Harcha Bread Brings Moroccan Streets Into the Home

By Georgia Knoles

RABAT, Morocco — On any given day, filling homes and wafting through the streets of Rabat is the scent of harcha. The pan-fried, semolina flatbread is enjoyed daily by Moroccans with breakfast or afternoon tea. Its availability throughout the day makes it an overseen, undervalued part of local culture.

Its appearance and style of cooking resemble variations of pancakes everywhere. Yet, this crumbly, golden treat is unique to Morocco.

The making of harcha is an artform. The ingredients are few and simple, so the final product is determined by the skill of the maker.

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Three Cities, One Dish

By N’Kaela Webster

RABAT, Morocco — One-on-one sessions with restaurant owners or in the kitchen with your host family are the best ways to explore the hidden secrets of Moroccan food. Since the moment I knew that I would be coming to Morocco, I have been on a quest to learn more about Moroccan food. After gathering evidence from three authentic Moroccan restaurants, I learned that the simplicity of a Moroccan meal is enhanced by the use of the tagine.

My first taste of Moroccan culture and food was back home at Marakesh Restaurant.

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Marrakesh Mother’s Nonprofit Empowers Women

by Rachel Berets

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO—While her own newborn baby slept soundly inside, Nora Fitzgerald found a baby girl, wrapped only in a blanket, abandoned on her doorstep. She brought the baby inside and called the authorities, who took the child away a few hours later. But the next day, Fitzgerald wondered if she had made the right decision. “What if I was supposed to take her?” she asked herself.

“I spent the next day looking in all the orphanages and I couldn’t find her,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t know what happened to her, I just prayed that she was OK.”

This innate sense of personal responsibility would ultimately lead Fitzgerald to found Amal, a nonprofit restaurant that teaches single mothers and other disadvantaged women practical skills so they can find jobs and provide for themselves, their children and their families. 

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A reporter for Boston’s unheard voices: Spotlight on MOJ alum Paris Alston

Photo: WBUR

by Ellie Zimmerman

Paris Alston nearly studied abroad in Paris out of obligation to her first name. Instead, she was drawn to the SIT: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media program in Morocco because, journalist that she is, she had a sneaking feeling that whatever she had heard about Morocco was not the whole truth. “There was something about Morocco because it was a Middle Eastern Muslim country and the narrative we hear about countries in that region is not always the full scoop,” Alston said. “That was important to see for myself what was really going on there.” So in the spring semester of 2015, Alston, now 25, went to study in Morocco, a decision that would shape her career in public radio.  

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A Medina Patisserie Tells a Story of Generations

by ELLLIE ZIMMERMAN

RABAT, Morocco  — On a typically sunny Friday in September, Rabat’s Mohammed V Avenue performs an ancient ritual. The street is slowly coming to life after the quiet of the lunch and prayer hours, in anticipation of the busy workday. Shopkeepers sweep their doorsteps and open their stalls. Couscous-filled shoppers begin to populate the street. Mohammed Ben Kasem participates in the ceremony as he arrives to oversee the scene at his French-style cake shop Patisserie Saïd, exactly as his father and grandfather did every day for decades before him. 

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