Content skip to

Practical informations

Formalities

- The valid passport is required. Nevertheless, for the nationals of the European Union and the Swiss ones, the indentity card is enough in certain cases, in particular for those which bought their stay or circuit near an travel agency, with ticket of return ticket and reservation in hotels (the Belgian nationals must belong to a group of more than 8 people).
In addition, the consulate of Morocco in France specifies that in certain cases (entered by the airports of Casablanca and Reduction), the passport is obligatory.
Moreover, one passport is sometimes necessary in the banks to make exchange (of travellers in particular) or in the event of individual repatriation in urgency. We thus advise you to have one of them. For the Canadians, obligatory passport in all the cases.
- No visa for the nationals of the European Union (like for the Swiss ones and the Canadians), but the stay cannot exceed 3 months. For those which wish to remain longer (with a 3 other months maximum), the request for prolongation must be carried out on the basis of document in proof of residence and resources, if possible as of the arrival, near the office of police force nearest, at least 2 weeks before the expiry of the initial period of validity (obligatory passport).
- To rent a car in Morocco, the driving license national is enough, but it is necessary to have at least 1 year of license.
- A council: photocopy all your official documents, including your plane ticket, and separate them from your originals. Better: scannez them and send them at your address e-mail. In the event of loss or of flight, you will be able to recover your "photocopies" since any cybercafé.

Customs

The customs formalities become less and less meddle, and all is buckled in 15 mn if you are in rule. If they seem to you too long, remain patient: your irritation would do nothing but worsen the situation.
- If you arrive from Spain, the formalities of police force are carried out on the boat, or on arrival (all depends on the connections).
- The alcohol amateurs can bring a bottle of their preferred wine and a bottle of 75 alcohol Cl (wine or other).
- The accros of the tobacco are entitled to a cartridge.
- Material photo amateur and films are accepted in reasonable quantity.
- The "light" publications and any political literature likely are proscribed to contain a bearing article reached with the law and order (and especially with the sovereign of Morocco).
- The customs officers will confiscate you also the bombs of defense, considered as weapons (of which the entry is strictly prohibited), as well as the rockets of distress (which you had taken to traverse the desert). They will be restored to you with the return.

Currency

The Moroccan currency is the dirham. Semi-2007, 1 € was worth approximately 11 dirhams (Dh), this rate having remained rather stable these last years.
This currency is not convertible and you are supposed to leave Morocco without dirham out of pocket. However, only 50% of the dirhams not spent can be reconverted on the spot in currencies.
Caution: to the souk, sometimes, the small sums are given in riels (1 dirham = 20 riels, in other words 1 riel = 5 centimes Moroccan). Therefore, if one announces to you 600 for the price of a clothing, not of panic, that makes only 30 Dh, that is to say 2,70 €!
At the other end of the range of the prices, the large sums (house, car) are expressed... in Moroccan centimes!
Attention, the parts of 1 Dh and 2 Dh resemble each other much and one quickly made be mistaken. In addition, in certain hotels, and at the time of your purchases in large the médinas like Marrakech, it is often possible to regulate in euros. In this case, take guard with foreign exchange rate.

Change

All the large banks have an exchange office, as well as the large hotels. Since the new law on the liberalization of foreign exchange rate (at the beginning of 2007), each bank can apply its own rate. But in reality, it varies relatively little one counter to the other.
It there forever of difficulties to carry out exchange, except in moved back places. Sometimes one will ask you to present your passport. To always require a receipt and to check the sum well.
- The banknotes in euros are accepted in all the banks like in the hotels. They must imperatively be in perfect state, if not they are refused.
them accounts - travellers' checks are not systematically accepted by all the banks. To provide itself with a photocopy of the proof of purchase and better is worth to have its passport on oneself.

Banks

More and more of banks have continuous schedules: Monday to Friday of 8:15 to 15:45 (with sometimes a more or less long pause at the time of the prayer of Friday). If not, they are generally open Monday to Thursday of 8:30 to 11:30, 14:30 with 16:00, sometimes of 8:00 to 18:30; Friday, day of the great prayer, closing midday longer (of 11:00 to 15:00). Some have an open exchange office saturdays. In period of Ramadan, they open uninterrupted: 8:30 (or 9:30) with 14:00 (or 15:00); these particular schedules make each year the object of a decree.

