The Moroccan Veil

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ImageWhen looking on to another country from afar it is hard to grasp what that culture is really about and the feel of everyday life. When looking on to a different culture we rely heavily on the media and the way that culture is portrayed through the eyes of our own culture. However more often than not the media is telling a story and trying to get across certain ideas about a culture and show only part of the story.  The Middle East has long been seen as an exotic land full of snake charmers and half naked women. Muslim women are often depicted as victimized and given no history. When we think of Muslim women we may think of Aish, the girl that appeared on the cover of Time magazine with no nose, or Fadoha the girl that set herself on fire. We allow these few images that the media feeds us to define what we think of the culture as a whole.

Throughout our orientation class I have learned more and more about the complexities of the Muslim culture and the women’s rights and beliefs in particular. Through watching films such as The Wedding Song, and a number of documentaries I have come to realize that veiling is much more complex than the media makes it out to be. Veiling is a sign of faith and respect, many older generations chose to veil because it gives them a sense of power and honor. Through veiling you can also clearly see a generational gap between mother and daughter. Often younger generations choose not to veil or they will partially veil with a head scarf and blue jeans. This class has really taught me not to judge a culture or a people group before doing research and learning more about their history and their everyday life.

I look forward to going to Morocco and being able to experience the culture first hand. I believe that the orientation class has prepared me well to go study abroad in Spain and Morocco. I am looking forward to experiencing and living in a new culture for a month.

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