While you were eating Turkey…

November 27th, 2010

So, while all my lovely friends and family in the United States were eating way too much turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, I was sitting in class like I do every Thursday here.  I got up at 6:45am, ate breakfast, walked 25 minutes to school for Arabic at 8am, and the day progressed as normal from there.  However, today was different because after my class entitled “Gender and Society in North African and Beyond”, I drove over to Hay Riad (a neighborhood of Rabat) with my classmates from my “Managing Communications in Arab Organizations” to our professor’s house for tea.  Our communications professor has a beautiful house, and she had laid out a glorious spread of sweets, juices, and tea.  There were probably at least 15 different kinds of cookies and sweets, including a very delicious cake that her daughter had made for us.  We drank freshly squeezed mango juice and Moroccan tea with just a hint of jasmine, which was lovely.  I really love the smell of jasmine, and last year during one of my late night study sessions I found out that I really liked jasmine tea, so I was quite pleased with this arrangement.

Anyway, after tea we headed over to an art exhibit by Rachid Sebti (see a short biography here) that was being sponsored by the Fondation CDG (Caisse de Depot et de Gestion).  Our communications professor seems to know a lot of really important people in Rabat, and she also seems to know where they all hang out.  This gallery was the perfect example.  As we were arriving she points to a man leaving the exhibit exclaiming “Oh girls that was the Minister of Culture!”  Yes, high level members of the Moroccan government hang out at these events.  Additionally, we met a very famous Moroccan architect and a Moroccan movie actor whose names I sadly cannot recall.  I was more excited to actually meet and shake hands with Fatema Mernissi whose novel Dreams of Trespass and book The Veil and the Male Elite, I had read excerpts of in my Gender and Society class.  She is a very famous Moroccan author and feminist and it was so cool to actually meet her in person, my classmates and I were just giddy!

Last bit of exciting news, while we were there, who should arrive but the American ambassador and his wife!  Yes, we were awestruck, it was so exciting.  We went over and talked to them for a little bit, chatting about our school, Thanksgiving, and Morocco.  It was very nice, and all these Moroccan journalists were snapping pictures of us and I’m pretty sure these pictures will be published in a magazine fairly shortly!  I will have to start checking out the kiosks to see if I can find the magazine the pictures are published it. 🙂

So all in all, it was a very satisfying (albeit unorthodox) Thanksgiving day.  I think that if I can’t be with my family eating food all day long, than meeting famous people and high level political figures might just be the next best thing.

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