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I have been all across Morocco and seen some of its biggest cities such as Marrakech, Casablanca, Fes, and so on, but my favorite city is Rabat. I love it for so many reasons and after spending almost four months here, it still feel like there’s so much of the city that I haven’t experienced. From what I have seen, here are a few of my favorite places:

 

1. The Kasbah.

The Kasbah is the old citadel in Rabat that was build in the 12th century during the Almohad Caliphate. It’s located on a cliff that towers over the Atlantic Ocean. You can walk inside the Kasbah to see winding alleyways painted blue and white, large wooden doors to people’s homes, and small stands where the residents inside the Kasbah can buy their food. However, the most beautiful view is at the very edge where you can see the Bou Regreg River leading down to the harbor on one side and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the other side.

 

2. The walkway outside the Parliament building.

In Rabat, like most urban cities, there aren’t a lot of plants unless you go to the park, where all the greenery in squeezed into a small, designated area. But it doesn’t help that all the buildings in Rabat are white, tan, or grey. That doesn’t mean Rabat isn’t beautiful, but for someone who grew up with 400 acres of conservation area in their backyard and goes to a school with plenty of plants, it’s definitely a change. That’s why the walkway outside the Parliament building is one of my favorite places in Rabat.

 

 

3. Yamal Al-Sham Restaurant.

Yamal Al-Sham is my favorite restaurant in all of Morocco with some of the best food I’ve ever had. It is a Syrian restaurant serving some of the most delicious foods such as falafel, shawarma, babaganoush, zaytuun, hummus, pita bread, kabobs, kibbeh, and so forth. The atmosphere is also amazing; giant lamps that change colors hang from the ceiling while in the background, Syrian music plays and the soccer channel projects from the T.V. in the front.

 

4. Hassan’s Tower

Despite never actually visiting Hassan’s Tower, I got a good view of it everyday from my apartment balcony. Hassan’s Tower is a minaret of an incomplete mosque. It’s 140 feet high and absolutely beautiful at any time of the day. I enjoy the tower most when I can hear the call to prayer that is echoed five times a day and when the top lights up with different colors that shine into the night sky.

 

5. The skyline view of Rabat

Though it’s not a specific place in Rabat, it is Rabat. I love the city so much – all of it, even the medina where I got lost and regretted wearing Birkenstocks due to the constant road construction. But being able to see the skyline view of the city is by far my favorite memory (or memories, technically) of Rabat that I will always take with me. It will be the thing that I miss the most once I get back to America (besides all of the people I have met here); I will not see the beautiful pink sunrise in the morning over the city and the orange and red sunset that looks like a watercolor painting.

 

Carly Kelly is a current junior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Her goal is to have a career in Anthropology conducting field research in Palestine, looking at how cultural mixing, cultural misunderstanding, and faith contribute to the culture of nationalism within the country. On campus, Carly is currently a member of One-on-One Friendship (an organization that teaches students in Indonesia English), PLEN (a group which helps empowers women for leadership roles), as well as a teaching fellow for Anthropology. During Spring 2018, Carly studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco, where she documented her experience through blogs, photos, and articles. Carly hopes that she will be able to use HerCampus as a way to create a positive dialogue surrounding topics about the Middle East.
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