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MarocAEHabiby

Any of you lovely ladies live in Morocco?

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Just wondering if any of the ladies on here live in Morocco and if so where?? I will have my sister in law and hubby's cousins (all 4-10 years younger than me) when and if I have to move back with him so it'd be nice to get some ideas of what I should be expecting if I have to move. I've been to Morocco once 2 years ago for nearly 4 months, but haven't been back since. Thanks!


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Well how do you find your standard of living in terms of buying food and clothing?? I remember from my visit 2 years ago that food was cheap, especially fresh food but clothing was really expensive. Also what do you do for fun? I stayed home most of the time on my last visit, barring the visits to Marrakech and Rabat. Also do you work? If so where if you don't mind me asking..I work for a company that has over 350 locations worldwide and I'm trying to determine if I'd qualify for a transfer. Last but not least, if you don't speak arabic or french how do you find day to day living? Thanks in advance for your responses :-)


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Like you said if you want good quality of clothing it can be expensive and even a lot of the cheap stuff can be the same price as you would pay for old navy clothing in the states. That being said you can find a good quality of veggies, fruits, and meat. Rent, electricity, and water is much cheaper to pay here. You dont have to have a car to get around but it can be nice. I have been told that a cheap car is around 30,000 MDH, but I really dont know much about that. I have a job here but I work for a small non profit. I have been making around 700 Euro a month. I dont live in the expensive part of town. I am able to eat out from time to time and live in Rabat just fine, but I would say it would be much nicer to have a bit more cash on hand. Do know if your moving here with your husband family may expect more from you. Not saying this is the case with all families just saying that this sometimes can happen. I dont want to speak about Morocco or Moroccans as if they are all the same, just make sure that your aware of this type of situation could happen. If you can move here with the job you already have, that would be idea. I came here and learned how to speak berber. I am in no way fluent but I am able to have small conversations and many times understand more complicated one but am not very good as being able to express my ideas. I also can order, buy food, and travel in Moroccan Arabic. Really you can pick either one of them up. If you look at the website I love Morocco or something like that it has the books which peace corps uses to train volunteers. They can be helpful. Also it depends on where you like I said before. If you live in Rabat there are lots of culture evens and many of them are even in English. You can find plenty of people in Rabat that speak english but if you live in the country side life is slower. I would say when Im in the country side I spend a lot of time at home. If Im not at home my Fiancee and I go for hikes, pick-nicks, meet up with friends at the cafe and long walks. It can be isolating living there but it also can be nice and if your wanting to learn the language a perfect way to cut yourself off from english speakers. But like I said in my experience you can find people who speak english in the cities and there are more activities. It dose help being able to speak one of the languages. if you plan on working in a Moroccan office if dose help if you know french, but if not you can always find a way. Many places are looking for english teachers. This has been my experience and in no way to I speak for anyone else or their experience in this country.

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I'll add on a bit... though I like the previous poster's answer :)

Well how do you find your standard of living in terms of buying food and clothing?? I remember from my visit 2 years ago that food was cheap, especially fresh food but clothing was really expensive.

This depends on a few things: what kind of money you have, and where you are living. In Rabat, Casa, and Marrakech, you can find good quality imports, but they are expensive.

For example, in Casa, there is a mall (http://www.moroccomall.net/EN/index_EN.html) with import stores. In Rabat, there is MegaMall (http://www.megamall.ma/#/home) complete with a skating rink and bowling alley! Again-- pricy, pricy, pricy! These are places that the elite and ex-pats shop. I'm not as aware in Casa what there is, but I know they have a lot of shopping. Rabat has a district called Agdal with stores like Mango, Pimkie, Steve Madden, United Colors of Benneton, Zara, etc.

For a lot of the population, this is too expensive, and people get clothes from a variety of different areas. In general, I'd say the quality is cheaper than a lot that you would get in the US and the price higher than you can find on sale. The Old Navy metaphor is pretty accurate, I'd say.

If you are living in a rural area and feel comfortable wearing more traditional clothing (I wouldn't recommend this in the cities as a foreigner, you will probably look silly, though some might disagree... maybe around your neighborhood is okay..), you can get decent quality jellabas made for reasonable prices. :) They are comfortable, and I have one for when I go to the corner store and am in pjs (throw it on overtop and out the door!) and one for special occasions, but that's it.

If you are a non-standard size, it might be hard to find clothes in Morocco. Shoes for women rarely fit over a size 9 or 9.5... but the good news is that getting things tailored is relatively cheap and certainly worth it!

Also what do you do for fun? I stayed home most of the time on my last visit, barring the visits to Marrakech and Rabat.