Purchasing cards

They are accepted in certain important establishments (hotels, restaurants, stores, but seldom in the service station). Certain tradesmen and hotel will tax you nevertheless if you want to pay with your chart. In fact, they make you pay their expenses because they must telephone the center of Casablanca or Reduction to make sure that your account is not on a red list. The operation however became essential.
Today, the terminals of payment spread and swindles it with the "domestic iron" is increasingly rare.
The chart most largely accepted is the visa card (many distributers).
In addition, with the MasterCard chart, you can withdraw money with the distributers and the counters of the Moroccan Bank of the foreign trade like to the counters of the following banks: Wafabank; Popular central bank; Commercial bank of Morocco, where waiting can be very long.

Vending machines

Better is worth to withdraw money during the opening hours of the banks, which makes it possible to ask for the intervention of an employee in the event of failure of the apparatus. Especially that, in the event of problem, the Moroccan vending machines keep the chart instead of restoring it... including in the event of engineering problems.
For each withdrawal, a variable commission of about 2%, supplemented of a part fixes from 3,50 to 5 €, will be output of your bank account.

Baksheesh

In the beginning, which is lost a little in the mists of time, baksheesh was the gift of welcome, as a sign of friendship and hospitality. Today, baksheesh was popularized, because employed wrongly and through. It is a tip, a remuneration in exchange of a rendered service, to in no case a alms.
A perceived commission is not to in no case baksheesh. Morocco still suffers in an important way of some practical corrupting. To encourage, it is to deny the democratic process which will make Morocco of tomorrow.

Budget

The life in Morocco is much cheaper than in France. One can, if one travels to the economy, envisage a budget of 40 € approximately per day for two people (either roughly 440 Dh). While envisaging the double, one will be able to go down in comfortable hotels, to sit down with good food and to spend the holidays under excellent conditions. Life of pasha!

Cook

To taste the true Moroccan specialities, it is necessary to be invited in a family or to go in a table of host as those which we advise you in Marrakech. You will see all the difference then.
- The salads generally begin a meal. The vegetables are delicious and a simple tomato salad and sweet peppers have a particular savor thanks to the kamoun, plant aromatic near to our cumin, which uses the composition of many Moroccan dishes. The salad mechouia, excellent, is carried out containing tomatos and of cooked sweet peppers. In a little sophisticated restaurants one will bring a variety of olive salads to you (meslalla), of fennel, carrots grated sweetened and scented with the flower of orange tree, of feggous (of small long cucumbers and ends). Perhaps in cooked salads, in addition to the very widespread mechouia, one will propose salads of eggplants, beets scented to you with cinnamon and cumin, of mauve (bekkoula), a spring plant rather near to spinaches, sweet potatoes, fresh broad beans, garden peas or zucchinis. In any of these receipts the small ones are not forgotten more (saffron, grooves, cumin, flower of orange tree, crushed garlic, lemon juice, chopped parsley) which will raise the taste of it.
- The tajine: The tajines generally proposed in the restaurants are those with prunes and almonds, those of chicken to lemon and vegetables. Do not fail, when it is the season, to test the tajine with quinces and honey (a treat). Unfortunately, which one will generally be used to you in the restaurants as hotels, they are "false tajines".
- The couscous constitutes the national dish par excellence. The semolina, of corn or millet, is rolled by expert hands; cooked with the vapor, it accompanies by the preparations of vegetables: broad beans, zucchinis, turnips... decorated dry grapes, chick-peas.
- Skewers roasted on embers of a wood fire.
- Soups are been useful in the majority of the small restaurants, mainly it famous will harira which, during the month of the Ramadan, is used to break the daily fast. It is dry vegetable soup a very scented, rather thick, containing small pieces of meat sometimes.
- The briouats are small fritters made up of sheets of paste of pelletized and stuffed with chopped meat, brain, sausages, fish, almonds, etc
- Pelletized is an exceptional dish: large cake of puff pastry to almonds, lined mince of pigeon (or chicken) and slightly powdered with sugar and cinnamon.
- The lamb barbecue is a dish of festival. It is a whole lamb roasted with the pin and cooked with the wood fire.
- The fish is excellent. One finds also succulent seafood, sea urchins and even of oysters with Oualidia. Mown will be satisfied with a roasted sardine dish.
- The snails are also appreciated by the Morrocans.
- The bread is almost always round like a wafer and breaks with the hand.
- One could not conclude without speaking about pastry makings. The most known, the kaab el ghzal or horns of gazelle, are not the best. To test the briouats with honey and almonds, the griouch, the houala rhifa, the ghoriba with almonds or seeds of sesame, the bechkito, the mhanncha, the shebbakia and especially the bastella or pelletized with milk, known as ktéfa.

