though of course, in true Laura fashion, I somehow lost the present I was going to bring. I’m sure there is a happy cab driver somewhere, enjoying a light-up Christmas tree box filled with candy.) Rabat feels completely different from the Fez medina: coming from a city where I sometimes have to close my umbrella to fit through the narrow streets that shut down by 8pm, I was a little girl in a big city.

Fez sits a valley in the foothills of the Middle Atlas mountians, and the weekend before last a friend and I ventured out of the medina to hike Mount Zalagh.

Mount Zalagh behind the new door in R'cif, two minutes from my house.

Beautiful green Fez, five minutes outside the medina.

(It’s not all beautiful.)

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day for a hike, getting in more than my daily dose of vitamin D under the warm mid-December sun. It was a welcome change to get out under the layer of smog that hovered above the medina.

We passed by men tilling the earth and batting olives off of trees with long sticks. The olives fell onto sheets that were placed under the branches as women sat in the shade, sorting them into buckets.

Truckbed full of olives, en route to the medina.

Enjoying a coffee post-hike, Mount Zalagh in the background.

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 Escape from the medina – الهروب من المدينة

  1. Laurs this is so beautiful I can’t even express. So excited to see it!

  2. Cindy Greiman says:

    When Lillie’s dad and I come to visit we want to take this hike for sure. Tell Lillie! I’m enjoying reading your blog, Laura.

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