Welcome toCity CInformation asablanca Booklet
Dear CEEDer; AIESEC ANFA is glad to count you with its family, and wish you a happy visit of to our beautiful country, Morocco. This booklet gives you a glimpse of Morocco everyday life. With the help of AIESEC and this booklet, you will be able to acclimate to your new environment more quickly and avoid possible surprises and misunderstandings. Cheers
Younes El Mouher AIESEC ANFA President 13/14 AIESEC MOROCCO
History Life Style Climate Cuisine Transportation
Living Places to visitCosts Safety Accomodation Money
Located on the northwest Atlantic coast of Morocco, Casablanca – or Dar el Beida as it is known in Arabic – is Morocco’s largest city, boasting a population of more than three million people. Casablanca is home to North Africa’s largest port and is the nation’s leading economic center. It was once thought that nothing lay beyond the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. Today the Atlantic Coast region of Morocco is one of the most prosperous. This fact is due to the shipping ports which have formed on the coast bringing tourists, fishing industries and much more. Casablanca is one of these coastal cities. It is one of the largest cities of Morocco, and perhaps the most well known. The film Casablanca allowed most foreigners to learn of the Moroccan city probably for the first time. The film was created in 1942, with Humphrey Bogart in the male lead role and Ingrid Bergman as the female lead. Perhaps the city is not at all what the film depicted, but it did make it a travel destination for today’s tourists. Rick’s Cafe is a must-see, must-eat restaurant today because of the motion picture, of course. Much of Morocco’s population is housed in Casablanca and up and down the Atlantic Coast region. Numerous travelers to Casablanca spend a small amount of time in the city, before taking a train or plane to other parts of Morocco or Africa. Yet, this area deserves to be explored for the mixture of culture, the shops, and the restaurants. Casablanca is the capital of Morocco with art galleries and fashion shops to boot. It can be a maze of contradictions because of the numerous traffic in some areas and almost empty streets in other. Casablanca is very open to western culture, with much of the local garb reflecting this modern adoption.
The history of Casablanca began with the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC. They lived in the area through the 7th century, which is when the small village became the capital. It was at this point that the Berbers began to settle into the area. The Almohads destroyed the area in 1188. Before visiting Casablanca you may find it important to learn more about the history of such a great city. It will help in understanding the various architectural and historical sites you will discover on your treks through this amazing city. The Medina of Casablanca or the old city is in the northern section. It is a small area close to the port. From the south end of the Medina the rest of the city streets sprawl about creating the massive economic center that it truly is. The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. With the 2011 constitutional reforms, the King of Morocco still retains few executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged. The constitution grants the king honorific powers; he is both the secular political leader and the â€œCommander of the Faithfulâ€? as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. He presides over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, and on recommendations from the King of Morocco latter, appoints the members of the government.
Casablanca has a Mediterranean climate with oceanic strong tendency which is particularly pleasant. Its location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean gives mild winters and relatively wet and moderately warm summers but without precipitation. The average annual temperature is 18.88 째 C, and the total annual precipitation amounts to 426.1 mm. During the winter, the gel is virtually absent: the lowest temperature ever recorded was -2.7 째 C 9. In summer, temperatures are usually pleasant when the wind blows from the sea, however, during episodes of offshore wind, the city can record hot temperatures for a few days. Thus, the maximum temperature recorded was 40.5째C. Finally, the city recorded strong temperature differences that can be observed in the summer between the neighborhoods of the sea (tempered by the ocean), and outlying areas, Minimum Average Temperature warmer because less exposed to sea Maximum Average Temperature breezes. Water Average Temperature
Air Humidity Sun hours
Jan 81 6
Feb March 81 77 7 8
April 79 9
May 78 10
June 80 10
July August Sept Oct Nov Dec 80 82 82 82 80 81 10 10 9 8 8 6
Rainfall per day
LIFE STYLE Life Style
Morocco is a Muslim country. Muslim 99% (official), Christian 1%, Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.) Moroccans are overall practitioners and the country is known for its openness and its tolerance. The hospitality of Morocco and its people is internationally renowned. Moroccans greet each others very properly as being a warm country on the Mediterranean side, sometimes they shake hands, kiss or also hug. When it’s meal time, the Moroccan family gather around a table and the older one starts eating after saying “Bismilah – With the name of GOD”. Meals timing can vary from a home to another and are in the number of 4 meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and the middle afternoon meal called ‘gouter’.