Drinks

Like the weather is hot in Morocco, one tends to drink much and to miss prudence.

Water

It is to better avoid being refreshed with tap water and not trusting with the Morrocans who will ensure you that it is drinkable: the proof, they drink some! Do not forget only if their organization is accustomed, ours does not resist. Avoid also spring water, which can be polluted, as well as the ice floes. It is thus necessary to fold back on mineral punts like Sidi Harazem and Sidi Ali, or gas water like Oulmès. One can also disinfect tap water with pastilles of Micropur or Hydroclonazone, on the condition of letting act sufficiently a long time.

Sodas and fruit juice

As everywhere in the world, one finds drinks chemical such as Coca, lemonades, etc Partout, you will be able to drink delicious orange juice. Always take care that those are done under your eyes and are been useful in wiped glasses. The almond juice is a delicious beverage (it is milk mixed with crushed almonds).

Beer

The Morrocans consume a rather light local beer, the Special Flag, brewed under license in Casablanca. Heineken, also brewed in Casablanca, seemed better to us.

Wine

The Moslems, theoretically, should not drink some; Coran theirs prohibits.
The local wines, memory of protectorate, are of often poor quality. One will retain in the reds: Thaleb, cabernet, Ksar, Heat-Sun, Guerouane, Old man-Popes, Oustalet, Father-Antoine, Cardinal, Amazir; in the white: Heat-sun, Valpierre and muscatel of Blessed Suassen; in the rosy ones: Oustalet, Guerouane and especially Boulaouane, a small gray not sad! That which one will generally propose to you is Guerouane, the restorers having noted that it had a regular quality.

Coffee and liqueur

The coffee bad and is not always been useful in glass. If you like it with milk, like the Morrocans, ask a "broken coffee". The mahia is a fig alcohol which titrates 40o. Excellent to conclude a good meal, with the proviso not of misusing it.

The

The speciality of the country is, of course, the with the mint, which one drinks everywhere and which one will offer to you, whatever the hour, in all the families. It is called here the "Berber whiskey". The is a true ceremony.

Habitat

It is considered that, among the Maghreb countries, Morocco is richest in the field of the architectural heritage.
- Kasbahs: everywhere in the Moroccan South, you will meet in the middle of La Palmeraies these superb masonries strengthened out of ground. At the same time residence of the lord and strong castle, the kasbah played a fundamental role during centuries. As soon as the invader ground, the villagers took refuge there. It seems well that this type of habitat concerns a typically Berber art. The kasbahs are built on stone foundations, with made raw bricks of ground and straw, according to a very old process. The high part of the walls is often crowned merlons out of ears. To note: the upper parts of the kasbahs were often decorated with geometrical reasons with Berber inspiration, which one finds on the jewels and the carpets. Several kasbahs form a ksar ("village", in the plural ksour).
- Riad: Residences organized around a court or of an interior garden. The walls of the richest houses are decorated with opulence. The zelliges (ceramic with geometrical reasons) and plasters it carved give them an inimitable seal.
- Cob constructions: it is of course about the rural settlement whose florets are the kasbahs. Berber typical architecture is organized as follows: the ground floor is devoted to the animals, the first stage is occupied by the kitchen with open sky, and the last floor, the reception room and the terrace.
- The Berber tent: another type of habitat, for the tribes which accompany their herds in transhumance, the tent (khaïma) of color chestnut is out of wool of sheep or goat, decorated by geometrical reasons.

