How To


Renewing the Carte de Sejour

The residency card (Carte de Sejour) that I finally obtained last year after arriving expires on March 5th. As a responsible person, I begin gathering my documents and showed up at the immigration office 90 days before the expiration only to be told that I had plenty of time. “Come back two weeks before it expires.”

In the meantime, some of the documents that I had obtained in preparing to apply 90 days in advance expired. They are only valid, according to the immigration office, for three months. So, I had to obtain an update on a couple of them.

None of the documents are difficult to obtain. I gathered my rental contract, our marriage license, three months bank statements, a report from a doctor saying I am in good health, copies of my passport, and a background check from Morocco, which I was able to do online and then pick up, along with two application forms.

Since we are traveling at the end of February, I decided to return thirty days before it expired. My husband got up very early to put my name on the list at 7:30 so that I could get one of the first numbers when they handed them out at 8:30. However, they have changed that process. You must arrive at 8:30 and take a number as you arrive. I met him there and was given number 4.

Some men called each number and at a desk in the waiting area went over why you were there and what documents you had brought with you. They determined that I needed to fill out one other form concerning my past work and hobbies and that my husband needed to sign a statement of support. All of these documents had to be “legalized” which is some form of notary service. We had already done all of the documents that we brought with us and he was able to go next door and legalize his handwritten statement.

We were then asked to wait for one of the officers. When I was called, I entered the room with my husband. My husband asked the officer if I could get the document for ten years and he told him, “We will see.” He then began looking over my documents. This was a long, slow, painful process and he seemed to just move the papers around the desk while leaving the room several different times.

My husband who had returned to the waiting area said he came outside and asked him a few questions about our change of address. Finally, the office said to me, “Give me a thousand dirham”. Apparently, I looked shocked and I was. He said, “You wanted ten years, right?” I was speechless. We went to the ATM to get the money and returned quickly and obtained a receipt and instructions to return in two weeks for the card.

I don’t even know how to describe how exciting this is! If only you could understand the ten years of document chase that, I have done in Italy and now here. Italy was by far the most difficult with the permission to stay and residency being two separate transactions. Both require some of the same documents plus others and are at different offices.

We also got married in Italy, which was a year-long document gathering process for us both. Here in Morocco, it has been more streamlined and efficient (if you can ever say that about anything related to any government transaction) but in all fairness, since I am married to a citizen, half the battle is already won. Therein lays one of our biggest reasons for moving to Morocco. Two foreigners in a different country can be a challenge.

When I hear stories of American immigrants, I can really empathize. I think the process there must be even worse than what I have experienced. Dealing with documents only in English, many only available on the computer and traveling long distances to the immigration offices are only some of the obstacles that I see. These days, I am certain it is even more difficult than ever.

In ten years, I will have to return to Casablanca to renew my passport and will have to renew my Carte de Sejour. That seems like a good long time and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

Darija Language Update

When Darija is by far the hardest language I’ve learned. Spanish, Italian, and French are all considered romance languages. They are the modern version of languages that were originally composed of “vulgar Latin”. That means they have some commonalities.

English is a Germanic Language with some Latin influences, so there are some words that are similar to words in the romance languages.  Fortunately, knowing these languages all support each other and there are common themes, some similar vocabulary and common grammar structure.

However, that is not so in Darija. First of all, it is not considered a language, but a dialect of the Arabic language. Therefore, it is not written. Classical Arabic and French make up written documents, informational signs, product information, etc in Morocco. However, the spoken language is Darija.  Additionally, Darija varies somewhat in the various regions and cities in Morocco. In Tangier, Darija is a combination of local words, Spanish and French words and even some classical Arabic words.

Darija is the first language of about 70% of the Moroccan population and the rest speak a Berber language called Tamazight. Needless to say, language is one of the greatest complexities of living in Morocco. On a regular day, I speak French, Spanish, Darija, Italian, and sometimes a little English. Sometimes I speak words of each in the same sentence! It is so interesting to see how people communicate and to confirm that 90% of communication is non-verbal.

All that being said, I am making a little progress on my Darija. Through learning the language, I find that I am better able to distinguish words and phrases that I hear on the street. In order to learn, my teacher has developed a written format of Darija, which younger folks often use for texting. This has been the most helpful element for me since I am a visual learner. When I write things down, or see them written, I am better able to remember them than if I am just repeating things.

So, here are some things I’ve learned so far.

