DC Internationals MESALI

Washington DC International School and Institute -- Foreign Language Classes, Morocco Cultural Trips, and Performances

Morocco Cultural Trip Open to the Public: October 11-20 2024

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Morocco Cultural Trip Open to the Public: October 11-20 2024

Morocco Cultural Trip Open to the Public: October 11-20 2024

Open to the public, this eight night, nine day immersion experience scheduled will expose trip participants to an array of Moroccan cities and villages, including Rabat, Fes, Rissani, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essaouira, and more surprise venues.

For private groups of 6 or more, we customize trips, dates, and activities. Contact us to design your once in a lifetime experience! 

The main purpose of this trip is to experience the true Morocco, while having a fabulous time. To truly differentiate this exceptional immersion experience from generic tours, DC Internationals MESALI has worked with its local partners to arrange private workshops at local Moroccan artisan cooperatives, including workshops in Argan oil and cosmetics production, tanneries and leather goods production, pottery and tajine sculpting, tile artistry, as well as Moroccan cookie baking, and much more. We will have dinner and cooking classes in Moroccan families' homes, learn how to cook couscous and tagine, and then enjoy our newly acquired culinary skills.

This 9 day immersion experience will expose participants to an array of Moroccan cities and villages, including Rabat, Fes, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, and some surprises. Through our local partners, we offer private workshops, in Argan oil and cosmetics, tanneries,  tajine sculpting, tile artistry, Moroccan cookie baking and much more! We will have dinner and cooking classes in Moroccan families’ homes, learn how to cook couscous and tajine, and then eat! To gain a deeper perspective, university professors, NGO leaders, and professionals will address cutting-edge issues affecting Moroccan politics, religion, art, and life. Travelers have the opportunity to participate in voluntary charitable, social justice and social services issues. Daily voluntary Arabic and French sessions are provided. Write ross@dcinternationals.com with questions or to enroll while space is available.

Morocco Tour Montage Video:

To gain a deeper perspective into the fascinating Moroccan culture, travelers will hear lectures in English from university professors, non-profit leaders, and professionals who will address cutting edge issues affecting modern Moroccan politics, religion, art, and life.

For travelers interested to participate in charitable, social justice and social services work, DC Internationals can arrange optional volunteer experiences throughout the journey. Through our wide on-the-ground local partnerships with Moroccan schools for the disabled, women’s and development Non-Governmental Organizations, DC Internationals participants can make the world better through volunteering and service to others. See how it feels to see through the eyes of blind children, as you work with teachers and students to improve disabled children’s lives at a Moroccan school for the blind.

Cook and deliver Moroccan meals at an NGO for abused women, to help strengthen their financial independence and provide them a safe space, to live and work. From MESALI's Rabat and Washington, DC school venues, MESALI Adjunct Professors will provide optional Arabic and French lessons throughout the trip that are suitable for a wide range of skills and backgrounds, with emphasis on practical interaction with locals at shops, restaurants, etc. These multiple levels of Arabic and French lessons are for beginners through advanced Arabic speakers to enrich daily interactions with everyday Moroccan artisans, shopkeepers, coffee shop workers, and whomever we meet during this adventure. With your newly acquired basic or improved Arabic and French skills, you will become more local, as you negotiate in Arabic, prices in the "souk" market spice shop, pottery shop etc. Again, all lectures and Arabic and French lessons are voluntary, welcoming to beginners, and unintimidating.

We will gaze upon the blue waters of the African Atlantic Ocean, hike through the Berber Middle Atlas Mountains, and in the Sahara Desert, we will take a camel trek, overnight in the dunes, and marvel in wonder as the Moroccan Sahara glows red from the sun rising over Algeria in the distance. Travelers will explore by foot the labrynth Old City of Fes, "Medina Qadima", the largest UNESCO pedestrian area in the world, "love Jamma Al-Fanna" -- the largest merchant and entertainment square in Africa, and become enchanted by the famous Moroccan music styles of Andalusia, Ganawa, and Shaab music styles.