Media

Radio

The Moroccan stations emit many emissions in French language. It is possible also to collect the French radios like RMC, Europe 1 and France Inter.

Television

There exist two national chains, TVM and 2M. The parabolas make it possible to collect televisions European, American, Arab and Asian. But the majority of the Morrocans prefer the French and Arab satellite chains.

Newspapers

One finds all the daily newspapers French, the very same day or the following day, in the big cities. For the local news, a score of daily newspapers including six of French expression. The principal ones are: The Morning of the Sahara, the Opinion, Release (sic) and Al Bayane.

Music and dance

The music, which includes/understands the many ones and various forms of expression, fact part of the daily life in Morocco.

Classical music

Known under the name of arabo-Andalusian music, it is a music of court played and sung generally by men of letters and the scientists, the texts being always of a great quality. A great name is Abdelkrim Raïs, disappeared in 1996, whose disc proposes an excellent concert recorded in Paris (Harmonia Mundi distribution).

Traditional also is the music of crowned inspiration which concerns the Sufism. The disc the Voices of Fès can enable you to approach this spirituality.

Popular music

More varied and more rich person of imagination, it is unaware of on the other hand grammatical measurement. They are light songs, in dialectical Arabic language, especially intended to divert the man in the street, the craftsman or the tradesman. The spoke, of Algerian origin, made followers in Morocco, which has from now on its popular singer-type-setters, whose leader is Cheb Amrou which combine sonorities spoke and techno.

Berber or rural music

Inspired by the nature of the Moroccan countryside, the songs and dances of the rural tribes are splendid spectacles. They change character according to the place, according to the tribe.

Dances

It will certainly be given to you to witness some folk dances. They are generally collective. Most widespread are the ahidous, in the area of the Average Atlas, the ahouach in the High Atlas, in country chleuh and will guedra it in Guelmim and in part of the Saharan area.

Health

No particular risks, Morocco not being a country with the unhealthy climate. Nevertheless, in much of places, reign poverty, promiscuity, the bad hygiene and the lack of water. Thus to be wary well of the diseases transmitted by water and food. Some universal rules: - To avoid nonindustrial drinks, the ice floes, milk and derived not industrialists, the shells.
- The mineral water must be décapsulée in front of you.
- Fruit and vegetables: according to WHO "wash, peel them, make them boil them or leave them".
- To consume the well cooked meats; to thus fold back itself on the couscous, tajines and lamb barbecues.
- A diarrhea which contains glaires, pus, blood and cause fever requires the intervention of the doctor.

For the remainder:

- To avoid bathing or of stagnant fresh water patauger; to be wary of the sun, everywhere and even more in mountain. And, attention with the car accidents.
- In the event of sore, not of panic: Moroccan pharmacies are very well supplied and of many doctors are formed in France or by French teachers.
- To entreat the bad fate, subscribe, before the departure, an insurance "Assistance-repatriation".

- Urgencies: Such: 112 since a mobile phone. Since a fixed telephone: 19 downtown and 177 out of the cities.

Flights

Except in Rif and in Casa, and in peak season in the very tourist places, the theft risks to the car are limited. However, you knowing much richer than them (and imagining you still richer than you are it!), some will have in heart to tap you the maximum of money, but by the most legal means, via a psychological pressure or processes of handling of a very great skill. Not to become parano for as much. You do not divert each time you are approached, are simply vigilant. One delivers some councils and warning statements to you if you would have misfortune to be confronted with this kind of problems.
- To carry the bags of photo material in shoulder-belt and across the chest. Not to put a wallet in the pockets postpones of pants. For its money and its papers, to prefer banana around the size or small a backpack fastened well. To carry in front of oneself when one is in crowd and that one visits the souks.
- The pickpockets have a technique at the point very. They approach with a newspaper, a petition, or an unspecified article (tee-shirt, for example) that they put to you under the nose by dazing you of words. During this time, the other hand explores your pockets or your bag.
- Never nothing to leave the apparent one in a vehicle. To put all in the trunk and to entrust the vehicle to a guard who, with the help of 2 to 5 dirhams (more for the night), will have a joy of supervising it while you visit.
- In case of theft of other or identity papers, it should be known that the police force does not take a deposition during the leave of end of the week. Always require that one give you a copy of your deposition in French. It will be answered you that it is necessary to make a request written with the National security. Ask a provisional certificate then carrying signature of the police officer and seal of permanence. Never leave the places without this French paper, essential for the insurance companies.

