Browsing CategoryCulture

To Understand, Adopt, or Reject Your Spouses Culture

If you have seen my post on 6 Assumptions People Make When They Hear Your Husband is Arab then you should take another meander through the comment section. I’ve wrestled with whether or not I should shut it down or leave it open. It seems there are a lot of people on both sides needing to clear the air. You can jump over there to see what I mean. One theme that keeps coming up is the issues of religion and culture – it’s complex to be sure but something you will have to grapple with at many points in your…

HAMMAM

Guest Post: My First Hammam Experience

In an effort to showcase Islamic countries I wrote a post this year called Why You Should Visit an Islamic Country in 2015. I’ve asked several bloggers and friends to share their “firsts.” Whether it was their first time to a majority Muslim country or a meal they’ve cooked from a Muslim country, whatever resonated and spoke to them outside the mass media image of Islam. Today’s guest post comes from Diana Limongi Gabriele who writes at Ladydeelg. Enjoy! The first time I had a hammam experience was  when I was an English teacher in France. I spent two weeks…

GIVING & ACCEPTING

Giving and Accepting Gifts and Compliments in Morocco

Today’s post is at the request of a reader who will be traveling to Morocco soon. The topic may seem straight forward to someone living in North America or Europe. If someone has a nice shirt you might say, “wow I really like your shirt!” to which they’ll typically respond, “thank you!” or some variation of this conversation. Certainly the frequency and context of  making and accepting compliments varies depending on country however it most often is simply an exchange of pleasantries. Not so in Morocco.

So you Wanna Marry a Moroccan Man

So you Wanna Marry a Moroccan Man?

One of the most often read and commented posts on my website is about assumptions people make when you tell them you married an Arab. I tend to let the comments section just roll as people share their own stories and experiences. Some are good, some are bad. When I wrote that post I really wanted to share some of the crazy, and sometimes rude stereotypes people had and felt no need to censor, sharing them openly with me. I am really blessed that my husband and my marriage has largely defied those stereotypes. I know many other women (and…

My money or our money: navigating financial issues in a cross cultural marriage

My Money or Our Money: Navigating Finances in an Intercultural Marriage

Well what  a surprise! I really wasn’t sure how this new thread of conversations on relationships would go but after the response last week I can say I am looking forward to sharing a lot more. Today’s subject is touchy, it might rattle nerves and I’m guessing several of you might disagree with me. It wasn’t until recently that MarocBaba and I have been able to look back at the beginning of our marriage and laugh at some things and apologize to each other for mistakes we know we made. We were really both kids, just barely adults when we got…

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How To Use the Moroccan Hammam

Maybe you’ve heard of it, and maybe not. The Moroccan hammam is one of the most widely loved and yet puzzling experiences for people who have never visited or Morocco nor had the opportunity to try a hammam. Many “must do in Morocco” lists include take a hammam but just what does that mean and why is it such a revered tradition? It’s hard to imagine but not so long ago it was very uncommon for people to have their own shower or bath in their homes. I can remember my grandparents telling stories about taking a bath in a…

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Get Out of my Things: Privacy and Personal Space

I get asked a lot of questions about cross cultural relationships, specifically having to do with Moroccan/American relationships. Often I end up sending back an email and thinking, “gee I should really just write a blog post about this.” I won’t promise a new topic each week but I’ll do my best to be consistent. I’m going to be very honest in my posts and chances are you might disagree with things that I have to say. No two relationships or people are the same so of course each person’s experience will be different. Because our dynamic is that of…

Moroccan Art for Kids and Adults

Moroccan Art for Kids {and Adults too!}

Morocco has a long history of inspiring artists, writers, and other creatives. I’d be lying if I told you I personally am not constantly inspired by the colors, scenery, and people of this country. Some of my best writing and artwork happens when I’m on a rooftop overlooking the city or countryside. The mid-20th century brought dozens of writers to the country, while decades before it was artists who came to capture the images on canvas. One thing that most artists have in common is their depictions and themes that resonate through all of the work. Color Pattern Abstract (mostly)…