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Are you happy in Morocco?

Hello everyone!

According to the 2016 UN World Happiness Survey, Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland are the happiest countries on earth.

How about you? Are you happy in Morocco? Do you feel happier today in your host country than before in your home country? What has contributed to the change?

In your opinion, are locals in Morocco happy? How can you tell?

Please share your experience!

Happiness

Let me start by saying:
Happiness in life is a matter of personal choice based on the culture each of us live our life. Some cultures either encourage or discourage their people about what choice is available. Life is often a difficult struggle or even a series of unfair events for most people no matter where they live. How each person chooses to react to those things reflects in that person's individual happiness about life. How the majority of the individuals feel about their own life marks the concept of happiness for the entire culture. Ok...ok....it is textbook sociology rhetoric.

I am an American expat. So I am looking at Moroccan life from my somewhat negative American cultural bias.

As a whole, I see that most Moroccan people who are living in their homeland as willing to choose happiness.
I say it like that because I have met Moroccans who live outside of Morocco and I can see a slightly different attitude emerge within them based on the cultural influences of their adopted land. But I suppose that is a true statement of all of us Expats.

Daily, in Marrakech, I see people strive to over come adversities within life. For the most part most Moroccans live at a standard that most Americans consider significantly impoverished.  Many people observing this might expect this fact to be conducive to a miserable way of life. As a whole, it is not. Of course there are always those who prefer to wear their suffering as a badge of courage. As I noted above, there are a few Moroccans who eagerly strive to get out of Morocco by any means possible because of the poverty. Yet, most Moroccans choose a different course in life.  They choose to be happy.

Hospitality is an easy mark of happiness in a culture. In Morocco hospitality is paramount even among those who seem to have nothing to share. Moroccans  often get together to celebrate the smallest joys in life. The oppertunity to sit with a cup of tea and talk, laugh, sing, or dance is warmly welcomed by most in this culturally rich part of the world. They strive to find happiness in the face of adversity.

This may seem a bit off topic, but I will try to relate it as best as I can. Here is an example of what I mean by happiness in the face of adversity.

A few years ago I was witness to a public protest in Marrakech over some rather significant issue with the public utilities.  At the time many other places in the world were experiencing similar public protests for a wide variety of reasons.  It was not surprising to see something like it happen in my adopted home of Marrakech too. What did surprise me was how the protest was conducted by the Moroccan people and the response of the authorities. 

It all started as most would expect in the morning as a very large group of people  with signs marching and souting in the street. All the while there were heavily armed police making their presence know to all.  By mid afternoon other ordinary people were offering bread, dates, and tea to the protesters (and to the police). By evening the protesters had changed from marching and shouting into dancing and (happily) singing songs about their protesting. The police were still calmly standing by in full riot gear.  Many protesters then slept in the street as others wandered off home to terurn the next day. It went on for a few day like this.....everyone being loud and agitated in the morning and later changing to a more festival mood at night.  As expected a few radical protesters (and a few fueled by drugs /alcohol) found themselves into trouble with the police. As expected, a few criminals snuck into the mix and took the opportunity of the protest to do naughty things (most were eventually arrested). But, for the most part, the majority of the ordinary Moroccan people who were involved in this protest over a very serious public issue chose to do so with peace and happiness.

In the end, compromises were reached within the government and life continued on.  It could have gone quite differently as it did in other places of the world where similar protests had erupted.

Yes, I believe Moroccans are Happy.
Moroccan culture is about good people enjoying living and seeking a spiritual peace in daily life no matter what struggle is present.

Happiness

thanks for the sharing. may mighty Allah show mercy on all us and bless our life with happiness. amin

My friends and family in the US often ask me if I'm happy here in Morocco. My answer to that is a definite YES! I believe it's a blend of my circumstances and the lovely Moroccan people I've had the good fortune to meet. I am exceptionally well placed here in both my work and personal situation. I am well hosted by a family who are from here. Although I have my own place, I can count on them for anything. They are unbelievably generous and kind. And this has been true of nearly all the other Moroccans I've met. On the whole everyone has been deeply kind, hospitable and generous. When one is surrounded by this, it is difficult to be unhappy. I've reached out to other expat communities, to language exchange groups and have made several new friends both expat and local.

On another side of things, here in Tangier, I've found every convenience I could expect anywhere. And the food is just amazing! There are large grocers, a shopping mall and some smaller market areas very close to my neighborhood, the Medina is nearby. I can walk to nearly anything in the downtown area, there is great parking most of the time. Now I can't wait to start exploring other areas of the country! Ultimately, I've been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the Moroccans I've met and think we can all learn a lesson from this.

Cheers!