Stop

It functions mainly on the main roads like Tangier - Casablanca - Marrakech.
The routardes only will avoid making stop. It is not advised to them to leave during the night in certain a little hot districts. This remark is also valid for our male readers (eh yes!). Moreover, a routarde only must rather say that it will join a group later.

Dope

Made attention when veterans of the road speak to you about crowned the good time when one smoked in Rif in all quietude. Times change!

Unless one did not come to Morocco to make a thesis on kif, in our opinion, it is better to avoid trailing in the Rif and mainly in the corner of Kétama. Moreover, it often rains in this area. Reason moreover to go to seek the sun under other skies!

In the car in Rif, if you see somebody laid down on the road, avoid it but you do not stop especially. The buddies arrive and you buy, gladly, badly liking, 200 G of kif. Moreover, after you to have sold kif, in Rif and even elsewhere, the salesman can easily denounce you with the police force and empocher a commission. It is a current practice, are wary.

Controls with the customs and in the ports are effective. Certain dogs are drawn up to recognize quite particular odors...

Lastly, it seems that the knife experiments spread a little too much (mainly in Tangier, Tétouan and in the cities of Rif). The scenario is always the same one: under pretext of drinking the and rolling a joint, a sympathetic, cool young person and all, takes you along at his place. It closes with double turn, his buddies in the room at side reapply. "You buy so many grams, at such price or... ".

Sexuality

Young people, the dredger, here, it is not tart. And yet, you met it, it immediately gave you his phone number... First possible misinterpretation: contrary to European, a Morrocan woman yes gives her number for one or not, free to change it every 6 months if it is importuned. Now, you would like to re-examine it, but you well quickly will see you that, in the majority of the cases, your princess is captive: a nonmarried Morrocan woman leaves only with the approval her father (or possibly of his oldest brother), and this one, in general concerned of the gossip, retains it at the house last 20:00... No the problem, you will say yourselves, the afternoon is favourable with all kinds of naps, villainous preferably. New obstacle: there are strong chances that your conquest is virgin, because you are in a Moslem country where future badine not with that! But you fell on one délurée, which could not wait. Yes, but you believe that the owner of your hotel will let it go up like that in your room?
Coran prohibits formally that a Moslem woman has sexual relations with a not-Moslem. Without being officially transposed in the Moroccan law, this precept is in practice applied and the managers of hotels are vigilant. The reactions are varied: some refuse the couple of their establishment, others give to each one a geographically opposed room, and finally of the managers, often French, the eyes close. In this last case, attention: any transgression can be turned over against the man being in the same room as a Morrocan woman who is not his legitimate wife. In the event of denunciation by a malevolent person, the man risks the imprisonment, whether it is Moroccan or foreign. You will have been warned!
Last warning: though the official services are shown very discrete on this chapter, the AIDS gently starts to make devastations, in particular near certain young people. One finds condoms in all Moroccan pharmacies. Then, you do not have excuses!

What it is necessary to do

- To expose itself before entering a part if you see shoes deposited close to the door.
- To answer all the questions that one will pose to you and who, sometimes, will appear indiscreet to you.
- To prolong the pause the by accepting several glasses, even if one is not any more thirsty.
- If one were invited in a family, to leave a small present rather than money.
- If his Moroccan friends were photographed, not to forget to send the stereotypes to them to the return.

What one should not do

- To refuse the that one offers to you.
- To carry a behavior provocante, especially for the women.
- To tackle certain subjects taboos such as the policy, the religion, the king.
- To take for gays all the young men who walk hand in the hand. It is a sign of friendship and not of homosexuality.
- To devote itself to integral bronzing on the terrace of a riad, even held by Europeans.
- To be made fondlings as a public.
- Moucher bruyamment in public, especially during a meal.
- Éructer bruyamment in public, under pretext of respect a hurdy-gurdy Maghrebian habit. All the families do not practice thus!

