Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is Morocco Safe?

Due to recent events in the Arab world as well as the recent terorist attack in Marrakesh, I have received many emails from people asking is Morroco safe enough to follow The Language House TEFL program in Marrakesh? The answer is yes. However, I concede that my opinion may not be as valued as the opinions of those who are currently taking the course or who have recently completed the course in Marrakesh. Therefore I have below feedback from a current trainee and a recent graduate of the program who can be contacted by request if desired.

Being that this is the first time that I have truly lived abroad and out of Virginia, there was some apprehension in me when moving to Marrakech especially with the ongoing unrest in the Arab world. That being said, it all vanished the first day I arrived in this beautiful city. In the past three weeks, I have experienced nothing but kindness, hospitality and eagerness to help. The concerns of safety have not once crossed my mind while exploring Marrakech, whether it has been the main tourist attractions or the more local neighborhoods.

The people who live in Marrakech seem to embrace you and want only to talk and discuss the day. To ease my mind even more is the fact that you notice Police officers and security throughout the town and even the locals help look out for your safety with tips about where to go and how to avoid certain situations. I am incredibly happy that I did not let my apprehensions best me and convince me to stay in Virginia for this is an experience of a life time.

-James Charles

The Language House student

I feel as safe and secure today in Morocco and specifically Marrakesh, as I did when I first arrived in March or on any of my many past visits over the last five years. I am here in Marrakesh on my own and do not feel the least bit nervous. I am in the process of buying an apartment and will be living alternately here and back in America. That is how comfortable I feel here in Marrakesh.

I feel the recent incident at Argana is an isolated one and all though I did frequent the cafe, and I am frequently in the square, I do not feel any threat. Of course, I am alert to my surroundings but not out of fear, more out of just being aware of normal routines and rhythms of life. Moroccans can easily separate politics from the people, so they see the person for who they are before they see an American. I have felt nothing but friendliness and kindness from Moroccans. I do not speak French or Arabic so from taxi drivers to produce merchants to local shops, they all work a little harder to communicate with me. I have had a turn or two at charades to act out what I want, but we all enjoy a good laugh in the end, and they teach me the word for what I need and I teach the word in English.

Yes, I get questions from back home in California about why I would want to move to Morocco, especially with all the conflict in that part of the world. All I can say is I feel as safe and secure here as I do at home. There are peaceful protests, just like at home. Just like at home a few in the crowd can cause trouble for the masses. I have seen nothing here in Marrakesh to cause me concern or fear. I can appreciate people's concern when they see the news and read reports but unless you are here, it is hard to understand that overall it is a peaceful place. Respect the country, respect the culture and there should be no issues.

If anyone who was planning to come to Morocco is having second thoughts, I would invite them to drop me an email with their questions and concerns. I would be happy to chat with them.

Kathryn Hosler

Again, if you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at and we'll send you some recent graduate emails for contact.


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