NIMAR fotoselectie 0014
NIMAR fotoselectie 0014
"For our host family it is also often a guessing game and I can really see the questionnaires in the eyes of our host mother, when we tell her that we don’t eat meat. "
Lena, student about her experiences of the Nimar-Minor:


After 12 hours of driving we finally arrive in Oulad Merzouk (Skoura), a little oasis in the South of Morocco. This might sound like a long time, but accompanied by a guitar and a darbukah (a little drum), good talks, many breaks and a beautiful sunset above the Atlas Mountains the time in the 2 little busses passed by quickly.

In Oulad Merzouk we are warmly welcomed and greeted (1 kiss left, 2 kisses right) by our host mother Hadoz and together we stumble our way through the dark to her dar (house) and nearly step on a scorpion. Regardless of the time we sit down in the big living room to have atay (tea)and home-made cookies. Soon our little bit of Darija, which mostly consists of complementing the delicious food (bnin!/ mezyan!/ ldid!), has come to an end, but Haduz keeps talking vividly with her hands and while we try to guess what she says it feels a little bit like playing Activity.

Strange eating habits

For our host family it is also often a guessing game and I can really see the questionnaires in the eyes of our host mother, when we tell her that we don’t eat meat. Not even chicken, fish or ham.  A little bit helpless she goes to another family to ask for some cooking advice for these strange foreigners. Her neighbors advise her to cook ‘modern food’ and the next morning we find a huge amount of pasta on our shared breakfast plate.

Market treasures

Strengthened by this breakfast we go to the suk (market). Here we take the anthropological participant observation quite seriously and involve enthusiastically into the hustle and bustle of the market. With a bit of luck you can find real treasures in this suk and my personal rankings of the most original bargained products are the following: the 3rd place goes to Oumar for buying a suit cover bag, the 2nd place goes to Judith for buying a Macklemore fur and the winner is Martin, who bought some little chickens (‘may they have a long life- inshallah’). Nevertheless I am kind of disappointed that no one bought a cow or a sheep.len2


Exotic beauty


Life of a farmer

The next day we have to conduct short interviews. On our way to the next settlement to find interviewees we meet a very nice man on his way to Skoura. Although he just wanted to go into the opposite direction, he quickly turns around with his scooter and invites us for atay at his place. A few atays later, it is my turn to conduct an interview. I interview a farmer, who is selecting dates and who tells us more about the village life. Whenever he gives an answer, due to my limited Darija skills, I just nod vividly and say mezyen, mezyen (good) or waxxa (okay). When I ask him about his plans to celebrate Ashura he invites me for dinner with his family and I keep nodding and saying mezyen, mezyen without realizing what I’m actually confirming.


Dance, music and lots of atay

The last day, due to an overdoses of delicious food I have to stay at home, while my fellow students watch the bright and countless stars during night (these strange foreigners again), the sunrise from up a mountain (why would you do that?) and go even deeper into the South of Morocco to visit other villages. After I slept the whole day, my host sister Asma comes into the room. She is the youngest of 7 siblings and the only one who stayed at home to help her mother with the household. She carries a little bowl with suspicious green powder and mixes it with water. I’m a little bit worried that this is supposed to be medicine. Luckily it is just Henna. The next few hours she draws beautiful Henna paintings on our hands and later that evening our host mother even borrows us some colorful dresses, slippers and scarfs. Dressed up we enjoy the last evening with dances, music and needless to say atay.