If you are invited to take a meal with Morrocans or to take part in the famous ceremony of the, are installed on carpets while tasting cookies or dates, do not forget to eat with the right hand (left being reserved for the toilet). The finished meal, one washes the hands and stops.

Religion

Islam

The doctrines preached by Mahomet, and consigned in Coran, are called Islam, i.e. "resignation with the will of God". The Moslems believe not only in the mission of Mahomet, their prophet, but also with that of all the messengers who preceded it: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Brace, Jean-Baptiste, Jesus-Christ, etc They believe in the Psalms, the Torah, with the Gospel, but consider that certain revealed books do not have escaped with the deterioration brought by the men, deterioration which made unicity divine less radical. The mission of Mahomet is to restore the divine revelation in its integrity.

Islam is the official religion of Morocco and the king cumulates the functions of Head of State and religious leader (Commander of the Believers).

Mahomet, "Rented"

The founder of the Islamic religion is Mahomet (Muhammad, "Rented"). Orphan of father to the birth, the Mahomet child is put as a nurse in a tribe Bedouin, where it will remain until the six years age. His/her mother dies little of time after having recovered it. The Mahomet young person is raised by his paternal grandfather, then, with died of this one, by his uncle, Abu Talib, a commercial rich person. This one often takes along Mahomet with him at the time of its voyages through the desert; it makes him discover Syria. Mahomet with the practice to withdraw itself regularly in a cave, on the Hira mount, to meditate and request. It is there that it receives the first revelation, via the Gabriel archangel, about year 610. One calls this night "Harms of the destiny". She celebrates the 27e day of the month of the Ramadan. Mahomet ends up dictating them the revelations with a close relation, which will form thereafter Coran (which means "recitation"). But its teaching disturbs. Persecutions follow. The situation becoming intolerable with Mecque, it flees, on July 16th, 622, in Médine. It returns triumphantly in its birthplace into 630 and, after having broken all the idols, it keeps, in the sanctuary of Kaaba, Pierre Noire, whom it regards as a gift of the sky and dedicates to the Muslim cult. The Prophet dies out two years later, on June 8th, 632. Its succession is very difficult. It is still not regulated, since two different doctrines oppose the Shiites and the sunnites.

Coran, delivers holy

Published in Arabic into 634, Coran integrates the Eastern doctrines Jewish and Christian and traditions. He teaches that the duration of Creation is six days. Islam is based on obligations which each Moslem must respect scrupulously: they are the five pillars of Islam.

Five pillars of Islam

- The profession of faith (chahada): one must recite it each day per hour of the prayer and the time of died to open up itself the doors of beyond. In short: "Allah is large. There is not other God that Allah, and Mahomet (Muhammad) is its prophet. Allah is large, etc" It is acted in fact of a double profession of faith: on a side the refusal to admit that there can be other divinities that God and other the assertion which the Mahomet prophet is a reference indépassable, having received, like "seal of the prophets", a universal mission.
- The prayer (salted): it takes place five times per day: with the dawn, at midday, towards 16:00, with laying down sun and two hours later. The hour of the prayer is announced by the song (azân) of the muezzin, who turned formerly around the gallery of the minaret; this call is diffused today by loudspeakers. The prayer must be made barefeet, the faithful one turned in the direction of Mecque.
- Legal alms (zakat): it is a permanent tax making it possible to purify possession of the wordly goods, considered impure.
- The fast of the Ramadan: in Morocco, contrary to many Moslem countries, the Ramadan is scrupulously respected. Islam being the official religion, the Morrocans supervise themselves mutually, and to fail in the rule as a public would be a provocation sanctioned by the police force.

The fast of the month of the Ramadan is obligatory starting from the age of puberty, except for the expectant mothers, the patients and the travellers. The abstinence extends to all liquid foods and solid, with the smoke of the tobacco, the perfumes and any sex act. One must even morally remain pure. The fast lasts of the dawn until laying down it sun. Because of lunar mobility, the Ramadan falls in any season. It lasts 29 or 30 days, for which it is necessary to add the 3 or 4 bank holidays of Aïd are Seghir which enclose the period of fast.

