By Chaimae Naanai,
FAC Intern & Volunteer.

When we think of French culture, we usually think about France, Canada, and even Belgium. But what would the unconventional countries that not only speak French but also celebrate the culture? In this blog post, I will be exploring Morocco. Morocco is a predominantly Arabic country with deep French and Spanish roots. They have been able to preserve their French influence but also maintain their historical Arabic background. 

The city of Marrakech in Morocco, known for their French influence and tourism.

For decades, Morocco was a province of France. Before 1912 (when Morocco gained its independence), French was the official language for everything (business, school, diplomacy, etc.) except religious purposes where Arabic was used. French is the second most spoken language, with 33% of the population speaking it. Children are taught the language as early as preschool. French is generally spoken by government officials, in diplomacy, and during business transactions. The main difference between French spoken in France and French spoken in Morocco is the accent. But that does not hinder a Moroccan and French person from speaking to each other. 

Descartes High School in Rabat where French is taught throughout the school.

Today, Morocco has one of the most developed infrastructure systems because of French. Their laws are also based on laws in France and the Islamic religion, making it one of the most liberal Islamic countries in the world. When traveling in Morocco, you will see the French language everywhere. It is on road signs, maps, restaurant menus, advertisements, and television. It would be virtually unfeasible to travel in Morocco without knowing some French. English is only common in touristy cities like Marrakech and Casablanca, while French and Arabic are seen in smaller cities like Rabat and El Jadida. 

Moroccan food is heavily influenced by Arabic, Berber, and French traditions. The French customs are especially common with their desserts. One of the most notable Moroccan desserts that are French is mille-feuilles

which is a dessert that consists of many very thin layers of puff pastry and filled with custard or whipped cream. It is airy, fluffy, and flaky with all the right textures. Mille-feuille is easy to make but the process itself takes a while. Click here for the recipe!

After experiencing Morocco firsthand and doing more research about it, I’ve learned that it is the perfect place to visit if you want to see a mixture of cultures. The culture not only consists of Arabic culture but also French, Berber, and Spanish. Every city has a different experience to offer with a different culture mix. It is an incredibly colorful and vibrant country to visit.

Get a taste of the magic that is Morocco below!