Sub-Saharan African migrants in Morocco find hope in art and performance

By Robert Dozier

RABAT, Morocco – Jackie Zappa, is an artist from the Ivory Coast — one of an estimated 30 thousand migrants from Sub Saharan Africa. A painter and sculptor, Zappa says he lived in Tunisia and Algeria but his art was not appreciated in those countries.  Communities of migrant artists, musicians and performers are flourishing in Rabat and Casablanca.

“Morocco is the only place in Africa where I can improve my talent,” said Zappa.

Last year alone, more than one million people migrated to Europe, mostly from Africa and the Middle East, according to the International Organization for Migration. 

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Hooked on Mint Tea


RABAT, Morocco – The air is still cool, but the tea is hot. Morning has arrived, accompanied by the sun’s harsh rays penetrating through half-drawn kitchen curtains. The hissing of boiling water and the zestful aroma of fresh mint being rolled engulf the cooking alcove. In her household, the 52-year-old mother of three, Nezha Ben Ali, always has a bucket of green leafy stalks handy.

“When I don’t drink tea, I get headaches,” said Ben Ali, who has been hooked on tea since childhood.

Her consumption habits come as no surprise, considering the prevalence of mint tea, or “atay,”in Moroccan society.

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Snail Soup? Camel Spleen? It’s Morocco’s Fab Street Food


This story was published by Zester Daily on March 3, 2014.

FEZ, Morocco– We’ve all heard the warnings that travelers should avoid street food. But doing so means missing the real food culture — the simple, fresh delicacies prepared for locals. With a little common sense, it’s easy to leave your fear of the unknown (or of getting sick) behind and reap one of the greatest rewards of travel.

Moroccan culture buzzes in the ancient medina of Fez al-Bali, the world’s largest car-free area, where Gail Leonard, a British ex-pat, offers street food tasting tours through her company, Plan-It Fez.

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Village Life in Morocco





SIT journalism students in Morocco have returned safely from their week-long village stay, in which students are immersed in the culture of a rural Moroccan village where they live and work with a local family, participating in the rituals of rustic Moroccan life.

Students lived for one week in Birta Village, part of Sbaa Rouadi Commune in the Boulmane region near Fez. While there, students participated in group activities, visited local NGOs, and navigated the lifestyles of their individual host families, intimating themselves with the routines, joys and travails of village life in Morocco.

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A Vegetarian’s Guide to Morocco


Food streets in Morocco are a vegetarian’s nightmare. Butcher shops flaunt meat in every form: cut into sausage, minced, sliced, finely chopped. Roadside restaurants advertise an assortment of chawarmas, paninis and burgers while customers loiter about. Biased menus flap in defiance, offering modest salads as their sole vegetarian option, as smoke from barbequed chicken lingers invitingly above grilles, and snail and fish smells waft in to tantalize passerbys. In Morocco, meat is more than a popular cuisine: it is a lifestyle

“It’s very shame[ful] if you have people in your house and you put Tajine without meat,” stresses Ibrahim Adaoui, 46, referring to his favourite stew of chicken, tendered to perfection.

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