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  • Elizabeth Cochran

Moroccan women and community

When I had my first personal encounter with Moroccans it was my two directors from my study abroad program. These two directors reached out to me with open arms; they radiated positivity, kindness, love, gratefulness, and pure joy. I trusted in them and looked to them to guide me through my cultural understanding of their country. They were patient and kind through every encounter I had. I never felt unsafe in Morocco; there are women inequalities, but not to where I felt unsafe to live my life there at all. I see them as family and they treated me like family; it was a sense of community and love.

Women's event "It's on Us" that a coworker and I organized. Women's empowerment, self care, women's rights, and womens health

I worked in a community center in Meknes, Morocco. It was a women's centre for them and their children. I remember when I met my director at "A Smile Center" in Meknes and she greeted me with a kiss, a big hug, and a warm warm Moroccan greeting. I was shocked at this intimacy, but she was so grateful to meet me and was very loving. I built a strong relationship with her and other women in this centre. I was welcomed into their homes for home-cooked meals, birthday parties, Friday couscous, and I experienced a sense of hospitality I never knew possible. I call these women my Moroccan mothers and they call me their love, their daughter. Morocco is community and this is a love that is universal for all Moroccans- to them accepting people as family and prioritizing relationships is the norm.

Friday couscous spent at a families home from my women's centre

This taught me that love radiates and spreads kindness, openness, joy, and gratefulness. I realized that hate is not born in us. We are born with love and joy. When you look at a little child and watch them when they see something new for the first time; the child looks with awe, thankfulness, curiosity, and love. It is in our upbringing that we learn hate and viewing other cultures through otherness. We all need a little more love and it is as simple as that. I love all of humanity and Morocco proved to me it is possible to love without borders and I inspire to continue showing love without borders to all my brothers and sisters of the world.

My English class. I had thrown them a party at the end of my time in Morocco. We ate food, played games, sang songs, and I got to see some of them in traditional Moroccan dress. Really loving kids and their mothers were so so lovely and showed me their gratefulness to have taught their kids.

I support humanity and peace. I am all for understanding and spreading loving kindness to the world. I hope that you find this short message insightful. Morocco taught me an entirely different meaning of what community really is. But the most important message you should take away from this is that community and love is what really makes the world go round.

Pictured is traditional handmade Moroccan dress. This was made by the women at the Smile community centre in Meknes.

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