Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Visit to Morocco Part Three

Master Artist at the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts in Tetouan

Part Three:  Dar Loughat Cross Cultural Language Center,  the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts in Tetouan,  and Rif Mountain Tea

Tetouan, the Medina of which is an International Heritage Site, has a great deal to offer, one of which is the Dar Loughat Cross Cultural Language Center, a place Linda and I investigated for students. 

To that end, we sat in a few classes the first week of our stay in particular.  I enjoyed a class in English, Islam and Human Rights offered by Dris El Aattar (pictured on the right), a wonderful teacher and person who picked up Linda and me from the airport in
Tangiers, a bit over an hour from Tetouan. 
Give the web page for the school a look, for many students from the USA study there, and a person can learn a lot in three weeks, including an introduction to Arabic--and at very affordable rates. 

In addition to enjoying an exciting variety of classes, students also take advantage of many excursions--and can
develop their own.  So after class one morning, Linda and I joined Dris and a number of students on walk through the Medina to  the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts in Tetouan, one quite famous.

The beautiful school offers students a chance to work with masters of various traditional arts, from djellabahs to decorated plates, from iron works to bronze engraving.  And all the crafts learned perpetuate the traditions from the specific area of northern Morocco.   

During the visit, I took photographs of all the areas of the school we got a chance to see, though others did not have students present at the time of our excursion.  But as the images suggests, the young, who often stay for as many as five years,  learn a trade from experts that will preserve important Moroccan traditions.

After we enjoyed our class at Dar Loughat and returned from the Artisan school, our driver, Hashim, surprised us by taking us to a small cafe in the Rif Mountains south of Tetouan.

Our host, Redouan, helped the owner, as part of his duties as Vice President of the Tetouan Chamber of Commerce, open this business.  The owner was for decades a professional photographer, but he decided to live a quiet Berber life and runs the cafe. By the way, Redouan calls this pleasant fellow Osama Ben Laden.  

Sitting in chairs in areas carved out of the mountain side, we sipped more mint tea and enjoyed a beautiful view of Tetouan before Hasham returned us to Kabila on the other side of Capo Blanco, the mountain on the west side of Tetouan.

Part Four:  Tetouan-Lixus-Larache-Tetouan

Part Five: Tetouan-Tangiers-Ripon

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