• Application Deadline

    November 30th 2016

What’s awaiting you

Did you know that for a large number of Moroccans Arabic isn’t their first language?  In fact, Morocco has its own “Swiss German”: Moroccans learn Arabic, French and Tamazight in school, while a mix of the three languages has evolved as a dialect of its own called Darija.Tamazight serves as first language for the Amazigh people. They are citizens of the Moroccan Kingdom, but have their own culture and traditions. Would you like to learn some words in Tamazight? Do you want to exchange ideas about ways of living with Amazigh people and organizations?

Did you know that in Morocco goats climb up argan trees and by that play an essential part in the traditional production of argan oil? The popular beauty oil is produced in Morrocco and it constitutes a substantial income for many Amazigh women.

Did you know that in Morocco you can sledge down a snowy mountain on one day and then surf a big wave the next day? Morocco stands out thanks to its great geographical diversity from high mountains to the Mediterranean sea, the Atlantic sea and the Sahara. Moroccan culture is characterized by a great diversity and many contrasts which go far beyond 1001 Arabian nights. We are excited to discover with you the different faces of Morocco by getting to know creative and innovative youth projects and by sharing the traditional lifestyle in the countryside, allowing you to get an in-depth experience of the Amazigh-community, their traditions and their struggle for recognition.

Our trip starts in the capital of Morocco, Rabat. There, we will discover the youth culture, learn about different institutions of the Amazigh movement and meet with students and politicians. After getting to know the urban Morocco, the mountains are calling: We’ll stay with a local family and enjoy the landscape by hiking and sledging. Next stop will be the city of Essaouira, a former Portugese fort and nowadays center of Gnawa-Music, where we will visit a rural market and meet women from the Argan-Cooperative. To deeper immerse into the Amazigh Culture, we will visit the idyllic fisher village Tafedna. Our trip ends in the buzzing city of Marrakech, where tradition and modernity meet in surprising ways.

Highlights and Goals

  • Learn about Morocco’s cultural and geographical diversity
  • Get to know the Amazigh culture, their political struggle, their language and their importance for Morocco’s history
  • Get in contact, live and eat with Amazigh families
  • Exchange ideas about language diversity and more with university students
  • Learn some words in Tamazight and Arabic and practise yourself in writing Tifinagh (Tamazight alphabet) and Arabic calligraphy
  • Discover young, artistic and creative projects
  • Meet with different political representatives from politicians to activists
  • Get to know different forms of Moroccan enterprises (start ups in the city, sustainable tourism, argan production, traditional and modern markets)
  • Enjoy hiking in the beautiful mountains of the Middle Atlas
  • Relax in the traditional way in a moroccan hammam
  • Eat delicious Tajines, Couscous and Pastillas

Meet the Organizers

Lisa Marti

Lisa is a student of Social Sciences with an emphasis on Political Science and Islamic Studies. She spent over nine months in Morocco for her Arabic studies and also an internship in the refugee organization SINGA Maroc. She is fascinated by Morocco’s diverse culture, its linguistical situation and great hospitality. She has a lot of experience in facilitating intercultural and global learning workshops thanks to her volunteer work at the exchange organization AFS and her own project voCHabular and wörCHshop interCHulturell. She participated in several youth trainings in Switzerland and other countries.

Jasmine Benhaida

Jasmine is a student of Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science at the University of Bern. Once every year, she travels to Morocco to visit her family. She’s been to different parts of Morocco already but is still eager to discover even more of its facettes. Jasmine keeps up with news of the political situation of the country, namely the representation of the Amazigh-Culture and the empowerment of women in Morocco.

Detailed Programme

  • 07.02.2017

    • Arrival in Rabat and introduction

    • Common dinner on a boat discovering the city from the river (with the start up “barqu’ade”)

  • 08.02.2017

    • City tour of Rabat with a focus on street art

    • Tea and discussion with a young entrepreneur who built the start up “Yell Co.” which promotes street art in Rabat

    • Visit of the royal institution of Amazigh culture in Morocco (IRCAM) and introduction to the Amazigh culture and language

  • 09.02.2017

    • Visit of two Amazigh-NGO’s: One of them serves as umbrella organization of all Amazigh organizations (Fédération Nationale des Associations Amazighes au Maroc) in Morocco, the other is specialized in the field of women’s rights (La voix de la femme amazighe)
    • Visit at the Tamazight TV studio. Its programme is only in Tamazight language and focuses on subjects which are relevant to the Amazigh population
    • Optional visit of a traditional Hammam
  • 10.02.2017

    • Meeting with local politicians to discuss politics in Morocco, the role of the Moroccan parliament and the rights of the Amazigh population

    • Workshop with university students about the different languages in Morocco and an introduction into the two alphabets Tifinagh & Arabic (calligraphy)

  • 11.02.2017

    • Travel to Khénifra, a small city in the countryside and center for the Amazigh population in the Middle Atlas

    • Get to know the host family, eat and stay at their place

  • 12.02.2017

    • Hiking and maybe sledging in the surroundings of Khénifra
  • 13.02.2017

    • Travel to Essaouira

    • Common dinner at a trendy restaurant and Gnawa-music-concert

  • 14.02.2017

    • City-Tour of beautiful small Essaouira in the morning
    • Optional program in the afternoon (possibilities: Surfing, horse back riding, playing soccer with children at the beach…)
    • Optional visit of a modern hammam
  • 15.02.2017

    • Visit of an Amazigh market in Ida Ogourd and visit of an Argan cooperative with the sustainable tourism organization “Berberlands”
    • Eating in Sidi Kaouki and discussion with the director of Berberlands
    • Travel to the sustainable hostel “L’âne Vert” in Tafedna, where we sleep in amazing tents surrounded by desert hills
  • 16.02.2017

    • Visit of the primary school in Tafedna
    • Discussion and workshop with the local population mainly consisting of fishermen
  • 17.02.2017

    • Travel to Marrakech
    • City tour of Marrakech with focus on handcrafts and visit of the stunning photomuseum
    • Common goodbye dinner in Marrakech
  • 18.02.2017

    • Optional program: Visit of a leather tannery
    • Travel back home and say goodbye to beautiful Morocco