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Morocco Resource Pack
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About this Pack

Ch.1 -Background Info
Ch.2 - Planning
Ch.3 - Links & Exchanges
Ch.4 - Classroom Practice
Ch.5 -Using authentic materials
Ch.6 - Using ICT
Ch.7 - Classroom resources
Ch.8 - Support Materials
Ch.9 - Rahal au Maroc
Ch.10 - Bibliography


This is a longer version of the Glossary included in the Morocco Resource pack, including developments since the original visit was made.

Throughout this pack on Morocco you will come across some words with which many of the children will be unfamiliar. The following quick definitions and other explanatory notes may help.

Some Arabic words have a variety of different spellings in English. We've chosen those spellings that are most commonly used and, where appropriate, will be familiar to teachers and pupils from the QCA SoWs for KS1/2.

Links from this section:

Background information on Imazighen (Berbers):




Argan tree: a drought-resistant tree endemic to Southern Morocco and important to local economies.

Babouche: traditional leather slipper.

Berber: (see Imazighen below)

Carob: bean pod producing product similar to cocoa.

Dirhams: Moroccan currency. There are 100cents to one dirham)

Djellaba: traditional long wool or cotton hooded outer garment, worn by men and women.

Fez: traditional red felt hat.

Haj: pilgrimage to Mecca which Muslims hope to undertake in their lifetime.

Harira: soup made with lentils and vegetables and traditionally eaten during Ramadan.

Hijab: women's headscarf sometimes called a veil.

Irrigation: to supply land with water by means of artificial canals or ditches especially for the growth of food crops. Often essential in areas where there is erratic rainfall.

Imazighen (Berbers):

These are the indigenous peoples of North Africa, west of the Nile Valley. They call themselves some variant of the word Imazighen (singular: Amazigh), possibly meaning "free people". Many people also use the word Berber.

The name Berber comes from the name given to this people by the Romans, meaning barbarians. Berbers are often portrayed as a nomadic people who cross the desert in camels, but their main activity is sedentary agriculture, which they carry out in mountains and valleys. They also have a long-recorded influence in trading in the region. They were the first to open the commercial routes between Western Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. They were responsible for bringing goods from beyond the Sahara desert to Northern African cities. Historically they spoke various Amazigh languages. Today many speak Arabic and French in the Maghreb, due to the French colonization. Today most Amazigh-speaking people live in Algeria and Morocco. The largest number of Imazighen is found in Morocco, about 60% of its population, though many more claim ancestry. Well known modern Amazigh include Zinedine Zidane, a French citizen and international football star, considered one of the greatest players of his generation.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced the establishment of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture in 2001, calling for the rehabilitation of the Amazigh cultural heritage and its integration into the educational system. He also referred to the importance of cultural identification to challenge the effect of globalization. In 2003 an experiment in teaching the Amazigh language in 120 schools throughout Morocco took place. In September 2009, this has been extended. Berber history pre-dating the Arab invasion can now be discussed and taught. Though the banning of celebrations on Amazigh New Year, banning the use of some Amazigh names, and confiscating Amazigh symbols and flags, indicate discrimination is still present.

The Amazigh Cultural Movement follows the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since 1991, the movement has claimed the right to recognition of the "Imazighen" as a group with its own special language, culture and identity, recognition that is not merely formal but that constitutes official recognition of their cultural, language and identity rights.

Kasbah (or Casbah): the citadel of many North African cities.

Kasbah les Oudaïas: This takes its name from the Saharan tribesmen who were placed there by Moulay Ismail (17th Century) and provided him with a fighting force. The Kasbah Mosque is the oldest in Rabat, founded in 1050 and rebuilt by an English pirate, El Inglisi, in the 18th Century. The Kasbah was also settled by the Mudejars, Muslims who did not convert to Christianity in 1492, after Moorish Spain became Christian, but fled from Spain to Morocco and again in 1610, when it was insisted that those who remained convert. The Kasbah des Oudaïas retains a strong Andalusian (from Andalucia in modern Spain) flavour in its architecture. It also has the famous Andalusian Gardens, which although the modern Gardens were built by the French during colonisation, retain faithfully their original Andalusian style.

Sources: "The Imperial Cities of Morocco"; "Rough Guide to Morocco"

Maghreb: North West Africa including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and sometimes Libya. The word is from the Arabic for 'west'.

Mecca: birthplace of Muhammad and therefore a city of pilgrimage for Muslims.

Medina: The ancient quarter of many North African or Middle East cities.

Muhammad: the final Prophet of Islam. There are several alternative spellings, e.g. Mohammed, Mahomet. Where these are personal names, e.g. the current king of Morocco is Mohammed VI, we've spelt them as the individual prefers. (The spelling here is from the QCA Schemes of Work for RE at KS1 and 2 (Y5))

Muslim (Hijri) calendar: The Islamic Calendar, which is based on lunar cycles, was first introduced in 638 C.E. by the close companion of the Prophet and the second Caliph, `Umar ibn Al-KHaTTab (592-644 C.E.). The actual starting date for the Calendar was chosen to be the first day of the first month (1 MuHarram) of the year of the Hijrah. The Islamic (Hijri) calendar is usually abbreviated A.H. in Western languages. MuHarram 1, 1 A.H. corresponds to July 16, 622 C.E.

The Hijrah, which chronicles the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Mecca to Medina in September 622 C.E., is the central historical event of early Islam. It led to the foundation of the first Muslim city-state, a turning point in Islamic and world history.

To Muslims, the Hijri calendar is not just a sentimental system of time reckoning and dating important religious events (e.g., Siyaam (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah)). It has a much deeper religious and historical significance.

Pastilla: Traditional pie made with pigeon or chicken and sweet ground almonds, in flaky pastry

PBUH: This stands for Peace be Upon Him. Muslims often write or say 'peace be upon him' when the name of the prophet Muhammad is used. (QCA Schemes of Work for RE at KS1 and 2 (Y5))

Qur'an: the Holy Book of Islam. Koran is a common alternative spelling.

Ramadan: period of fasting from dawn to dusk undertaken by Muslims. The exact dates vary each year.

Souk: an open air market place.

Tabliers: overalls worn by many school children to keep their clothes clean; often white for girls and blue for boys; this practice comes from the French influence on the education system.

Tagine: traditional pottery covered cooking dish with conical lid and the stew or casserole dishes cooked in it

Téléboutique: a place with rows of phone cabins which can be used by those with no telephones at home; more common in the countryside but being rapidly overtaken by mobile phones where that network exists.

Terraces: a horizontal flat area of ground, often one of a series, on a slope; used to make the most use of agricultural land in a hilly environment. Hard work to produce and maintain


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