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Road Scholar Programs

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Programs for seniors; we offer several programs, itineraries and themes:

1- Morocco: Melting Pot of Cultures

Melting Pot of Cultures is a dynamic trip, covering most of Morocco in 17 days. Combining lectures and discussions held at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning, along with excursions to several regions of the country, our participants study and experience Morocco’s rich culture to gain a sophisticated understanding of Arab-Islamic life and Culture in Morocco... You will learn how Moroccans of different ethnicities and religious practices debate and interpret their heritage in everyday life.

The itinerary covers 3 nights in Rabat containing lectures and seminars on different Moroccan aspects, 2 live musical performances, a bus tour, a visit to certain monuments; then 1 night in Tangier via Asilah for a tour of the murals, a lunch and resume to Tangier where a visit of the old section of the city of tangier with its European influence on the culture and architecture. Then 2 nights in Chefchaouen via Tetouan with a visit to an NGO, a meal at a home, then the visit of the city of Chefchaouen, a group discussion around issues of interest, some free time. After Chefchaouen, the group heads up to Fes for three nights, via Ouazzane for a visit of a non-touristy town, a rural meal and a stop at a souk on the way. The theme focuses on religion, sainthood and Sufism in Morocco, with information on rural life (olive pressing, souks and agriculture). In Fes, a full day in the medina visiting, and having a lecture either on Moroccan festivities or if no Sufism in Ouazzane it will be in Fes. A full day trip to Meknes and Volubilis follows. After Fes, the group goes south to Erfoud and Merzouga where the theme is the Berber Moroccan identity. Lectures on the bus, discussions, visits to NGOs, night under tents, camel ride and 2 musical performances of Malhoun and Gnawa take place. Then Ouarzazate, and on the way the natural patrimony of Southern Morocco including the irrigation system (khottarat), the dates and palm trees, the desertification, the road of 1000 Kasbah and the roses valleys are part of the theme of the day. After Ouarzazate, the group goes to Marrakech where they spend 3 nights. While in Marrakech, a day excursion to a Berber village to meet the villagers for an open discussion is part of the program; the theme is popular culture of Morocco: visits of monuments and gardens, lectures, free time, before driving to Casablanca for a visit to Mosque and of Modern Post colonial Morocco.

 

2- Spain and Morocco: Shared Histories, Complementary Cultures

Two complex cultures collided in 711 when the Moors of North Africa landed at Gibraltar Rock near the region now known as Spain. Throughout these two countries, learn about the ensuing influences of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, from the mosques, churches and synagogues in Toledo, to the splendor of 13th century Granada. Expert lectures highlight contemporary immigration and other issues, and in Morocco’s Fez, witness cultures converge in the medina where thousands of artisans sell their wares. Sevilla, the capital of Spain’s Andalusia, complements Rabat, the bustling capital of Morocco.

Itinerary: Arrivals Madrid (Spain); coach to Toledo, 2 nights; coach to Granada, 2 nights; coach to Sevilla, 3 nights, coach to Straits of Gibraltar, 1 night; ferry from Tarifa to Tangier (Morocco); coach to Chefchaouen, 2 nights; coach to Fez, 2 nights; coach to Rabat, 2 nights; coach to Casablanca, 1 night; departures.

The Center for Cross-Cultural Learning offers through this program a unique opportunity for participants to gain a sophisticated understanding of Arab-Islamic life and culture in Morocco in an intensive schedule combining classroom sessions, field trips, group discussions with the staff of the program and university students , a school visit, excursions and performances. The objective of the course is to engage participants in cultural issues not only as a component of the historical heritage of the host country, but also as an integral aspect of daily life of Moroccan scholars, artists, and working men and women of different social and educational background.

3- Mystic Morocco: An Intergenerational Feast for the Senses

This program is for Road Scholar participants and young learners ages 12-14. Fes, Casablanca, Marrakech … the mere mention of these Moroccan cities evokes the aromas of spiced meats and roasting nuts at a bustling souk, the soulful sound of the muezzin's call to prayer at sunrise and the taste of traditional mint tea sipped in the cool shade of a 1,000 year-old mosque. Introduce your young adventurer to the wonders of Morocco — a gateway to the Muslim world and a wellspring of enriching new experiences.

Highlights

  • In the secluded mountain village of Aït Iktel, learn the traditional ways of life: weaving, cooking, drumming and dancing.
  • Take a carriage ride through Marrakesh to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of its huge, buzzing markets and open squares.
  • Feast on a traditional Moroccan barbecue of spiced meats, fruits, vegetables, breads and mint tea.

Itinerary: Rabat, 2 nights; Fes, 2 nights; Casablanca, 1 night; Marrakech, 4 nights (including a night in Ait Iktel); Essaouira, 3 nights; Rabat, 2 nights.

On an expert-led expedition through the port city of Rabat, take in soaring towers and coconut-tree lined plazas. Enjoy lunch in a family home and then have tea and cookies in the garden. In Fes, explore the walled 9th-century section of the city and learn to make traditional Moroccan handicrafts. In Casablanca, step inside the magnificent Hassan II Mosque — its marble floor has space for 25,000 worshipers. Explore the history and culture of Moroccan Jews in the Jewish Museum in Casablanca. Discover the beautiful “Red City,” named for its rose-colored walls. Learn about Morocco’s unique style of storytelling and hear some of the tales that have been passed down through the generations. Enjoy a question-and-answer session with some natives of Marrakesh at Djemaa el Fna, the central marketplace. Get a lesson in customary Moroccan woodworking and make a souvenir to take home. Visit an Argan oil cooperative and learn the age-old method for extracting the oil — a popular ingredient in cosmetics — from a desert tree. Relax with a game of soccer on the beach of Essaouira. Complete your journey with an elaborate Moroccan “wedding” celebration back in Rabat.