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 Marrakesh 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; dinner with host families
Day 5: Experiential learning: writing on wooden boards; visit Amnesty International, dinner with host families
Day 6: Site visits and discussions with NGOs
Day 7: Travel to Marrakesh; visit 11th century village; tour, dinner, and discussion with women's cooperative; stay at hotel
Day 8: Guided tour of the old city of Marrakesh; free time, dinner at hotel
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 Kayla Cooper and I am a senior from Bolingbrook, Illinois. I am a double major in Globalization Studies and French. I believe that immersing yourself in another culture is an amazing way to expand your thinking and realize how people all over the world can be very different yet very similar to you. I have had the amazing opportunity to study abroad twice while at Gettysburg. Once in Paris, France and also in Belgrade, Serbia. I was also lucky enough to participate in the CPS summer fellows program where I spent two months in Kathmandu, Nepal. This immersion project has interested me since my first-year when I took an Anthropology class, Women and Islam. Now that I will be on campus for the spring semester, I will finally be able to go and couldn't be more excited to lead the trip. I am so excited to learn more about Women in Morocco with my peers and observe Moroccan culture firsthand.
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