Ana smyti Karen
Ana man amerikiya.
Ana oustada.
Ana mzawja man maghribi.
Kanaskoun f Tanja
Namchi dars Darija jouj youm l simana , tnin ou joum3a hadi tleta sa3a.
Bghit bazaf.

My name is Karen
I am American.
I am a teacher
I am married to a Moroccan man.
I live in Tangier.
I go to my Darija course two days a week on Tuesday and Friday for three hours.
I like it a lot!

I’m only 9 hours into my 20-hour course and some days I feel encouraged and some days discouraged. Both are a natural part of learning a new language.

Trying to Learn Moroccan Arabic (Darija)

When I was young, I had a dream to learn a foreign language. It seemed so romantic. I struggled through Spanish for four years in high school and only used it a handful of times when I visited Mexico on vacation. Una cerveza mas por favor!

I was forty before I traveled abroad. What I found in Europe was that most people could speak a handful of languages. The desire to learn another language intensified and I felt stupid around these bi, tri, and multilingual Europeans.

In 2007, I moved to Italy to accomplish two bucket list items, learn another language and live in another country. Who knew that eleven years later I would be on my fourth foreign language? Italian is the second and strongest foreign language I’ve learned. Spanish is weak, but I often have opportunities to speak it in Tangier and often words pop up that I didn’t know I remembered. Speaking Italian to a native Spanish speaker usually works. I’ve learned French and find that while most Moroccans in the country speak it, many in Tangier do not.

I am happy to have learned French and all of the signs in Morocco are in French and Classic Arabic. Rental contracts, bank documents, grocery store products, and all printed materials include French so it has been valuable. However, if I really want to fit in with the Moroccan people, and speak to my husband’s family, I must learn Darija. Darija is a dialect of Arabic and not considered a true language. It is not a written language, only spoken.

It’s not easy to find courses, but finally, I found a private teacher at an organization called WorldUnite. I will see her for an hour two times per week for a while to see how it goes. My husband assures me it’s “easy”. None of the grammar and tenses like in Italian. Nevertheless, I’ve already found that my mouth, tongue, and throat don’t make some of the needed sounds. It’s going to take a lot of practice. Wish me luck.

Finding an Apartment in Tangier

Well, I’m back in Tangier and moved into a new apartment. Our lease expires on November 1. We loved our original apartment, but maintenance issues (by way of a leaky roof and ceiling) caused us to decide to look elsewhere. We will miss our dramatic sea view.

Looking for another apartment is interesting in Tangier. Apartment buildings are normally high-rises with door attendants. The door attendants are the key to many things in Tangier. Along with providing some security to the building, they gather trash from outside each apartment door, do some light maintenance or call someone for repairs to the common areas, watch who comes and goes, and they know everything about who is living there and what apartments are available.

Yes, there are some listings on the internet and with agencies. Those seem to be mostly for tourists and of course, if you don’t speak the language, you will have to have an agent. Agents charge fees from the renter and the owner so many owners avoid them. They choose, instead, to give the key to the door attendant who by word of mouth will let people know there is something available.

So, our search began. We identified buildings in the area which we liked the look of from the outside and were conveniently located to the area where we wanted to live. Our wants/needs were relatively simple, a two bedroom with an outside space and a sea view. Most apartments come furnished, but we’ve lived with other peoples “stuff” for a while now, and I left open the option of finding something unfurnished.

My husband went to all the door attendants in the buildings that we had identified and we saw around 15 apartments. Usually, one thing will lead to another and one door attendant might not have what you want, but he knows another in another building who might. In our case, the door attendant identified an apartment in his building and we looked at it. We thought it was too small and the décor was strictly Moroccan, which didn’t suit our lifestyle.

The woman who showed us that apartment was showing it for her daughter who lived in Finland. When we told her our concerns, she said she knew of another apartment in the building that she lived in. Later we learned her sister owned it. We ultimately settled on that one.

The apartment is two blocks away from our original apartment. Staying in the same location was important to me. I know the shops and vendors and learning them was no easy feat. The neighborhood is convenient to restaurants, bars, the medina, and shopping. We have a view of the Bay of Tangier as well as the medina and the Strait of Gibraltar.

The apartment is three bedrooms and unfurnished. An unfurnished apartment in Morocco means no water heater, no light fixtures, and no appliances, not to mention the furniture. We put a four-year contract on the apartment starting October 1 to allow time to buy and deliver furniture and appliances and install light fixtures and a hot water heater. Thankfully, my husband could do the electrical bits.

