When you volunteer in Morocco, you will quickly notice that it has a wealth of architectural examples that reflect traces of different human settlements and a succession of civilizations. Morocco is particularly well endowed with early rock carvings left behind by Berber nomads. These can be seen in northwestern regions and preserved Roman sites (Volubilis). Andalusian artitistic and architectural influences are seen in Greek courtyard houses with roof terraces and patios which provide a high level of family privacy. They also exhibit beautiful gardens with greenery, fountains and running water. The advent of Islam introduced new architectural forms, shaped by the requirements of prayer. The mosque demonstrates the power of ruling dynasties, centering on prayer halls and vast courtyards, and in particular the elegant towers of the minarets which give beauty and character to the skylines of the great Muslim cities.
Because of the many settlers who passed through there is a wide range of languages spoken in Morocco. “Fus'ha”, or written Arabic, is the language of law, religion, official government activities and political speeches. Spoken Moroccan, or Arabic called “Darija”, is learned at home and is the everyday language. French is the language of business, science and higher education while Spanish is spoken and often understood in the North. Amazigh languages have a rich heritage in oral literature and are spoken in the mountains, and in scattered communities on the Atlantic plains. Written Amazigh is beginning to emerge among other languages.
One of the most attractive aspects of Morocco is the warmth and openness of the people. Moroccan hospitality is legendary and invitations may well be extended to the home. This offers guests a valuable opportunity to experience a piece of real Moroccan culture.
Morocco has a rich cultural heritage. Each region possesses its own ethnic characteristics and has its own pecularities. This makes it possible for the many regions to contribute to a national culture and heritage.