Don´t touch my child
Combat crime in all its forms:
Pedophilia (sexual abuse of prepubescent children) & incest
(sexual abuse by a family member).
Observations of particular behavior that tourists encounter
... sometimes different from what the visitors are used too in
their home countries.
Merchants and salesmen.
The following example is typical of salesmen
and shows a typic attitude towards tourists who are interested
in buying something in a souvenir shop. Usually there are never
any prices noted.
- How much is this african mask?
- Oh. This mask is very nice.
- How much?
- It comes from Mali and is very rare.
- Yes I know that. How much is it?
- Look! It has a nice decoration and beutiful colours.
- Ok. But I want to know its price.
- Not expensive. I have more masks here.
- How much is this mask?
- Please come into my shop and look.
- No. I am only interested in knowing the price of this mask!
- 65 Euro (sic) (the right price
is about 200 Dh)
- Oh. That is too much. I don´t want to buy it.
When you hear that they tell you a ridiculously
high price you give the mask back and want to leave - they usually
don´t want to take it back and they ask you:
- My friend (Sic) How much?
They think that you are interested in bargaining for the price
and can offer you a cup of tea trying to seduce you
or they will try to sell something else to you that you don´t
Are they stupid? Do they not understand that they loose customers
dealing that way?
They want to make as much money as possible and are continously
insulting customers by asking a much higher price than the "right"
When you leave the shop not buying you are not longer their friend!
Read more about money and bargaining in:
"In general, the Moroccans are very friendly
and hospitable. Just beware there are individuals who befriend
travelers to take advantage of their naiveté. In some
cases it's just to get you to purchase something so they can
get a commission. In other cases it can be to rip you off. Be
careful when someone approaches you without an invitation."'
"You will never get a great bargain. That's it, accept
it. You might get a better deal than some other tourist with
less patience or experience. Just don't enter the game at the
start of your trip. If you can, visit a fixed price shop right
away to see what a fair price is and decide what you'd like
to purchase during your trip. You might even pick up something
at the fixed price shop."
A tout is any person
who solicits business or employment in a persistent and annoying
manner (generally equivalent to a solicitor or barker
in American English. An example would be a person who
frequents heavily touristed areas and presents himself as a tour
guide (particularly towards those who do not speak the local
language) but operates on behalf of local bars, restaurant, or
hotels, being paid to direct tourists towards certain establishments.
The experience in its worst form is the mafia-like
intimidation of travellers from a group of unpolite men who approch
you when you want a taxi at the airport in
Marrakech and a milder variant when nice children offer you
to rent an appartment in Essaouira.
It is wise to have a guide if you
are not familiar with a location.
A tour guide (tourist guide)
provides assistance, information and cultural, historical and
contemporary heritage interpretation to people on organized tours,
individual clients, educational establishments, at religious and
historical sites, museums, and at venues of other significant
interest.They (normally) have a recognized national or regional
tourist guide qualification.
The tourist police in main
tourist areas are watching tourists walking with local Moroccans
trying to prevent harassment by fake guides and in certain circumstances
is wise to register with the local police if you are travelling
with young Moroccans.
Being a foreigner you experience people looking
at you as an exotic creature. Mostly a positive experience getting
a lot of attention and people communicate often with you with
eye contact, greetings and hand shaking.
However, there are important exceptions.
In traditional environments approaching, greeting and talking
to women is not appropriate if you are man.
When Moroccans greet each other they take
their time and converse about their families, friends, and other
general topics. Handshakes are the customary greeting between
individuals of the same sex.
Once a relationship has developed, it is common to kiss on both
cheeks, starting with the left cheek while shaking hands, men
with men and women with women. In any greeting that does take
place between men and women, the woman must extend her hand first.
If she does not, a man should bow his head in greeting.
When entering a social function, shake hands with the person to
your right and then continue around the room going from right
Say good-bye to each person individually when leaving.
If a number of clients wait at a store, it
is not a rule to serve in the correct order. Those who are in
a hurry and just like to buy a few things can be served before
the others. So also small childen or an elderly. There is howewer
also a common behavior, that some customers is pushing their way
in and insisting on being served directly even though other customers
waiting for their turn.
Garbage and dirt in the streets
is common. Habitually waste is thrown in the streets. Sometimes
garbage bags are placed in the street just outside the door and
in the night animals(cows,
goats and sheep, dogs and seagulls) is breaking
the bag to eat its content and the wind is then doing the rest.
The forest is full of plastic bags.......
Regular cleaning of the streets
have improved but not the behavior of people. In northeast of
the town, the cows cross the "green
wall" in the night and attack the waste containers.