Oh, man. LOTS. I went to sushi with a friend tonight and we walked home the 2.5 miles and just talked and it was great. One of my favorite things to do is to wander around the old medina of Rabat and have a street-food dinner.

On the coast, you obviously have the beach. I just started "running" (the couch 2 5k program is AMAZING), so I adore starting my day with a walk/jog along the coast watching the waves splash on the rocks. Invest in a good set of headphones to drown out the catcalls :) The beach is great, shopping for vegetables and cooking fresh food can be a great hobby... I also have really enjoyed the "cafe culture," and have never run into problems with it, even if traditionally it's the "man's domain." Dinner parties with friends, particularly theme nights, board games from the States, and trying new restaurants are all interesting as well...

Big cities also have a lot of cultural events. In Rabat, there is a movie theater that shows interesting movies (usually in French) every Saturday. Most cities have at least one film festival a year. Oh, man, festivals in general are phenomenal... Rabat has Mawazine (with Shakira this year as the headliner! Elton John and Sting and Santana were here last year, for free!), a fantastic jazz festival at the Roman and Merenid ruins of the Chellah... a myriad of film festivals, etc. If you speak Spanish, French, or German, there are institutes for each of those countries in big cities (Instituto Cervantes, Institute Francaise, Goethe Institut) with weekly or events that are more often.

Then, there are theaters (Theatre Mohammed V in Rabat has things most nights, or at least a few times a week: symphonies, opera, theater, etc.), the Villa de Arts in both Rabat and Casa... There are museums all over... there are art galleries places like the Oudaya Gate... in other words, there is ALWAYS something going on in the cities; it's just a matter of plugging into the right networks to figure it out. I often say that Rabat and Casa need some sort of weekly city guide with a list of all the events, but it hasn't gotten there yet.

If you can get out of the city... oh, man. Camel treks in the desert, skiing near Ifrane or Okaimden (spelling??), hiking all over the Atlas mountains, camping, beaches (the ones on the Mediterranean can be phenomenal, like Al Hoceima!), mountain climbing...

In other words, if you put effort into finding out what is going on (which can be hard!), you won't be bored.

Also do you work? If so where if you don't mind me asking..I work for a company that has over 350 locations worldwide and I'm trying to determine if I'd qualify for a transfer.

I work for an NGO. It pays okay, but more of a upper-middle-class Moroccan salary than an American one; I'm right at the poverty line by US standards. If you want to teach English and have experience, I can PM you a list of schools to look into. You can also bring some letters of reference and all that and just cold-call language schools by knocking on the door. If you can get a transfer, with a US salary, with your current company, I'd say DO IT and you will be set. :)

Last but not least, if you don't speak arabic or french how do you find day to day living? Thanks in advance for your responses :-)

I came to Morocco with advanced French, and now speak decent Tamazight Berber and good "taxi and hanut" Darija-- I am good at convincing people I speak it, then I can't respond. I probably understand 30-50% of conversations, depending on the speaker and topic (and how many French words they throw in!) To me, the language learning is the same as the "finding things to do:" if you expect things to just magically happen for you, you won't go anywhere. If you put in the legwork, however, especially in an immersion environment (with inlaws, for example), and you work at it on a daily basis, you should progress. And I have found many Moroccans incredibly forgiving with my Darija-- even just making an effort brings a smile and occasionally a "tbarkallah ali3k!"

Morocco has become my second home. If my fiance hates the US for some reason (lla y str!), I have come to the conclusion that as long as I can get a job that pays enough for me to send my future children to an American school... I could make Morocco a permanent home. I'm crossing my fingers for a life half in the States, and half in Morocco... but could handle spending most of it here. In general, once you make an effort to integrate to a certain degree, and once you open yourself and become flexible enough to adapt to the culture (not "become Moroccan," but learning to tolerate and accept and understand parts of the culture that are complex and different)... at least for me, I feel at home here. I feel like people accept and respect me for who I am. I feel like I have true Moroccan friends and some ex-pat American friends... I feel like life here is, in some ways, more... human? than life in the States. I feel like many people are more connected with each other, with God, and with the greater community, and I have changed some of my perspectives and frameworks because of their influence on me. I will never be Moroccan-- nor do I want to be or try to be!-- but I can tell you that with the right people and support network, and the right attitude, for me, Morocco is truly somewhere that I feel content.