Hi everybody,
Just have to say I love Morocco and I am happy here !
Sorry for my low english style ... Idue to a lack of practice :)

Many things have contributed to my happiness in Morocco :
1. It was MY choice to live in Morocco. My monther tongue is French and I have learned the Moroccan darifa so it is easy to be well accepted by people.
2. I have a great job, as an executive assistant in a IT firm in Casablanca and I am well considered.
3. I live in the great quiet town of Mohammedia : Sunshine, a small garden and a trustworthy maid help me feel on holidays everyday.
4. I take all the possible opportunities to be in contact with Moroccan people : work , market in the souk, welfare actions ...
5. Moroccan handcraft is fabulous and makes my home so welcoming.

What I didn't like in France was the sadness of people. All those discussions dealing with money, retirement, insurance, violence, bankruptcy and unemployment.

Here, I  feel so creative and proactive : I have created a side business "binome" to train the secretaries and EA" and I am working on a website "www.isadumaroc.com" to promote Morocco as a great shopping destination (Moroccan handcraft and Moroccan artists).

My only sadness is not being sure that I will see my children as often as I would have liked, as the are now studying abroad and I am not sure the love Morocco as much as I love it !!

Have a nice day !

I am an American Expat living in Morocco since 2009. Yes I am very happy to be living in Morocco. In the beginning before I decided to come here and settle, my husband and I would come and visit at least once a year, but most of the time twice. With each visit it became increasingly more difficult to leave. The last time we left to return to the states it was as if we had to be torn away. The feeling was so strong that inside our hearts it was as if we had attended a funeral. It was hard to enjoy the trip at all. Even getting out of the plane meant accepting returning to our regular lives again and was like a final goodbye. On that trip home we both decided, we had reached the point that we could not ignore our desire to stay in Morocco. So we started making our preparations.

My husband's family was very accepting of me. In the beginning I needed a lot of help adjusting. I was sick most of the time from foods, weather, water, and pretty much everything in general. It took a few years to build up my immunity to everything and adjust well. Once I did tho it was so much easier. I did find that getting an Air Conditioner and changing the bathroom to European style helped a lot. Language was an issue in the beginning. No one spoke English very well. My youngest brother in-law spoke very little at the time. Now, most all of my husband's brothers and one of his cousins speaks very good English and we are enjoying many conversations. It has helped to increase the family ties.

The family of my husband, starting with his mother, helped so much in my adjusting to life here. It took a lot of patience and effort on her part. It is not common to accept so much difficulty from the wife of one of your children. If it turns out that she is not educated in basic household chores or is not confident in doing what is expected of her, then one of two things happen. If it is a nice family and they have enough patience, they will teach her. If not, she will be quickly returned to her family for further training. So, with my being sick a lot, and learning how to run the house Moroccan style, I was pretty much a spectator for several months. With the exception of washing dishes hhhh. That seems to be universal.

One very important factor in adjusting to living in Morocco is religion. Morocco is a Muslim country. That was good for me as I had already accepted Islam as my religion 2 years before I met my husband. When an expat decides to live in another country, you in essence decide to leave your culture at the border, and explore a new culture and lifestyle accepting any changes that you have to make even before it happens. This is really the only easy way to do it. Walk into another country with an open mind and open expectations. But the opportunity for me to live in a Muslim country for the first time was a dream come true. I was finally able to hear the call to prayer 5 times a day without a computer recording. It was normal for everyone to pray, fast, wear modest clothing, to not say curse words, and use Islamic expressions often during conversations. Finally I could walk anywhere I wanted without hearing abusive language while hearing other conversations. I always found it repulsive and degrading of a persons character if they used curse words. As if they were so uneducated they could not logically express themselves without using them. Actually, when my husband and I would go to the market we would hear shop owners who were sitting, watching the people go by, pray for us that God would continue to guide us and give us strength in our religion. It was so humbling that a simple act such as dressing modestly and behaving in a decent manner would invoke people that we did not even know to openly pray for us and our safety. It was elevating, humbling, and empowering all at the same time. In turn I felt I wanted to help everyone, and to return their efforts by praying for them as well. It was a wonderful experience, and still is. This was the confirmation I needed to know that this was the life I wanted for my kids to grow up in.

I came to Morocco in 2009 with one son. He also had to adjust to life here as well. For him it was much easier. He was only 10 months old so he was still learning language and communication was no problem for him when he finally started talking. Of course babies find lots of friends no matter where they go. He had a very happy life with his extended family. I soon was pregnant with his brother, and had to find a doctor here in Morocco for the occasion. Thanks to God my sister in-laws were very helpful and went to a doctor they had used. The doctor was knowledgeable about everything except for my Lupus. So he sent me to see another doctor just to check up on my health related to the lupus. Thanks to God everything went well, I had a normal pregnancy and a very natural birth. Lupus however, is not well known in Morocco. Currently there is an increase in awareness and processes are beginning the study of it. Still tho I think will be some time before there is a good amount of knowledge about it here.