Shopping for these things wasn’t easy. There are plenty of shops but they were all so unfamiliar. Western furniture is not the primary demand here and the appliance brands were not all familiar. We finally settled on some things after a few shopping trips and I was amazed at how quickly they were able to deliver. Within 2 or three days and on the outside one week, everything was in place.

That left packing up our goods from our house and transporting them to the new one. We had some boxes left from our move last year and we started to fill them with the things that we don’t use often. It wasn’t difficult because most of the things that we brought, art, books, and clothing were not being used at the time. We brought forty boxes with us from Italy and we probably added 4 more with some kitchen items. My husband transported everything by hand from one apartment to the other over the month and we unpacked as we went.

I will miss that beautiful dramatic sea view that stole my heart in the other apartment, but not the leaky mess during the rainy season. In its place, I have a lovely open view of the city and sea outside the principal windows, a newly furnished space with my own things, three bedrooms, two and a half baths freshly painted and with some remodeling for $450 a month.

We have a nice guest suite with its own bath. You’re always welcome here!

Visiting the American Consulate

I paid a visit to the American Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco for renewing my passport. After living in Italy for eight years, getting married there to another foreigner, and then moving to Morocco, I’ve dealt with enough government offices bureaucracy for a lifetime.

Italy has a reputation for being one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world. Of the three countries, that I have experience with that is true. However, Italy, at least when I was there, does have some strains of humanity woven among the angst of getting documents. I chock that up to the warm, friendly Italian personality.

That’s not to say you won’t meet a few assholes along the way. I personally believe that this is how these types of jobs are filled. The bigger asshole you are, the more chance you have of being hired to do one of these jobs. Granted they aren’t easy. The wear and tear of dealing with so many different situations, people, cultures, and languages can understandably get on your nerves.

I’ve visited the American Consulate in Italy as well as in Morocco now to obtain documents. My observations are this: If you work in one of these locations, you are safe. There is more than ample security to get in and the tanks outside the Italian consulate should scare anyone away. (Including some Americans in need of assistance) I understand the need for this security, but it absolutely makes you feel like an “enemy of the state”.

Frankly, I hope I never need their help for some emergency. They don’t always seem willing to help. They have rules and laws that prohibit them from doing most things it seems. Two meetings I’ve been to in Morocco and Italy with the consulate consisted of them explaining more about what they could not do for citizens than what they can do. It seems they can notarize documents, issue visas, renew passports, and record births. All for a fee of course.

You cannot show up at the consulate to ask for assistance or questions. Everything is by appointment, online, and you must have exact documents showing the appointment, your passport, etc when you enter. I watched furiously while they patted down and scanned a man who looked to be well into his nineties, tried to walk with a cane, but needed assistance to accomplish that. He was frail, scared, and trying to renew his already expired passport. A HUGE problem.

My stomach ties in knots when I know I have to make a visit. Most of this is from dealing with documents in Italy where I referred to my visits as “going to gather information” to alleviate the inevitable failure if I thought I was actually going to accomplish something. There, the documents you need were not always clear and you often left with a list of more things to obtain. This could work for you as well as against you.

The U.S. Consulate is more exacting. In fact, they have the exact list of things that you need without any deviations. I showed up with that (my old passport, the appointment confirmation, and the form they asked to be filled out along with two photos of a particular size and pose) and after paying my fee was told that all was in order. The lead up to this simple transaction was daunting.

I approached the first woman at a desk outside the consulate. There are barriers and soldiers around the perimeter leading you to one opening. I told her I had an appointment and showed her my passport and confirmation and she passed me through to the second guard about 30 feet away. He looked at my appointment which was at 9:45 and told me to wait (it was 9:35)

He asked me if I had any cameras, lighters, cigarettes, aerosol, makeup, explosives, guns, or computers in my bag. I did have a camera and makeup and had to leave them with my husband. At 9:45, he looked at my passport and appointment again, checked me off a list that he held in his hand, used a hand-held wand to scan my body, and passed me off to the guard another 50 feet down the sidewalk. This guard was in front of the door. He checked my passport and appointment and opened the door.

I entered into the “compound” with an airport security scanner and belt. I put my purse on the belt and proceeded through the scanner. The officer at the other end took out my cell phone and asked me to turn it off, took out my phone charger and ear buds, my house keys and put them in a bin for collection upon my return. He gave me a claim ticket.

