Day 4-6 – May 7th-9th
On Sunday, the first group visited Project Soar, a girl-centered activity aimed at empowering teen girls through a one-year program in order to help them understand their value, body, rights, and path. Its focus is to prevent adolescent pregnancy and child marriage, but also to encourage girls to continue their education and enter the labor market. At the center, Kawtar Ait Malek talked about their work and we got to meet the girls. Many of us were touched by their project!
Afterward, we went and visited several museums: The Bahia Palace, a ruined palace that shows an example of traditional Moroccan architecture, the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a historic Islamic School and an impressive example of Moroccan architecture, and Le Jardin Secret, a beautiful garden and riad located in the souks of Marrakech.
In the evening, the group was reunited and decided to have dinner at a local restaurant, where several of us enjoyed Tanjia, a traditional Marrakech dish. Then we explored the city, going through the souks to Jemaa el Fnaa, the main square, and the marketplace of Marrakesh, used by locals and tourists alike. Being in these markets, vendors will constantly call you to bring your attention to their stalls, and haggling is an expected custom when purchasing. On the way back to the hotel, we also stopped by the Koutoubia mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech.
On Monday, most of us went on a full-day trip to visit the Ouzoud Waterfalls with a guided hike and boat ride. It was an absolutely amazing and slightly wet experience, especially for some of us! We also got to see monkeys.
The second half of the week was spent in Rabat to visit NGOs and the Swedish embassy in Morocco. The group split up once more as some left directly in the morning by train to stop by Casa Blanca to visit Hassan II, one of the largest mosques in the world, while others stayed to enjoy the last few hours in Marrakech before returning to Rabat in the afternoon.
Written by: Chad Farrell and Ebba Tholander