I hope this novel (ha!) was helpful. :)

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Thank you so much for the thoughtful information...since our petition was denied I will be moving to Morocco in 3-6 months maybe sooner to be with my husband. I'm not really nervous but only anxious about being able to find a job in Casablanca hopefully before I get there. Hopefully at some point I will be able to contact you guys after reaching since my husband is the only one from his family who speaks enough English to understand me. Thanks again!! :)


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I'll add on a bit... though I like the previous poster's answer :)

Well how do you find your standard of living in terms of buying food and clothing?? I remember from my visit 2 years ago that food was cheap, especially fresh food but clothing was really expensive.

This depends on a few things: what kind of money you have, and where you are living. In Rabat, Casa, and Marrakech, you can find good quality imports, but they are expensive.

For example, in Casa, there is a mall (http://www.moroccomall.net/EN/index_EN.html) with import stores. In Rabat, there is MegaMall (http://www.megamall.ma/#/home) complete with a skating rink and bowling alley! Again-- pricy, pricy, pricy! These are places that the elite and ex-pats shop. I'm not as aware in Casa what there is, but I know they have a lot of shopping. Rabat has a district called Agdal with stores like Mango, Pimkie, Steve Madden, United Colors of Benneton, Zara, etc.

For a lot of the population, this is too expensive, and people get clothes from a variety of different areas. In general, I'd say the quality is cheaper than a lot that you would get in the US and the price higher than you can find on sale. The Old Navy metaphor is pretty accurate, I'd say.

If you are living in a rural area and feel comfortable wearing more traditional clothing (I wouldn't recommend this in the cities as a foreigner, you will probably look silly, though some might disagree... maybe around your neighborhood is okay..), you can get decent quality jellabas made for reasonable prices. :) They are comfortable, and I have one for when I go to the corner store and am in pjs (throw it on overtop and out the door!) and one for special occasions, but that's it.

If you are a non-standard size, it might be hard to find clothes in Morocco. Shoes for women rarely fit over a size 9 or 9.5... but the good news is that getting things tailored is relatively cheap and certainly worth it!

Also what do you do for fun? I stayed home most of the time on my last visit, barring the visits to Marrakech and Rabat.

Oh, man. LOTS. I went to sushi with a friend tonight and we walked home the 2.5 miles and just talked and it was great. One of my favorite things to do is to wander around the old medina of Rabat and have a street-food dinner.

On the coast, you obviously have the beach. I just started "running" (the couch 2 5k program is AMAZING), so I adore starting my day with a walk/jog along the coast watching the waves splash on the rocks. Invest in a good set of headphones to drown out the catcalls :) The beach is great, shopping for vegetables and cooking fresh food can be a great hobby... I also have really enjoyed the "cafe culture," and have never run into problems with it, even if traditionally it's the "man's domain." Dinner parties with friends, particularly theme nights, board games from the States, and trying new restaurants are all interesting as well...

Big cities also have a lot of cultural events. In Rabat, there is a movie theater that shows interesting movies (usually in French) every Saturday. Most cities have at least one film festival a year. Oh, man, festivals in general are phenomenal... Rabat has Mawazine (with Shakira this year as the headliner! Elton John and Sting and Santana were here last year, for free!), a fantastic jazz festival at the Roman and Merenid ruins of the Chellah... a myriad of film festivals, etc. If you speak Spanish, French, or German, there are institutes for each of those countries in big cities (Instituto Cervantes, Institute Francaise, Goethe Institut) with weekly or events that are more often.

Then, there are theaters (Theatre Mohammed V in Rabat has things most nights, or at least a few times a week: symphonies, opera, theater, etc.), the Villa de Arts in both Rabat and Casa... There are museums all over... there are art galleries places like the Oudaya Gate... in other words, there is ALWAYS something going on in the cities; it's just a matter of plugging into the right networks to figure it out. I often say that Rabat and Casa need some sort of weekly city guide with a list of all the events, but it hasn't gotten there yet.

If you can get out of the city... oh, man. Camel treks in the desert, skiing near Ifrane or Okaimden (spelling??), hiking all over the Atlas mountains, camping, beaches (the ones on the Mediterranean can be phenomenal, like Al Hoceima!), mountain climbing...

In other words, if you put effort into finding out what is going on (which can be hard!), you won't be bored.

Also do you work? If so where if you don't mind me asking..I work for a company that has over 350 locations worldwide and I'm trying to determine if I'd qualify for a transfer.