Especially in the summer it is blowing a lot and sand and dust
are a problem. Because of the special climate with high humidity,
salty air and strong winds are buildings,
machinery and vehicles vulnerable. The lack of maintenance is
obvious. Some locations have a bad odor due to garbage and as
well from leaking wastewater in the streets. Most drains are clogged
with rubbish and it is not unusual that there is no manhole covers,
dangerous for pedestrians and certainly vehicles. Neighborhoods
in the medina and the town are occationally flooded by sewage..
No vaccination certificate is required
for visitors coming from Europe or America.
or Hepatitis A, polio and tetanus
Food and water
Usually fried and boiled foods are
safe. It is also advised not to drink tap water. Avoid eating
fruits and vegetables that have not been peeled or cooked.
Take precautions against insect
bites and sunburn.
Traffic accidents are
a significant hazard in Morocco. Driving practices are very
poor and have resulted in serious injuries to and fatalities.
Public buses and taxis are inexpensive, drivers typically
exhibit poor driving habits, and buses are frequently overcrowded.
Learn more : Morocco
Health recommendations (External link)
is the main cause of traffic accidents in Morocco?
Yahoo Answers (External link)
tobacco and narcotics
(for sugar see food!)
In Essaouira there are shops selling wine,
beer and spirits. Closed on Fridays. Theese shops are also closed during the month of Ramadan. As the religion forbids
drinking for muslims Morocco is a rather dry country with
few drunkards and Moroccans prefer dinking tea when meeting.
A 18 year old boy condemned to 3 month prison because he smoked a cigarette in a public place during Ramadan.
Tourists often notice that smoking
tobacco is generally toleratad in restaurants and
cafes, but not in the taxis or buses.
The crude prevalence of current smoking
(currently smoked and had smoked > 100 cigarettes in
lifetime) was 16.9% in the adolescent and adult rural
population: 31.0% among men and 1.1% among women. The
majority of smokers (74.4% of men and 68.8% of women)
began smoking before age 20 years. Multiple logistic regression
analysis showed that age, sex, marital status, occupation
and region of residence were the strongest determinants
of current smoking. These results showed a high prevalence
of smoking among males in the rural population of Morocco.
of smoking in Moroccan rural areas.
Source: pubmed.gov (External
To smoke and possess hashish
(also " Kif " ) is illegal but it is
common that travellers can be offered to buy or to smoke.
A good advice is to be careful touching any drugs. Read more.
Hashish in Morocco (External
Don´t rely on your knowledge of traffic
rules. Lack of education or just negligent conduct appears in
typical phenomena as people walk out in the street without looking.
Avoiding a hole in the ground is more important than driving on
the right side of the street. In the night most cyclists have
no lights at all. Do not expect that road users stop in a junction
and let you pass.That a vehicle stops and lets pass pedestrians
at a pedestrian crossing is very rare.
Traffic crashes on Moroccan roads
claim a daily average of no less than 10 lives and 200 injuries.
Strikingly enough, the 2005 international classification placed
Morocco sixth in terms of the number of traffic accidents.
The weather in Essaouira
A tourist finds Essaouira town
cold in the summers and warm in the winters compared to the other
regions in Morocco.
In the summer the northerly wind is persistent and strong, good
for windsurfing but annoying
for sunbathers who also can find the water temperature cold, 14-18°
The summers inlands in Essaouira province are very hot about 40°
when it is 25° in Essaouira town.
When it is raining it is usually very nice
weather because there is no winds. That is in the winter when
temperatures go down to max 13 °C in the night but in general
warm in the days.
So if you don´t like strong winds and
not too cold nights the best seasons to visit Essaouira are the
spring and the autumn.
The treatment of animals
Wild or semidomestic dogs
are usually shy and avoid humans because people throw stones at
them. Not only for protection but mostly for pleasure. You can
even see children kicking cats and throwing stones at birds or
other animals.To whip donkeys and horses is common.
Talking loudly in public
To talk loudly about private matters, on the mobile phone or more
generally in public places is a common phenomenon, is not embarassing
for locals. When tensions do occur, yelling, expressing frustration,
and generally creating a public scene is acceptable and quite
ordinary. However, it can be annoying for a visitor.
To schedule an appointment at a specified
time does not necessarily mean that the person will arrive at
that time exactly. Rather later or when it's convenient. You usually
meet people in the "souk" , at home luch- or dinner
time, at the mosque or just at the neighborhood cafe.
Essaouira, as Morocco
in general, is rather safe for visitors.
