A new workshop offers visitors to Fez an insight into Moroccan culture.
When tourists first arrive in Morocco, they can feel overwhelmed by the difference in cultural expectations. What is the right way to greet people? What do they do if they are invited to dinner at someone’s house? What should they expect if they go into a hammam?
Khalid, 29, who works in administration at Cafe Clock, is holding a series of workshops called Fez Download, which aim to enlighten the culturally curious.
“I tell tourists to greet people in Arabic, even if they don’t know them,” he says. “It makes Moroccans smile and feel good and then they smile with them.”
Khalid has lived in Fez for a year. He was brought up in Sefrou and, after finishing a university degree in English, worked with Peace Corps volunteers in the region.
He says he sees the need to give visitors to Morocco a better insight into the culture and language from an insider’s point of view.
“I talk about things like food and feasts; marriage; clothes; Islam and going to a hammam. I tell them a few useful phrases and give advice about what they should and shouldn’t do. For example, if they are invited to someone’s house, they shouldn’t just start eating and drinking – they need to wait for the father (of the house) to start.”
Khalid says, “I am ready for their questions.”
The workshop lasts one and a half hours and will be run on demand, depending on the number of people and when they want to do it.
“At the end of it, I do a little test,” he says. “But I try to make it fun.”
The Fez Download workshop is available on demand. Cost 150 dh for 1.5 hours.
Bookings and info: 0535637855.