I work for an NGO. It pays okay, but more of a upper-middle-class Moroccan salary than an American one; I'm right at the poverty line by US standards. If you want to teach English and have experience, I can PM you a list of schools to look into. You can also bring some letters of reference and all that and just cold-call language schools by knocking on the door. If you can get a transfer, with a US salary, with your current company, I'd say DO IT and you will be set. :)

Last but not least, if you don't speak arabic or french how do you find day to day living? Thanks in advance for your responses :-)

I came to Morocco with advanced French, and now speak decent Tamazight Berber and good "taxi and hanut" Darija-- I am good at convincing people I speak it, then I can't respond. I probably understand 30-50% of conversations, depending on the speaker and topic (and how many French words they throw in!) To me, the language learning is the same as the "finding things to do:" if you expect things to just magically happen for you, you won't go anywhere. If you put in the legwork, however, especially in an immersion environment (with inlaws, for example), and you work at it on a daily basis, you should progress. And I have found many Moroccans incredibly forgiving with my Darija-- even just making an effort brings a smile and occasionally a "tbarkallah ali3k!"

Morocco has become my second home. If my fiance hates the US for some reason (lla y str!), I have come to the conclusion that as long as I can get a job that pays enough for me to send my future children to an American school... I could make Morocco a permanent home. I'm crossing my fingers for a life half in the States, and half in Morocco... but could handle spending most of it here. In general, once you make an effort to integrate to a certain degree, and once you open yourself and become flexible enough to adapt to the culture (not "become Moroccan," but learning to tolerate and accept and understand parts of the culture that are complex and different)... at least for me, I feel at home here. I feel like people accept and respect me for who I am. I feel like I have true Moroccan friends and some ex-pat American friends... I feel like life here is, in some ways, more... human? than life in the States. I feel like many people are more connected with each other, with God, and with the greater community, and I have changed some of my perspectives and frameworks because of their influence on me. I will never be Moroccan-- nor do I want to be or try to be!-- but I can tell you that with the right people and support network, and the right attitude, for me, Morocco is truly somewhere that I feel content.

I hope this novel (ha!) was helpful. :)

My fiance and I were denied and since then we have married. We have not filed yet for the CR1 but will be doing so soon. I too have been researching and checking with those who lives there for information. I have found many to have the same experiences and this helpful to me too.

I have also talked to people from Morocco other than my family. I am trying to be ready regardless of the outcome of interview.

I am currently exploring additional educational opportunities through my company that may assit me in Morocco if I do move. I am learning French and trying to learn some Arabic (Moroccan and traditional). Are there any other suggestions, thoughts or ideas that can be useful if you were to prepare to move to Morocco? Also, I would be interested in the schools you mentioned, if you don't mind sharing them with me. I know it will be early next year before I know if I will be living there or here.

I am happy to know it has been a pleasant experience. I am like MarocAEHabiby, anxious and a loving family who doesn't speak much if any English.

Thank you

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Hey Moroccan love, nice to meet someone else who may be relocating. So far I haven't had much luck locating a job abroad but perhaps in time I'll come across something that suits my skill set (very limited French and Arabic) and I will def share. Have you tried to start learning the languages? What part of Morocco would you be moving to? Well keep in touch!!


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I too am seriously considering relocating to Morocco. I brought my husband here 2 years ago and we both agree we would rather live in Morocco. It will take me a couple years to save to move over and I am trying to find out how to get a savings account going over there from the US. We want to live in El Jadida. I also want to send over some of my things like one of our cars and some of our furniture. Has anyone done any of this? Also I want my kids to go to the public school instead of private does anyone know if this is possible, we are in the process of learning arabic so that they will be ready.


4377610_bodyshot_300x400.gif5130242_bodyshot_300x400.gif

Date of Wedding :2007-09-04

Date I-130 Sent :2008//02/12

Date I-130 NOA1 2008/02/13

Date I-130 NOA2 :2008-06-04

Date I-129F Sent :2008-03-20

I-129F RFE(s) :2008/05/20

I-129F RFE Reply(s) :2008/05/27,20

Date I-129F NOA2:2008-06-04

Date Package Received By NVC :2008-06-06?

Date Package Left From NVC :2008-06-11

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I too am seriously considering relocating to Morocco. I brought my husband here 2 years ago and we both agree we would rather live in Morocco. It will take me a couple years to save to move over and I am trying to find out how to get a savings account going over there from the US. We want to live in El Jadida. I also want to send over some of my things like one of our cars and some of our furniture. Has anyone done any of this? Also I want my kids to go to the public school instead of private does anyone know if this is possible, we are in the process of learning arabic so that they will be ready.

I would like to know some of the same information. I have read where people will use a moving container, like you see on a semi truck, and in most cases they will share it to save costs. Someone else told me that if you take your car, you have to pay heavy taxes on it when it arrives. Something to think about. I thought someone said you would be taxed on the original purchase price, but I am not sure that is correct. I would like to know if you were to open an account in the US with maybe Chase, would that help you get something going in Morocco since they are there too.