Two months and 10 days after the end of the Ramadan, the festival of Aïd el Adhaa, the festival of the Sheep takes place. It takes place every year and commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham. This one, being on the point of sacrificing his/her son to God, saw to approach him, at the ultimate minute, a sheep "sent of the sky". In remembering, each family sacrifices her sheep after having câliné it and having bichonné during several days.

- The pilgrimage (hadj): the pilgrimage with the holy places of Mecque is an obligation for any Moslem who in with the material possibility. Each pilgrim must ritually achieve certain "ceremonies", either individual, or collective, at more or less fixed dates.

The return of the pilgrims is one great moment: of pride for those which are returned from there of Mecque, become of the hadjis, and of jubilation for those which accommodate them in their district or their village.

Zaouïa

There exists another form of popular devotion which one could, while caricaturing a little, to call the Islam of the campaigns in opposition to the official Islam of the cities. Many localities bear the name of a marabout (holy) local, preceded by the zaouïa term which indicates the sanctuary where the saint is buried. Often, a foundation or a brotherhood was created around this sanctuary. Once the year, the population affirms its religious enthusiasm at the time of a great pilgrimage.

Gazelles

It is insane what there is like "gazelles" in Morocco. Each tourist woman is thus baptized. As for the men, they are the "gazeaux ones" or "gazous".

Children

With 36% of the population which has less than 15 years (at the time of the census of 1994), Morocco is a "young" country. Nevertheless, fertility rate drops some (2,8 children per woman in 1999 compared with 5,5 in 1982) gradually involves a deceleration of the growth of the population, although this one remains still rather high. Morocco is thus confronted with the challenge of schooling and the elimination of illiteracy. The provided education for children are it often part-time because the schools are not numerous enough. The challenge is enormous: a national charter of education and training was discussed in 1999, stipulating that "starting from the return to school of 2002, any 6 Moroccan year old child must be able to find a place teaching in 1st year of the elementary school nearest to the place of residence of his parents". And remember that today still, half of the Morrocans can neither read nor to write...

Women

As in all the countries governed by the Moslem right, the condition of the woman was not always very enviable. And yet, shown opposition to progress, the government finally answered the immense hope of the women while deciding to repeal the most discriminatory texts of the code of the family, the idea being to found equal rights between the man and the woman. Adopted on January 16th, 2004 by the Moroccan deputies, the new legislation émancipe the Morrocan women and modernizes all the company. From now on, the woman will not be any more under the patriarchal supervision, it will be able to choose her husband (lawful age freely to marry: 18 years and either 15), to divorce without losing the guard of his/her children in the event of remarriage, refusing polygamy. In short, a true revolution. Even if this political and social projection is not taste of the islamist ones, it is clear that this modernization raises new hopes for the other Arab countries. Remain to see its application to the daily newspaper.

Festivals and ceremonies

Moslem religious holidays

They are given according to the lunar calendar and, so their date varies each year. The dates which we give for years 2003 and 2004 are valid with a margin of 2 or 3 days.

- Aïd-el-Kebir or el-Adha: sacrifice of the sheep (January 21st, 2005 and January 10th, 2006) celebrates.
- The Short-nap cloth el-Am: 1st day of the 1st month of the calendar of the hégire. It is one bank holiday (February 10th, 2005 and January 31st, 2006).
- Achoura: date lived in a way very contrasted by the Moslems, according to their origins. In Iran and Iraq, it is the All Souls' Day. In Morocco, it is festival a two days given in the honor of disadvantaged and children, who receive many gifts.
- Aïd el-Mouled: commemoration of the birth of the Mahomet prophet. Two feastdays of family (April 21st, 2005 and April 10th, 2006).
- The beginning of the Ramadan: beginning of the fast (October 5th, 2005 and September 24th, 2006).
- Aïd be-Seghir or el-Fitr: rupture of the fast celebrates, the shortly after the end of the Ramadan (November 4th, 2005 and October 24th, 2006).