He checked my passport and appointment confirmation and told me I could enter the door 20 feet ahead. I entered that door, where another guard stood and there were several glass doors with small waiting rooms ahead. I felt like I was in a prison and the surroundings were stark, clean, and sterile.

This guard told me to enter the two doors ahead and have a seat until I was called. I entered a small waiting room where the elderly man sat, another young Asian man, and a woman and her child.

From here, my process went quickly. I waited about 45 minutes for the others in front of me and there is no privacy here as the people behind the bulletproof glass bark out over speakers your name and your situation. I felt particularly embarrassed for the woman with the child who was in a real predicament and was offered no hope of a resolution and her private business was discussed over the speaker for all of us to hear.

They will email me within two or three weeks when my passport is available for pick up. They allowed me to ask questions and when I told them that I would be traveling to Italy in a little over three weeks time and that my current passport was valid for five months and Italy required six months, the only advice they offered was that I could travel at my own risk. It is the option of the admitting officer at passport control whether they will allow me entrance or not.

So, now I am waiting for the email to make the 5-hour trip back to Casablanca on a Tuesday or Thursday between two o’clock and four to pick up my passport without an appointment. Hopefully, this will happen before my trip to Italy! Fingers crossed.

The Life I Imagined by Karen Mills

Morocco is not my first experience living abroad. I lived in Italy for seven years permanently after taking a one-year sabbatical in Florence. At that point in my life, I had a very successful career, two grown children, and had divorced a few years earlier. At this point, I was saying, “Is this all there is?”

I made a New Year’s Resolution to make some changes. Specifically, I decided to “live somewhere else and do something different”. After looking around for other opportunities in other cities for my job, I decided to step out of the box. If I could live anywhere I wanted, where would that be and what would I do. The result was a year in Florence, Italy learning the Italian language and so much more.

I wrote a book about that first year called, The Life I Imagined


You can find it on Amazon in hardcopy or as an eBook. Read it and change your life!

An excerpt to whet your appetite.

The Life I Imagined

When the plane touched down in Venice, the departure point of the cruise, I felt strong, independent, and excited. The ride from the airport to the pier was a blur, and a water taxi took me to my hotel. I looked at the rippling water in the amazing red and gold sunrise glowing on the antique, ornate palaces and felt the stirrings of something inside. A bubbling up of who I might be, where I might go; the life I might lead in the future dawned like the new day over Venice. I laughed aloud and then cried with joy. Other passengers turned and looked at me with puzzled faces. We were all tired after the long overnight flight, and I laughed again and chalked it up to my emotions.

The rest of that day spurred on by some well of energy that had surfaced with this new feeling, I walked the city. I could feel the smile on my face as I took photos of everything and everybody. I noticed things that I probably wouldn’t normally notice; the curve of the wrought iron on a terrace, people kissing by the ocean, an old man eating gelato alone on a park bench, and the smell of the sea.

I got lost in the alleyways and narrow streets and crisscrossed the many bridges over the canals, gasping when I came upon the rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs. I booked dinner for one in a fabulously expensive restaurant and drank prosecco, Italy’s bubbly, elegant answer to champagne and people-watched others at nearby tables.

Five Challenges of Living Abroad

For me, living abroad has been the right choice. I’ve seen other people come and go from both Italy and here in Morocco. Living somewhere is not like being on vacation. While it has been the right choice for me, it hasn’t always been easy. Here are the things that I have struggled with most.

1. Missing family and friends-This one is obvious. With modern technology, the world is much smaller and it is easier to stay in touch with people. Still, there are times when you want to be with a loved one and it just isn’t feasible. Making adjustments around holidays birthdays, and times, when those you hold dear are ill or in need, is difficult from afar.

2. Language-Learning the language is a necessity if you are going to live in a place. You might be able to get by in the market or around town, but when it comes to reading contracts, opening bank accounts, filing taxes, going to the doctor, you are going to need to speak the language. In addition, it makes acclimating into your new home more pleasant in that you can speak with neighbors and locals that you meet. It isn’t easy though!

3. Finding social outlets-usually you will start with the other immigrants from your home country. That is fine, but in order to enter the society in which you chose to live, you have to learn the language and get involved. That might mean volunteer work, taking classes, or finding a job. You will be happier and feel less isolated if you integrate yourself into your local community. You can usually start with a social network online that might have regular meetups. Again this might only integrate you will other immigrants, but that network will start to grow and expand into the local community.

