Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Off to the capital today, Rabat, in our Land Cruiser with our very adept driver, Azadine. One thing I'm loving so far is that we'll spend the month touring via three Land Cruisers, not a huge tour bus, so it feels so much more personal to be on street level. Of course, it's also then quite a rush to sit in the front seat and see how close you come to getting in a wreck, over and over again (but the funny thing is, we have yet to see one). Rabat is smaller -- only about a million people, cleaner, and we saw blue sky today (and also lots of car dealerships). We had four very engaging lectures today, one by the President of the Human Rights Commission (someone who was himself imprisoned for 11 years for being part of an anti-monarchy Marxist/Leninist group in the 70s), and then from experts on the history of Judaism and Christianity in Morocco. To sum it up, let's just say that both have very long traditions in Morocco, and that both are practiced freely. The details beyond that are too complicated for a blog, but it's important to note that the sometimes prevalent Western view of all Muslims disliking / disagreeing with all Jews is completely false. One the of speakers, a professor, reminded us that being Jewish is not synonomous with being Israeli. Food for thought. We're off to Ifrane tomorrow, where it supposedly will be a bit cooler near the mountains.