Festivals of the Moslem calendar

Perhaps you will be likely to see a circumcision, which gives place to great rejoicings, proportional to the richness of the family. But you will on especially the occasion to attend a marriage, where one dances during three days. The most frequent ceremony remains that of the to mint.

Hammam

In the beginning, the hammam is an invention of the Romans. They allow total ablution in accordance with Coran. The hammams are also used as public bathrooms. They are also an important meeting place for the women. Generally, the men bathe the morning and the women the afternoon: a towel hung with the door of the establishment indicates the presence of the women. The schedules are in theory of 7:30 to 11:00 and 18:00 to 20:00 for the men; and of 11:30 to 17:00 for the women. The baths close the festival days before later.

Mosques

If the French word "mosque" comes from masdjid, one should not mistake on the direction of this term. Masdjid indicates the place where one prostrate (in front of Allah). It can be of course the mosque, but also any place, provided that it is in a state of cleanliness and sacralization. Friday is the day of the gathering (y'm el djamaa) and also the day of the mosque, since it is there that one gathers for the great collective prayer.

Souk

The souk term means gone. It is an basic element of the Moroccan life. Commercial crossroads, it is also the place where regularly people meet, find themselves. There exist two kinds of souks: the town rural market and shopping malls which are more frequently called médinas (which means "old city").

Local time

Morocco lives per hour of the meridian line of Greenwich. When it is midday in France, it is 10:00 in Morocco in summer and 11:00 in winter. The jet lag is thus favorable to the outward journey.

Schedules

- Banks: they are generally open Monday to Thursday of 8:30 to 12:00 and 14:30 with 16:00 or 13:30 with 15:00, according to the cities. Variations according to the seasons.
- Museums: the schedules are variable and sometimes a little whimsical. In general, the museums open 9:00 with 12:00 and 15:00 with 18:00 and are closed Tuesday. The entrance fee is of 10 Dh (0,9 euro).
- Stores: the stores of the médinas are often closed Friday. The others do not have fixed hours, but they close also Friday or saturdays and, always, Sunday. In the tourist centers, the stores intended for the tourists are open the every day and only close very late in the night.
- The post offices (postal and telecommunications authorities) principal open 8:30 with 16:00 with a pause Friday at the time of the prayer. The others close between 12:00 - 12. 30 and 14:30 - 15 h. the schedules can vary during the Ramadan. All these offices are very attended, and it is necessary to be armed with patience. The remaining postal service functions well. One can get stamps in the tobacconist's shops or reception of certain hotels. The letter-boxes are many and easy to locate, of yellow color as in France.

Languages

Arabic was imported of the East by the Islamic conquerors. Now, as in all the Arab countries, one distinguishes the classical Arabic (or arts person, accessible to the well-read men), who is the language of education, the administration and the media, of the dialectical Arabic, spoken language which varies according to the areas and the social classes. The Berber one is the second language, practiced in many areas of Morocco. The majority of the Morrocans having attended the school speak French. One notes, however, that English became the language of communication of the young people, with the detriment of ours. The third foreign language is Spanish, mainly in North.

Some Arabic words:

Yes amndt
Hello sebah el to kheir

Good night

lila mebrouka

Please min fadlak
Not
Good evening msa el to kheir
Goodbye besslâma, Allah ihennikoum
Thank you choukran, barak, allahou fik

Restaurants

In all the cities of Morocco, there exist restaurants for all the tastes and all the purses. For the research of exoticism, a general rule: those of the médina. They are cheap besides.
A council:

Bank holidays

- January 1st: New Year's Day.
- January 11th: birthday of Independence.
- May 1st: Labor Day.
- July 30th: throne celebrates.
- August 14th: commemoration of the allegiance of the Eddahab wadi.
- August 20th: birthday of the revolution, the King and the people.
- November 6th: birthday of green Walk.
- November 18th: independence celebrates (return of exile of Mohammed V).

The visit of the mosques

In Morocco, the visit of the mosques is always prohibited to the not-Moslems. Certain districts where places of pilgrimage are, like the neighborhoods of the mosque of beautiful Sidi Abbès with Marrakech, are also prohibited. Not to insist. There exist however rare exceptions such as the large mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca, that of Meknès and that of Chock Badly.