Who is MarocMama

Amanda Istanbul


Hello, I’m Amanda, and  I’m so glad you’ve come to visit me! I am a curious world-traveling, mom of two busy boys, foodie, and lover of all things Moroccan.  In 2004 I met and fell in love with my husband in fairy-tale fashion on the streets of Marrakech, Morocco and our journey hasn’t slowed down. After living in the United States for many years we decided to call Marrakech home for awhile. MarocMama is a fearless guide to food and travel. I’ll introduce you to our global life, inspire you to try something new, and show you the world is waiting for you!

 Where Did MarocMama Come From?

In French, Maroc is Morocco and Mama, well that’s universal! I started this blog in 2007 as a way to share my recipes and the recipes of my husbands family. You might hear me refer to MarocBaba , that’s my wonderful husband Youssef. He helps me research, write, and keep the website running. Together we also run a food tour in Marrakech. Our two boys have international names that no one can spell or pronounce so for clarity’s sake I refer to them as M and K.  M’s the big guy at 11 years old and K’s our 9 year old little dude.

MarocMama family in Essaouaira

I hope that you will be inspired to explore Morocco’s culture, cuisine, and natural beauty through our posts. I also hope that through our journey can offer some insight into the triumphs and struggles along the way.  We love to travel and since moving to Morocco are able to explore the world more. While this is a one-stop shop for Morocco, you’ll also find family travel inspiration, food from around the world, and other things we’ve found interesting. Come join us for the adventure!

What You Will Find Here

  • Cultural insights on Morocco including religion, family life, and traditions

  • Resources for visiting and taking advantage of all Morocco has to offer

  • Our expat experience in Morocco

  • Family and couple travel information from around the world

  • Traditional, fusion, and re-invented Moroccan recipes

  • Reviews and Recommendations on some of our favorite places and products

  • Pictures of my cute kids and the things that we do

  • And much, much more!

Our Media Kit

As Seen In/On:

Meet the Family

cupcakeMarocMama – Amanda

I began writing this blog as a young mom wanting to share the challenges and triumphs of parenting in a cross-cultural relationship. I’ve enjoyed writing (almost as much as reading) for as long as I can remember. It was a way for me to explore far off places when I felt stuck in the very small, rural community near the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that I called home.

I couldn’t wait to leave!

At 16, I took my first international trip and as soon as I stepped out of the airport in Athens, Greece I knew it was a travelin’ life for me! I’m a self professed history nerd and I loved school. I earned a BA in international relations and an MBA in Project Management.

Second only to my love of travel is my love of great tasting, amazing food. I’m always up to try most things (except the snails, don’t ask me to do that again!). I plan my travel around what I can eat first, then what else there is to see. My favorite experience so far was exploring Finland. My dream destination is a beach vacation to the Maldives or Sechyelles.


MarocBaba – Youssef

I grew up in Marrakech, Morocco. My family has always been incredibly important to me so when I met Amanda it was a huge decision to move to the United States. I’d never traveled far from home. I didn’t know what an adventure I was about to start! It took a little while to get used to life in the US but now I’m proud to say I carry a blue passport and love my adopted homeland as much as my birth country. It was important to me that my kids learn about my culture and learn to speak the languages I grew up with – and that’s a big reason why we decided to become Expats (repats?) in Morocco.

I never imagined that I would travel the world and to tell you the truth I never had any desire to leave Morocco but, I’ve changed my mind! I’m studying right now to be a computer programmer, a job that will allow us to have a mobile lifestyle for as long as possible.

Ten years ago the only food I would touch was Moroccan. Today, I love to try everything and like Amanda am always excited to try new food in new places. My favorite experience so far was taking a Caribbean cruise. I’d love to take another cruise!

Mr M

Mr. M

Some words from the man himself:

The most important thing for you to know about me is that I love soccer (football)! I also really like to be with my family and friends. I like to eat healthy foods. My favorite foods are fruits and vegetables. My favorite TV shows are Myth Busters  and Top Gear. When I grow up I’d like to be either a helicopter pilot, a car tester, or a professional soccer player. My favorite experience so far was when I went to the United Nations in New York with my mom. I would like to go to Spain and watch FC Barcelona play and go to Brazil.

Mom and Dad say:

He might look serious but this kid is all heart and wise beyond his years. We’re pretty sure he’s going to be a diplomat someday because he’s always concerned with making things fair and settling disputes. His teachers have always told us they’re amazed by his understanding and interest in the people and places of the world which sure makes us beam with pride!

M is outgoing and always ready to make new friends, especially those that want to be outside playing. He loves sports and playing with anything that has a motor. He was driving his own four-wheeler when he was just 3 years old! He isn’t afraid to try new things, especially food. For years he’s mom’s sous chef and taste tester.

Mr K

 Mr. K

 Some words from the man:

Hi I’m K. I really like to watch TV. My favorite shows are Pokemon and Transformers. I also like to play Minecraft and watch walk through videos. My favorite food is rfissa. I want to do YouTube walk through videos when I grow up. If I can’t do that then I would like to be a zoo keeper. My favorite experience so far was when my grandma and grandpa came to Morocco. I would like to go to China and see pandas or to South America to see sloths.

 Mom and Dad say:

K was small in size when he was born but came with a huge personality! He’s always done things his way, you might even say a little stubborn! When he was still in utero Amanda had to have an inversion to get him positioned to be born, and then he flipped back the wrong way again! He’s also very affectionate. K is always up for more cuddles and loves to be close enough to touch someone. He likes to create things but he also really loves video games. We think that when he grows up he might be a veterinarian or have another type of job that involves animals because he LOVES them!

 Get in Touch

Are you looking for a great contributing writer? Need the perfect pair or family to explore your destination? I love writing and sharing my experience and expertise. We all love traveling around the world! We are currently accepting freelance writing opportunities and partnerships, sponsorships, and spaceships to all corners of the world! To view many of the locations I’ve written for and/or been featured on please visit my media mentions page.

 Memberships and Affiliations

Professional Travel Bloggers Association

Morocco Destination SpecialistCertified Culinary Travel Professional

Passport Party Project

ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

Multicultural Kid Blogs