By: Author Amanda Mouttaki. Categories Expat. 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.
We in the West hear little about romantic love in other parts of the world, and this has led many people to believe it does not exist in non-Western cultures, or that it is a recent innovation, following on the heels of the global spread of Western media. In what follows, we will explore this question from the viewpoint of Arab Muslim culture in general, and Morocco during the last decade in particular. We begin with the Arab poetic tradition that influenced European notions of courtly love, and then examine the ideas of current Muslim authors on the position and influence of Islam on love, sexuality, and couple relationships. Finally, we look for evidence of these ideas in current experiences of love for Moroccan young people, living at a time when marriages arranged solely by parents are being replaced by those desired by the couple and approved by parents.
Djellabas are a type of loose long item of clothing that can be worn by people of both sexes. They have long sleeves and usually, a pointed hood as well. The item of traditional clothing most commonly associated with Morocco, it has Berber roots, and thus can be found in other North African lands where Berbers settled, for example Algeria and Tunisia. The fabric is much thinner than a regular djellaba and it can take up to a month to hand-make one.
Communities and customs Take a walk in the countryside and meet local women. They roll couscous, dry rosepetals, harvest olives to make oil and wheat to make flour, they tend goats and grow mint and vegetables in tiny plots of land in the palm groves. The older ones might have tattoos on their faces, while the younger ones will go to school.