Assistant Editor’s Note: The following letter is commentary submitted by ATTA member Classic Journeys President and Co-Founder Edward Piegza.
Dear Fellow Traveler:
While events in North Africa and the Middle East continue to make headlines, one country, Morocco, is soaring above the fray in its determination to remain calm and keep the peace.
Fourteen guests on our March 12-20 walking tour of Morocco gained priceless insights into these fast-breaking developments that they literally could have received nowhere else.
At tour’s end in Marrakesh, our country manager, Tarik, seized the moment to provide them with an expert’s personal perspective. Over dinner at an elegant riad, Abdellah Ghazi, a professor from the Universitaire de Marrakech, contrasted the political and cultural upheaval taking place across the region with the measured steps Morocco is taking to move forward in a positive way. In articulating the hopes and dreams of the Moroccan people, Ghazi detailed Morocco’s quest to become a road map for other nations to follow.
Because Morocco is one of our top five tour destinations in the world, we were thrilled when our head guides there, Jalil and Saida, called in recently with amazing news. Their king, Mohammed VI, had gone on TV to announce a major overhaul of Morocco’s constitution that creates a constitutional monarchy like those in Britain and Spain. A popularly elected Prime Minister now will become head of state, establishing the king as a ceremonial figurehead, similar in power to Queen Elizabeth II.
It’s hard to imagine what a moment like this means to the people there. In one fell swoop, the reform will make the judiciary independent, provide for a freely elected parliament with new powers, and a prime minister from the majority party. The new constitution also will bolster the nation’s multi-ethnic identity, one of many aspects that makes Moroccan culture so unique.
Classic Journeys has been operating cultural walking adventures in Morocco since 1998 and family trips there since 2009. We’ve found Morocco to be one of the friendliest and most peaceful countries around, so providing our guests with a window inside its daily life is definitely one of the perks of our job.
Our Morocco walking adventures depart six times a year in January, March, May, September, November, and December, while family trips designed to coincide with school breaks depart in March, April, June, November, and December.
If you have plans for upcoming stories covering Morocco or a round-up on North African travel in light of current events, I’d be happy to make myself, our Morocco country manager, our tour guides, or our guests available for firsthand commentary. In the meantime, you’ll find our day-by-day Morocco itinerary and pricing at www.classicjourneys.com/morocco.