Focus on Morocco

Wide Open World, Sunday, August 10

Series: Wide Open World

by Terri Taylor August 10, 2014

Each week this summer in WOW (Wide Open World), Tenth kids are focusing on a different country where one of our global partners works. Students are sent home with a sheet profiling our partner and his work and another sheet helping them connect to that country’s culture. We encourage families to pray specifically for the partner family of the week and to help their children further explore. This week we will highlight Morocco. Children ages 4 through grade 6 are invited to join us in the Catacombs at 6:30 PM every Sunday throughout the summer as we explore what God is doing around the world.

Focus on Morocco

Morroco sits on the corner of Africa. Standing on its coast, you can look across the Mediterranean and see Spain. Though separated from the rest of Africa by mountains in the east and a desert in the south, it is called the “Gateway to the Arab World.” 

It is one of the three countries in Africa  that has a king, but the Morrocan king claims to be a descendant of Muhammed, the founder of Islam. That means he is not only the ruler of a country the size of California, but the head of all its Muslims. Almost all Moroccans are Muslim; there are thought to be only 2000 Moroccan Christians in the whole country. Christians from other countries who live there can freely go to church, but it is against the law for them to try to encourage Moroccans to trust Christ. In 2010, the government expelled over 100 people they suspected of being missionaries. As a result, most Moroccan Christians are isolated; they don’t know who the other Christians are, and if they meet for church, it is with just a handful of others.

What's it like to live in Morocco?

Moroccans love children. They laugh with them, tease them, talk with them–all because family is so important. You live with your parents until you get married, and if you are a man you bring your wife to live with or near your parents. When your parents get old, you take care of them. 

Parents are very involved in choosing whom you marry. There’s much negotiation: the husband-to-be offers a bride price and the bride’s family provides a dowry. The wedding itself may last for several days and the bride and her friends decorate themselves with henna, a sort of temporary tattoo. In the city people live in houses connected to each other; in rural areas they may live in houses with just one room that serves as the kitchen, the family room and the bedroom. Taking care of the house and cooking falls exclusively to women, and boys are much more likely to finish high school than girls.

Food in Morocco

Morocco is one of the few African countries that is able to grow all the food its people needs. Almonds are plentiful, and people eat figs and dates everyday. They also love to drink mint tea, made in a silver teapot and poured from a great height. Stores and schools close for several hours in the middle of the day for lunch. Families sit on cushions on the floor and all eat from one bowl, serving themselves with their fingers and using pieces of flat bread. Typically the meal includes a stew, called a tajine, which is cooked in a clay pot and served on couscous. A thick soup made of lentils and chickpeas, called Harira, is eaten almost daily.  For more Moroccan recipes, check here.

Haira

4 T olive oil 1 ¼ c green lentils
1 large onion, chopped 1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic crushed 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
1 t turmeric 3 T chopped cilantro
1 t ginger 3 T chopped parsley
1 t ground cumin Salt and pepper to taste
6 c chicken broth (3 cans) Lemon juice

Saute onion and garlic in 2 T oil. Add spices and cook a few minutes before stirring in tomatoes, and lentils. Bring to a boil and cook till lentils are soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, remaining oil, cilantro and parsley. Simmer briefly and add salt, pepper, and lemon to taste.

Craft

Women use a temporary dye made from the henna plant  to decorate their hands and feet for weddings and festive occasions. Muslim teaching often forbids tattoos, but since henna only lasts a few days, it is allowed. Study pictures of henna designs and then trace your hand and fill it in with your own design. Instructions can be found here.

Webquest

Go to National Geographic Kids and find out:

  1. What languages are spoken in Morocco?
  2. What is the name of the King?
  3. What two trees are commonly seen?