It is important that the tourists understand that they are objects
of attention! For good and for bad.
It is easy to make local friends, to learn
some arabic and take on some local habits in greetings and eating
If you are harassed in any way, the best thing is to take contact
with other people - if they not already had gathered around you
which is a habit here when something special has happened.
The social control is high mainly to your
Conflicts are usually caused by misconceptions,
lack of understanding differences in culture and behaviour and
an unvillingness to change perspective, but also common ignorance
and normal human group behavior. Indigenisation (Transformation
to suit a local culture) is the key in getting the best when
Read more below: Is Morocco a safe place for tourists?
The Relative Status of
Women and Men.
The status of men is higher than that
of women. For the most part, women remain in private, domestic
places. The man , the father represents the family outwards.
Worship in mosques is generally reserved for men and all Muslim
leaders are male. Conservative Moroccans may not entertain mixed-sex
groups. Within the family, the maintained virginity of a young
woman is guarded, as it is vital to her acceptance for marriage.
On the other hand, male sexual activity before marriage is regarded
Morocco is often considered one of the most
liberal Muslim countries.
"It is forbidden by our God , it
is haram " explains Hasnae Krimi, 22, a student
in linguistics at the University Mohammed V in Rabat. It also
believes that the increase in natural disasters and disease are
all warnings calling to reject homosexuality. Most people living
in Muslim countries respond the same way: homosexuality is haram,
forbidden by God.
Under Moroccan law, "committing obscene
acts against nature with an individual of the same sex is punishable
by six months to three years in prison and a fine ranging from
200 to 1,000 dirhams (Article 489 Code penal Marocaine)
"Behind this law against homosexuality,
there is above the weight of religion," said
Dr. Abdessamad Dialmy, professor of gender studies at
the University Mohammed V in Rabat, and a leading researcher on
sexuality in Morocco .
"For most Moroccans, homosexuality is a sin because it
is rejected by Islam. Having sex outside of marriage is less reprehensible
than making love with someone of the same sex. The first is simply
a sin, not abnormal, while the latter is considered a deviant.
"Dans le sillage des ‘révolutions’ homosexuelles de par le monde et à la veille de la célébration, le 17 mai prochain, de la journée mondiale de lutte contre l'homophobie et la transphobie, les homos marocains appellent à manifestation publique pour leurs ‘droits’. Lemag 4 Mai 2013
Les homosexuels marocains se révoltent contre les islamistes, et appellent à manifester.....
The extended family is of utmost importance
as it is a source of status and reputation as well as financial
support. One's personal dignity and honor are an extension of
the family name. The individual is always subordinate to the family
or group. The concept of hshuma, or
shame, is spread to the entire family if one member of
the family is known to have misbehaved. Moroccans view married
life as the only normal way for adults to live. Polygamy is allowed
under Islam, although it is rarely practiced. In such cases, the
wives may live together in one house, or depending on the family's
economic status, each wife may reside in her own dwelling with
her offspring.The elderly are revered and respected and often
exert a great influence on the rest of the family.
The Concept of Shame - Hshuma
. Moroccans' most cherished possession is
their honour and dignity, which reflects not only on themselves
but on all members of their extended family.
. Moroccans will go out of their way to preserve their personal
. Hshuma occurs when other people know that they have behaved
. A Moroccan's sense of self-worth is externally focused, so the
way others see them is of paramount importance.
. If someone is shamed, they may be ostracized by society, or
even worse by their family.
. To avoid hshuma, many Moroccans will say or do things publicly
because it makes them look good or helps them avoid embarrassment
. In business it is extremely important to verify anything that
has been agreed to in front of others as it may not have been
a sincere agreement and the person may have no intention of following
- Language, Culture and Doing Business (External
Islam and everyday life
Islam is practised by
the majority of Moroccans and governs their personal, political,
economic and legal lives.
Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a
day - at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Friday
is the Muslim holy day. In Essaouira are most shops closed
during Friday prayers but opens in the evening.
Many traditions but
also everyday life in Essaouira follow the muslim
calendar and in general
local people have islamic values which are guiding them in actions
Learn more in: Islamic
Living (/islam.about.com/ External link)
The impact and significance
of Islam in peoples life must be understood and a visitor
with other beliefs must show respect and learn to follow some
- Women should avoid provocative clothing
- Don´t smoke, drink and eat in public
during the day
in the month of Ramadan
- Never disturb someone in prayer
- Avoid criticizing religion.
- Ask for permission before taking pictures
Of religious reasons
are some places and events sacred and not accesible for non muslims.