4. Culture Shock-You likely chose your new home because of some of the cultural differences. You will not like all of the cultural differences that you find. Adapting to the culture is difficult, but you can choose which things you take to heart and which ones you do not. Things such as opening and closing times of businesses, bureaucracy, food rules and customs, religious activities, tipping practices, social interactions, and how you dress are all things to be considered. It is best to be observant and learn what the locals do so as not to stand out like a sore thumb.

5. Food-This might not be something that you think of when you think of living in another country. My primary advice is to plan to eat like a local. In countries outside of the United States, it is common to shop daily for fresh food. Refrigerators may be smaller and freezers non- existent. Produce is available in season and not all year round, but the outstanding flavor when it arrives makes it worth it. Fast food and ethnic food might not exist and may be expensive when you find it. Learning about the recipes and foods of the country where you live can be very rewarding.

Four Ways to Simplify Your Life

Most people don’t realize they need to simplify their life. I know I didn’t. The way I discovered it was unconventional and I’m not sure that reading it somewhere would have convinced me. However, I always like to share wisdom and if you chose to use it, good for you.

In 2007, I proposed a plan to my company to take a one-year sabbatical. My reasoning, at least to myself was because, after 22 years in corporate America, I was tired and sick. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and had recently been diagnosed with Lupus. The job that I had once loved had turned into a nightmare that I woke up to every day.

During the one-year sabbatical, I decided to move to Florence, Italy. It was a bucket list items. I wanted to live in another country and learn another language. I rented an apartment, got rid of most of my “stuff” and moved. During that year, I learned how to and the importance of simplifying your life.

1. Live in as small a place as is comfortable. This was learned purely by accident. I rented a 600 square foot apartment in Florence. There was a small bathroom, a galley kitchen, a living room and a loft bedroom. I moved there from a 1500 square foot condominium that I “downsized” to after my sons were grown and I was divorced.

After living there a while and being surprised at how comfortable I was, I realized that in my condominium, I really only used the same rooms as I had in this apartment. Additionally, I didn’t accumulate more stuff because there was nowhere to put it. It was easy to clean, heat and cool, and to furnish.

Because it was an apartment, I had no maintenance to do, no lawn to mow or garden to tend. If you like doing those things, it’s great, but if you don’t, it’s a relief not to have them.

2. Get rid of debt. This seems obvious. Many times we use credit to buy things to put in our houses, wear, eat, or entertain us. The pleasure of those things can be overshadowed by the burden and weight of the debt. Not having debt is not only liberating, it cuts down on the number of bills you have to pay each month.

3. Live somewhere “walkable”. This isn’t easy to accomplish in the United States. When I visit there, one of the most annoying things is how much time I spend in the car. I haven’t had a car in 11 years now. While living in Boston I didn’t have a car, but in most American cities and suburbs it’s just not possible.

When you live somewhere that you can walk to the store and buy eggs and milk, have a cup of coffee, pick up a newspaper, you get some exercise, meet new people, and at least cut down on gas if you do still own a car.

If you are able to get rid of the car altogether, even better. I use public transportation and when I lived in Boston made occasional use of Zipcar, which is located in many American cities. Even Uber is a nice option these days. If you live somewhere walkable the cost of public transportation on an occasional basis saves money, maintenance, registration, and parking fees.

4. Get rid of “stuff”. This seems to be one of the hardest at first, but one of the most liberating afterward. We buy and hold onto a lot of material possessions. Consumerism is definitely a big part of the American culture. This one you can do whether or not you follow my other advice and I assure you, if you do, you will feel like a bird out of a cage.

I know that many of you, after reading item number one have already said to yourself, “I could live in a smaller place, but where would I put all of my things?” Ask yourself, “What are these things, and why do I need them?” The answer is usually because you want them and then the answer to why you want them opens another can of worms.

That’s it! Four steps to simplify your life. The advantage of having a simpler life is less stress and more time and money to do the things that you really want to do. Let me know if you take my advice or if you have additional items that should be on the list. There are all kinds of help on the internet for accomplishing any of these four things.

With a simplier life ahead of you, you are free to dream countless dreams as well as make a few of them come true! Good luck!

Officially a Resident of Morocco!

I am officially a resident of Morocco as of today. It took almost six months, but the process went smoothly and without much chaos. We visited the immigration office three times.

