One of the most unique aspects of Granada is its long history of Muslim rule. For almost eight centuries, Granada was under the control of various Muslim dynasties and kingdoms. Each left imprints on the city that can be seen in the ancient walls that stretch across hillsides, Islamic architecture that blends into the Christian architecture that replaced it and, of course, the famous Alhambra. Students can explore Granada’s fascinating history through classes such as Islamic Art and Architecture of Spain, and Islamic Civilization in Spain. This learning, however, goes beyond the classroom. IES Abroad Granada students have the opportunity to travel to Morocco and observe cultural similarities and differences first hand.
This past March, we spent five days traveling through Morocco. On the trip, we stayed in Tangier, Rabat and Chefchaouen, spending time in some smaller cities and villages along the way. We spent much of our time with local students. They showed us the cities where they live as we talked about our daily lives, hobbies, dreams, crushes, favorite tv shows, and everything in between. In Tangier, as we enjoyed mint tea on the terrace of a beautiful cafe, two student guides showed us each how to write our names in Arabic. In addition to our time with students, we spent two nights in a homestay with families in Rabat. We spent lunch and dinner with our host families, eating traditional Moroccan food like Tagine. Don’t tell anyone back in Granada, but we might even like Moroccan food more than the delicious food in Spain! Beyond incredible food, the homestay offered a window into the rhythms of daily life in Rabat. In my homestay our host family did not speak any English, making the experience all the more immersive. We (somewhat) quickly picked up essential Arabic phrases and bonded over soccer highlights and travel videos on YouTube.
Traveling to Morocco was an unforgettable experience. I may have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to vlogging, but I thought it would be fun to try to capture just a sliver of the wonder, adventure and joy that filled our visit. Hope you enjoy.
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Jaden is a sophomore studying Sociology and Spanish at Tufts University. He loves the beach and lakes, hiking, biking, cooking, and playing video games.