We liked Fez more than Marrakech. It was a little calmer, cooler, and easier to navigate, but just as unique and beautiful. I especially loved the views of the city, the narrow streets, the completely different culture, and the breathtaking architecture around every corner. Morocco is a gem.
The one thing that really stood out to me from our time in Morocco is how much people are shaped by the culture they are born into. In the United States, it seems that we have this belief that we get to choose our life- our religion, our career, where we want to live, etc. But in other places, such as Morocco, life is often set out before people, and it is theirs to live into. I realize this is a grand generalization, but in our conversations with people, it seemed that many followed the culture of their family, practiced Islam, and rarely left the area they grew up in. Islam is such a part of their culture, with the call to prayer announced five times daily, the fast of Ramadan (which is to come in July) affecting the daily lives of everyone in the medina and country; their religion is their identity. Most of them wouldn't think of the possibility of denying their faith, moving away, or being far from family. It was an interesting perspective to juxtapose with ours in the United States. It left me wondering: Is there really any part of our culture in the United States that we are raised with which is sacred to us, or does whatever path we choose along the way become sacred? And how is it that people in our society come to see their chosen path as universally correct, even for those who live in a completely different culture? How is it that once many people choose their path, they began to see all others as a negative deviant of what is truth or morality?
Just one naive traveler's jumbled thoughts.