“Inshallah” is an Arabic phrase the literally translate to “If God wills it”. It’s also used for ‘no’, ‘yes’, and ‘maybe’. So I don’t actually know what it means. Our program coordinator told us that sometimes, people we just met will invite us over for lunch or to stay the night; it’s a part of Morocco’s traditional hospitality. She told us that most times, people say these things to be polite and welcoming, and that you shouldn’t really accept the offer if you already have a place to stay and food to eat. Although, once you know the person better, and they keep inviting you over, it’s ok to accept the invitation.
Rhim’s mom invited me over for couscous the first time we met. I told her Inshallah because I figured she was just being polite. She’s invited me to couscous twice since. I said Inshallah both times, so I’m not super sure what I actually said or if I agreed to anything. Maybe I’ll end up at her house for couscous one of these days, but I really have no idea. Couscous is a traditional food and it’s pretty special. The whole family gets together to eat together on Friday. Sometimes, if people have to work on Fridays, they’ll have couscous the next day, but it’s usually on Friday, and it’s a family event. I guess it’s a similar concept to Sunday dinner that Christian families might have.
Couscous is like teeny tiny pasta; like dough crumbs. It’s served in a giant tagine with meat, steamed veggies, and a savory yellow sauce. We all eat from the same dish and there’s always extra sauce to spoon on. It’s stays super hot for so long and there’s the risk of burning your tongue, but it’s so good. There’s a drink they have every Friday with it called liben. I’ve been told it’s buttermilk, but I don’t know what buttermilk is. It’s basically sour milk that you can drink and I’m not a fan of it, but most host family really likes it. So we eat our couscous and drink liben and spend time together to talk and just pass the time relaxing. It’s a really nice way to spend a Friday afternoon, especially if you’ve had a busy week. My family is arriving for their visit on a Friday, so I think I’ll take then somewhere to get some delicious couscous.
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<p>Hi! I'm Cayt and I study anthropology and French at Penn State. I'm studying abroad to further my education and I'm here to share my experiences with anyone who wants to read them.</p>