The first time we visited, they said that we needed to legalize our marriage in Morocco. We knew this but needed a little information on the process, which they provided. We got married in Italy and filed paperwork with the United States and with Morocco through the Prefecture and the Consulates.

In Morocco, we had to get an attorney to finalize the legalization process for Morocco. It took six weeks and one court appearance and cost about $600. This is important in Morocco for many other reasons than just the residency when a non-Muslim marries a Muslim.

Once we had accomplished that, we returned with that document, bank statements from our bank in Morocco, a background check from Italy, our rental contract for one year, a medical review from a local doctor, Ben’s residency card, my passport, of course, and completed forms provided by the immigration office.

The immigration office opens at 9:00, but to get a number, someone has to be there at 7 a.m. to put your name on a list. Then you return at 8:30 for your name to be called and they give you a number. They have a cut off around 15 people per day, so it is not crowded, and the waiting area is pleasant.

On our second visit, we discovered that they wanted a United States background check and not an Italian one, even though I had been in Italy for the past seven years. This is where things got tricky. To get an FBI background check, you must have fingerprints taken. There are no fingerprint facilities here in Morocco.

I had read online that other background checks such as local police were acceptable. My problem is that I had not lived in the US for seven years and really didn’t know where to start. I have a driver’s license and bank account in Tennessee with the address of my parents so decided to try the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. I applied online and they sent it to my parents address in Tennessee within a week.

My mother mailed it to me before Christmas, and after 6 weeks, it had still not arrived. They had sent two copies and she had mailed only one so she mailed the second one the middle of January. It took a month to get here! When it arrived, we went straight to the immigration office with all of our documents.

At this third meeting, they entered my information into the computer! We felt that we had made a huge step forward and we had. I paid 100 dirham’s (about $10) for the processing fee and left there with a receipt to come back in a month.

We were in the area today and decided to drop in and see if additional progress had been made on the residency application. The processing was complete and I left with a temporary residence card, which indicates I am a resident of Morocco.

Residency means that I no longer have to leave the country every 90 days and that phone plans, bank accounts, and some other services are available to me that weren’t in the past. My permanent card will be ready in 90 days and it is good for one year.

The renewal process for the residency card needs to start 90 days before the expiration and will require most of the same documents, but this time the background check will come from inside Morocco.

If you are moving to another country and want to establish residency, you need to do a lot of research. Many countries require a visa prior to trying to establish residency. In Italy for example, it is a three-step process. You have to get a visa before you leave your country for an extended stay, work, or elective residence. You have to apply and obtain your Permesso di Soggiorno and then apply for your residency.

In Morocco, for Americans, you have a 90-day visa for tourism to enter (and can leave the country and come back in to renew it within the 90 days) and the application for the Carte de Sejour and residency are the same application.

I was prepared for the worst and feel that I got the best! Who could ask for more?

10 Words You Should Know Before Coming to Morocco

I learn new words every day. It occurred to me that some of the words I use in my blog might not be familiar to everyone. Definitely, many things are used and seen in Morocco that wouldn’t be in many other parts of the world.

Here are ten words that are common and you will find everywhere in Morocco. Most of them are English words to describe objects, structures, and clothing seen and worn in Morocco. A couple of words you will hear everywhere on the streets.


Pronounced “ja la ba” This is a long robe with a hood and long sleeves made from cotton, wool, or other types of cloth. It can be worn by men or women. You will undoubtedly see both men and women in the streets wearing these garments. They can be very casual, or very elegant.


Medina is an Arabic word meaning city or town. You will find medinas all over North Africa. They are usually walled cities with maze-like streets and alleys inside.

Medina in Chefchouen
Medina in Chefchouen


This is a tall, slender tower attached to a mosque. It usually has a balcony where a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer.

Minaret of the Grand Mosque-Tangier
Minaret of the Grand Mosque-Tangier

Inshallah-This is an Arabic word meaning, “if God wills it”

Souk-an Arab market or bazaar

Tajine or Tagine

This is an earthenware pot with a conical top, but the dishes prepared in this pot are also called tajines. They are made of fish, chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables.


This is a place where Muslims worship, study and discuss Islam.


The headscarf that some Moroccan Muslim women use to cover their head, neck and chest is called a hijab.

Women on the Beach, Tangier, Morocco
Women on the Beach-Tangier, Morocco


Pronounced “shoe –cran”-This is a useful Arabic word meaning thank you.


Pronounced just as I have written it, it is an Arabic word meaning praise be to God.

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