Time Zone: GMT In Summer: GMT +1
The official currency in Morocco is Moroccan Dirhams (MAD), you can bring US dollars or Euros and change them once here.
We recommend you to go to change offices that you can find everywhere, rather than banks that have higher interest rates.
1 Euro = 11.16 Dhs 1 US dollar = 8.36 Dhs in the 15th Feb. 2013
Visa & Mastercards are rarely used, they are accepted only by big stores and groceries. Those are the Moroccan Dirhams bills and coins :
LIVINGCOSTS Living Costs
Prices in Morocco arenâ€™t expensive, youâ€™ll have the help of AIESECers to buy your needed stuff for the lower price. This booklet gives you an overview of the transportation costs, and you can also check the links below for more detailed information.
For average grocery prices, check : www.epicerie.ma Or also, check living costs at: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Morocco
Trains in Morocco are among the best in Africa; fares are cheap and trains are efficient and comfortable. You rarely have to book in advance, which is good since you canâ€™t book trains outside of Morocco. Trains travel between Tangier, Meknes, Fes, Oujda, Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech. The Moroccan national train service ONCF lists all the schedules and fares.
The Tramway is a new transportation launched by December in the city of Casablanca, it also exist solely in Rabat. The Tramway tickets cost 7Dhs and is a comfortable and safe way of transportation. The network has two lines for a total length of 19 km and 31 stops, which make it take longer time especially that itâ€™s just launched in the city.
Check train schedules at : www.oncf.ma
Check here for more information: www.casatramway.ma
Petit Taxi Many bus companies exist in Casablanca, with different colors, design and numbers of course, each number has a destination and a scheduled stops. Altough, you need to ask the driver to know about its destination, have a set and then pay the tickets man to have your ticket piece of paper. Buses are the cheapest transportation way as it costs 4Dhs and can attend sometimes 1 hour trips.
You’ll usually see two types of taxis in most major Moroccan cities, Small Taxis (Petit Taxi) which change colors in every city and Big Large Taxis (Grand Taxi) which color is always white. The “Petit Taxis” work like regular taxis everywhere, it has a minimum price of 7Dhs and double by 50% starting 8pm. Only 3 persons can take it at once. The “Grand Taxis” are shared taxis between 6 persons, it covers longer distances for less price (6Dhs or 4Dhs) and has one destination for all passengers. Another option is to call a “Taxi Vert” in case you’re in a hurry. This Taxi work 24hours/24 and 7days/7, can understand English and for its service call 0522484801.
Places to visit PLACES2VISIT
C U I SCuisine INE
Moroccan cuisine is extremely refined, thanks to Moroccoâ€™s interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. Moroccan cuisine has been subject to Berber, Moorish, and Arab influences. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Meknes, Marrakesh, Rabat and Tetouan refined it over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. Hereâ€™s some famous dishes that you should experience the taste once in Morocco :)
S A F Safety ETY
Morocco, besides other arab countries, have a political stability. In order to protect you from any danger, AIESECers and the OC Team always keep contact with EPs and provide them help and support whenever needed. In case of emergency call your AIESECer buddy from the OC or the OCP to inform him/her about the situation and whatâ€™s needed.
Police : 19 SOS accidents : 150 Firemen : 15 Ambulance : 15
AIESEC Local Committee ANFA, has been active since 2005 organizing several projects and events. We are more than a two hundred students studying in various institutions of higher education shools, and striving to serve our society by the practical application of theoretical knowledge imparted to us during our university studies. AIESEC ANFA has experienced tremendous growth over the last two years thanks to the dedication and unparalleled ongoing commitment of all its members. Today, more mature than ever, having quality members and quality programs, we proudly position ourselves as 1st choice partner.
Check our Facebook page : www.facebook.com/AIESEC.LC.ANFA.Casablanca.Morocco
AIESEC ANFA is providing you a very unique experience, discovering the real moroccan culture every single day and thatâ€™s by being the guest of a host family. Many experiences were fruitful..cultural exchange, life changing experiences and a long term friendship built.
Check our Facebook page : www.facebook.com/JoinTheHappyHostFamilies
Casablanca is waiting for YOU !! For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org