L'importance du français
While Arabic is the official language in Morocco, French is nearly as important. It is the second language in Morocco and spoken practically by everyone. If you speak some French, you will inevitably find yourself using it, and would have an easier time. However, most shopkeepers in the souks speak at least some English, Spanish and other languages, learnt by dealing with tourists, to increase the likelihood of selling. This is not the case with taxi drivers and the general public.
Actually there is not so much specific information that I can give you here. We did see lots of carpets in the suqs and we were taken to a carpet cooperative to have a little information and shopping opportunity. It was quite interesting to see the different types of materials (wool, silk, camel wool etc), patterns and colors, but non of us bought anything.
If you are interested in buying a carpet, you might want to make sure you get a proper receipt and maybe also a tax refund!
279 Av. Mohamed V (in front of the Koutubia). Tel: (212)44 440081.
A nice alternative for traditional morocan cuisine, this italian restaurant has a beautiful terrace facing the Koutubia, not far from Djema el Fnaa. Touristic menu for 120 Dh.
MY UNCLE’S CARPET SHOP
What do you have to loose? Go on and get over with! Go and see a carpet shop. It’s THE experience you just have to do – once. Go and at least have a look and let the carpet people explain how and where the carpets are made. Take some pictures and then either negotiate or leave. I have a ‘how to’ tip on ‘Local Customs’. Good Luck!
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa - Rural Students room
You can wander around most of the students cells, most are quite bare, without windows, some have a raised platform for extra sleeping space, some offer views through iron grilles onto the outside world!
There are about 130 rooms, and apparently about 900 students were crammed into these small cells! It was the largest Koranic university in North Africa.
On the second storey are a couple of mock ups of a students room (presumably these are for the senior students- not much room even with the limited items they were allowed to bring with them.
This room shows the items that a rural student would use for studying and in looking after himself.
These items included, a writing desk, pens, candlestick, oil lamp, a tagine, cooking pans and bowls, tea containers, equipment for tea making, pots for dried fruits, a water vessel, a prayer rug, and a rug for sleeping on.
You can't actually enter this room, but you can view from the doorway.
Luckily there weren't too many visitors at the time I visited, but I should imagine when busy, you might not get such an uninterrupted viewing.