SIT Journalism and New Media students visited former SIT participant Perry DeMarche (Spring 2017) at Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture in Agadir on February 20th. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology, DeMarche worked as an English teacher in France before she began working at Dar Si Hmad as the Ethnographic Field School manager. In this role, DeMarche manages field programs in environmental anthropology for university students. SIT students were also given the opportunity to hear about Dar Si Hmad’s fog harvesting project. This project uses revolutionary technology to capture the water from fog, so Moroccan women no longer have to spend up to four hours a day collecting water.
SIT study abroad
By Lexi Reich
Unsure of which study abroad program to choose, Jeanette Lam, 21, left the decision to a coin toss. Through that chance and the SIT journalism program in Morocco, she found herself in Paris last summer working as a cinematographer and editing assistant on a feature documentary.
“France’s Children,” directed by Aida Alami, advisor to the SIT program, follows the story of an immigration activist in France, and other activists who, fueled by the desire to empower their community, reject victimhood.
“This experience was one of the most unique opportunities I’ve ever had,” Lam said.
Willing to Break, the powerful story of a veiled Moroccan break dancer, will be featured in the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival on April 14. American students Sutton Raphael and JP Keenan produced this doc with their Moroccan partner Loubna Fouzar. I will be present after the film to talk about our program and answer questions from the audience. With an annual attendance that exceeds 40,000, the MSP International Film Festival is known as the largest film event in the Upper Midwest. Very proud of our students!
The water boils and is poured atop tiny rolls of dark brown, gunpowder tea pellets. A handful of freshly picked, vividly green mint leaves are stuffed inside of the teapot. Instantly, the aroma rises: a minty fresh scent makes its way throughout the traditional Moroccan household, greeting the guests with hospitality, generosity and a refreshing ambiance.The tea is poured back and forth between glass cups: a routine of cooling, making the temperature just right for the perfect warmth to seep through the fingertips. The Ougaamou family sits comfortably at the dinner table: television on, bread in basket, but most importantly, tea at the center.
Modern fast food in Rabat offers customers a polar opposite experience from the bustle of the medina. Restaurants give way for budding teenagers couples and cheerful families. Greasy aromas of “McNuggets” and “Big Macs” compete for space in an atmosphere of anticipation, where the wait can take up to 15 minutes. However, customers will also find food triple the price.
“It’s the culture.” states 33-year-old local chef, Hicham Radi. “The rich people go to famous places like McDonalds”
According to the World Bank, the average Moroccan family can be identified as lower middle income.