Many outside of Islam believe that the tradition puts restrictions on women with regards to property rights, education, dress, marriage, and employment. But are all of these ideas well informed, or are they stereotypes based on media portrayals?
Morocco, like much of the Middle East, is an Islamic country. Moving past the media headlines, this project will introduce participants to women and young people in Morocco to see what life for them is really like. We will meet women who work in Parliament, women spreading the concept of Islamic Feminism, and NGOs who work to support women in areas of employment and education. Participants will stay with homestay families allowing them to experience authentic homelife and food while in Rabat. While the project is based in the capital city of Rabat, participants will take excursions to both Fes and Casablanca.
This Immersion Project will be facilitated in cooperation with the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL). The CCCL is a private cultural institution founded and directed by Moroccan academics with many years of experience in cross-cultural education. The list of lecturers includes outstanding scholars in the areas of social science, humanities, literature, religion, and architecture as well as artists, journalists, NGO activists, artisans, and craftsmen.
Day 1: Travel to Morocco
Day 2: Walking tour of Rabat; Orientation to Morocco and Arabic; Bargaining Field Exercise; Stay with host families
Day 3: Discussion on Women and Religion in Morocco; Discussion with women from Parliament; Visit National Council of Human Rights; Bread and Tea Making
Day 4: Site Visits: Center for Women's Studies; Amnesty International; dinner with host families
Day 5: Excursion to Fes; visit local NGOs; dinner and discussion with Fes University students; stay in hotel
Day 6: Guided tour of 12 centuries old city; Observation exercises during free time in Fes
Day 7: Travel back to Rabat; site visits and discussions with NGOs
Day 8: Group discussion with university students; experiential learning: writing on wooden boards; evening musical performance
Day 9: Travel to Casablanca; visit Hassan II mosque; Meet with members of Solidarite Feminine; lunch with single mothers from Solidarite Feminine; stay in hotel
My name is Qiqi Mei, and I am a senior from Hangzhou, China. I am majoring in Psychology and Religious Studies with a minor in Education. I started learning about Middle East and Islam in my high school's program, in which I went to Israel and Palestine for 10 days. It had a significant impact on me, in terms of processing different narratives and reflecting on positionalities. Therefore, I continued my learning at Gettysburg College by taking Arabic and many Islam-related classes. This fall, I am also the PLA for the class Islam and Women. I am very excited to gain perspectives from Moroccan women and to observe and experience Moroccan culture in person!
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