Best of luck in your future

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I would like to know some of the same information. I have read where people will use a moving container, like you see on a semi truck, and in most cases they will share it to save costs. Someone else told me that if you take your car, you have to pay heavy taxes on it when it arrives. Something to think about. I thought someone said you would be taxed on the original purchase price, but I am not sure that is correct. I would like to know if you were to open an account in the US with maybe Chase, would that help you get something going in Morocco since they are there too.

Best of luck in your future

I put in for a price quote with a company but haven't heard anything back yet. I hope its not to much on the car, its only valued at 5,900.( its a 2001 Hyundai tibiron) but i really love the car.I thought that Citi bank was in Morocco so when I called them they said they dont have a branch there. Im hoping when my husband goes for a visit in oct. he can open an account, then we can just transfer money online from here.We still have a while to go to move but I like to plan ahead and I can dream about it. I sure miss it over there.


4377610_bodyshot_300x400.gif5130242_bodyshot_300x400.gif

Date of Wedding :2007-09-04

Date I-130 Sent :2008//02/12

Date I-130 NOA1 2008/02/13

Date I-130 NOA2 :2008-06-04

Date I-129F Sent :2008-03-20

I-129F RFE(s) :2008/05/20

I-129F RFE Reply(s) :2008/05/27,20

Date I-129F NOA2:2008-06-04

Date Package Received By NVC :2008-06-06?

Date Package Left From NVC :2008-06-11

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I would like to know some of the same information. I have read where people will use a moving container, like you see on a semi truck, and in most cases they will share it to save costs. Someone else told me that if you take your car, you have to pay heavy taxes on it when it arrives. Something to think about. I thought someone said you would be taxed on the original purchase price, but I am not sure that is correct. I would like to know if you were to open an account in the US with maybe Chase, would that help you get something going in Morocco since they are there too.

Best of luck in your future

I have read the same things regarding the containers and it can become costly, I've seen quotes as low as $1000 and as high as $5500, with the size of the container ranging from 20 to 40 feet. Also, I've considered taking my car to Morocco but I've been told its cheaper to buy locally, as you pay an arm and a leg on taxes to get the car in the country. The downside of course is if you drive an automatic vs a manual car, it may be difficult to find a automatic car as most cars sold in Morocco are manual or stick shift. The easiest way to start banking is to open an account in Morocco when you reach and set up some type of transfer (seems to be the easiest way unfortunately). Citi has a presence in Morocco but not on the consumer banking side, they are the back office/operations side which doesn't directly involve itself with money...which is unfortunate. I forgot about this site and haven't been reading much but I'm glad I came back. :)


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I have read the same things regarding the containers and it can become costly, I've seen quotes as low as $1000 and as high as $5500, with the size of the container ranging from 20 to 40 feet. Also, I've considered taking my car to Morocco but I've been told its cheaper to buy locally, as you pay an arm and a leg on taxes to get the car in the country. The downside of course is if you drive an automatic vs a manual car, it may be difficult to find a automatic car as most cars sold in Morocco are manual or stick shift. The easiest way to start banking is to open an account in Morocco when you reach and set up some type of transfer (seems to be the easiest way unfortunately). Citi has a presence in Morocco but not on the consumer banking side, they are the back office/operations side which doesn't directly involve itself with money...which is unfortunate. I forgot about this site and haven't been reading much but I'm glad I came back. :)

Ive been gone from this site for a while too, Im glad to back. I guess it might be more feasible to sell this car and buy one from there. I plan on having my husband do the driving as I am to scared to drive in that crazy traffic. I might have to look into buying new beds and stuff there as well. I will however want to take my computer as it has all my sims games on it lol.


4377610_bodyshot_300x400.gif5130242_bodyshot_300x400.gif

Date of Wedding :2007-09-04

Date I-130 Sent :2008//02/12

Date I-130 NOA1 2008/02/13

Date I-130 NOA2 :2008-06-04

Date I-129F Sent :2008-03-20

I-129F RFE(s) :2008/05/20

I-129F RFE Reply(s) :2008/05/27,20

Date I-129F NOA2:2008-06-04

Date Package Received By NVC :2008-06-06?

Date Package Left From NVC :2008-06-11

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I have another odd question..for those ladies who live in Morocco and are paid in Moroccan dirhams can you have your salary direct deposited into an American account?? If not how do you pay any bills you may have in America (ie: student loans or credit cards)? I know this may seem to be a very stupid question but it's been on my mind for a bit...thanks!! :)


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