For now I am a stay at home mom. Believe me, that is enough work. Sometimes there aren't enough hours in a day. But it did take some time to get used to that. I do still feel the desire to 'make my own money'. But when I think about having to wake up every morning whether I wanted to or not, compared to the chance to go back to bed after everyone is off to school or work, I procrastinate HHHH. Who wouldn't?! I do enjoy my quiet time after everyone is gone. I can be as creative as I like and do anything I want.

There is one concern tho and I think this is pretty much in every country. I keep my passport in a safe place. I never take it with me any where, and I don't make it common knowledge that I am american. While the majority of Moroccans welcome people from other countries, there are some who are not so welcoming. I have taken initiative to learn the local language so that I can communicate without being detected right away that I am a foreigner. I don't mind that they think I am a foreigner, but I don't care much for people knowing exactly where from so as not to give anyone reason to do harm to me or my family. I like to keep them guessing. So as with any location, be safe, enjoy your time, expect nothing, and experience everything.

Peace

Yes....I do believe that Morocco is a place of peace and acceptance as the previous posts mentioned. I think this especially true for those who are seeking to get away from the "rat race" of life in parts of the world with a more financially driven society. Although Morocco is an Islamic society, people from other faiths are kindly welcomed. It is that simple part of Moroccan culture that is so important. It is in general a lifestyle that brings happiness to so many foreign people who may have never known its like in their home culture.

I have nervous relatives back in the USA who have very little understanding of what is so attractive about my life here in Morocco.  Many of them actually don't know anything about Morocco other than it is a Muslin African country.....Nor, do they want to know it. They tell me they see the news and they fear for me. When I ask them "why?", they tell me of sad events that happen in counties often thousands of miles away from Morocco. If I point these facts out, they respond,  "Oh.....It is all the same over there". With that kind of lodgic what else can I do but put my head in my hands.
I am sure I am not alone in this. I am sure at least one of these type of people are in eveyones lives who has choosen the Expat lifestyle.
Each of those people in my life have spent an entire lifetime convincing himself he (or she) is not miserable by focusing on how much worse off other people live.  Of course it is the old Apples vs. Oranges argument.  These well meaning people are not really interested in my reality now that it doesn't match theirs.  My relatives believe by repeating to me the propaganda about "how great America is" that I will choose to fall backinto line. When I mentions something good about my experiances abroad, they actually feel challenged to find fault in these other places of the world as justification as to why they don't want to broaden their own horizon in regards to their own ideas of happiness. But, sadly they are missing the point of it all.

it isn't the place where you are that makes you happy. It is how you choose to live.
I am HAPPY in Morocco.

Very simple & logical response ``Those people who dnt like can leave and relocate to the place they love``

My opinion of Morocco and Moroccan people is this :- they are of the most welcoming hospitable people on this planet. I am very fortunate to have met and married a wonderful Moroccan man, and I am proud to say I am now part of a wonderful Moroccan family. They would give you the clothes of their back to help you. Morocco to me is beautiful, I love the family orientated way of life which is of most importance. I feel that it does not have the rushed fast pace of life, where money is the be all. Family and religion comes first to Moroccans which is why they are the way they are. Lovely, friendly, welcoming people.  :cheers:

Yeah We are happy 😊 to morocco... But some people are bad 🙅  :D but wonderful journey 👏

Naganathannavesuthan1993 :

Yeah We are happy 😊 to morocco... But some people are bad 🙅  :D but wonderful journey 👏

There are good and bad people everywhere. 

Often it is the people who talk the most about how "good" they are which are the bad people trying to fool others into believing it.

People need to be realistic and always be careful wherever they are in the world. Putting yourself in a foolish situation just because you seek a "good time" isn't conducive to finding happiness. There are usually warning signs people who were victims admit they ignored. The only fool is the person who repeatedly ignores those signs expecting a better outcome each time.

Just because you may have happen to be the one to find some bad people in life, doesn't refect on the values of a location over all or whether or not the general population there is happy....or even that you won't find happiness being there again. It just means you made a wrong choice about trusting someone while you were there, and you need to learn to see the warning signs of danger and how not to repeat your error (either there or someplace else)..... BE wise.

I often hear travelers say how wise they find Moroccan people, and yet they are often the same people who are surprised at how happy Moroccan people are in their daily stuggles. But, it is simple. People who are willing to learn from their mistakes are wise. Wisdom opens the mind to peace....and peace of mind BUILDS happiness.

Enjoy life....enjoy Morocco.
Be Happy.

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