Moroccan Cooking Class in Morocco:

Highlight of a Few Destinations We Will Visit

Rabat: Located on the blue waters of the African Atlantic Ocean, Rabat serves as the seat of the modern Moroccan capital, home to the national Parliament, Mohammed V University, and King Mohammed VI’s home and “le palais royal.” One can walk along the ramparts of the Ouidaya, the old city overlooking the river and see Shalla, Rabat’s sister city. Exuding charm and sophistication, Rabaties might go shopping in the souk of Medina Qadima(old city), before enjoying an evening play at the Mohammed V National Theatre.

Fes: Known as the religious capital and venue of the annual religious spiritual festival, Fes lays claim to the home of historical Jewish thinker, Rabbi Rambam, and Qadais, the oldest Islamic university in the world. This relatively conservative city is home to a UNESCO heritage site, the world’s largest pedestrian area, within the Medina Qadima(old city). One may observe Fes locals making leather goods in tanneries, creating beautifully colored tiles in shops, and or listening to a uniquely Fesi-Andalusian musical performance, which stems from Andalusia, where the Moors ruled Southern Spain for hundreds of years.

Ouarzazate: In South Central Morocco, Ouarzazate is at an elevation of 3,810 feet in the middle of a bare plateau South of the High Atlas Mountains. Known as the gateway to the Sahara and the Hollywood of
Morocco, Ouarzazate has in part helped produce “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Mountains Have Eyes,” and “The Mummy.” Nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site Ait Ben Haddou Qasba has featured scenes in “Gladiator,”and “Game of Thrones.” Surrounded by the High Atlas Mountains, villages around this city highlight the Tamizeert language, carpet making, and Berber music.

Merzouga: Epitomizing a once in a lifetime experience, the village of Marzooga is located in Morocco’s Southeastern Sahara Desert. Travelers experience the Berber culture by taking a camel trek across the Sahara, camping in tents beneath the desert star lit sky, and watching the sunrise over the reddish dunes.

Marrakesh: As Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young sing, “all aboard the Marrakesh Express,” to Morocco’s most famous city. Learn the history of and visit the Ben Youssef Madrasa, Bahia Palace, and the Koutoubia Mosque. Visit artisan sections of the souks to witness traditional Moroccan handicrafts in the process of being created. At Jemaa El Fna, Africa’s most famous public square, take a picture with a monkey on your shoulder, watch a snake charmer, and enjoy Berber music. At night, eat dinner at Jemaa El Fna for impromptu set up food stalls. Dinner may include harira, couscous, tajine, or even sheep’s head.

How we are different from other Moroccan trips

  • Accessing Moroccan cutting edge experts delivering guided tours and professional lectures you can’t arrange on your own,
  • Supporting local cooperatives and artisans’ crafts, professions, and livelihoods,
  • Volunteering and providing social services for blind children and abused women at an NGO for abused women, and a school for the blind,
  • Engaging locals, learning first-hand how Moroccan products are made through custom made workshops,
  • Learning Arabic and French everyday in optional classes with MESALI adjunct professors, no matter one’s language level—Arabic and French classes are optional.
  • Providing optional academic readings prior to the trip, for context and enrichment for on the ground lectures, tours, and experiences

This comprehensive package includes:

  • Round trip airfare from either Washington, Dulles or New York JFK to Casablanca
  • Eight nights and nine days of housing in local Moroccan traditional Riads and Moroccan accommodations,
  • All inter and intra-city ground transportation via mini-bus. This includes gas, parking, tolls
  • Nine breakfasts
  • Five dinners
  • Five lunches
  • All daily optional Arabic and French group classes and private lessons.
  • Arabic and French lessons will teach absolute beginners through advanced levels.
  • Participation in privately arranged Moroccan cooperative workshops,
  • Participation in all professional lectures in English, Arabic, and French
  • Officially licensed tour guides and translators,
  • Accompanying U.S. and Moroccan DC Internationals’ MESALI staff”

Registration, Cost and Refund Policy

Rolling registration. Enroll sooner than later, to secure your and your friends spots. Group size is kept small, so we recommend registering before we reach full capacity This comprehensive group package, including airfare and ground transportation, only costs $5,000 single occupancy. There are no refunds after 60 days before departure.

Group size is small and limited, so we recommend enrolling before seats sell out. To secure participation, please email ross@dcinternationals.com, for payment arrangements.

Checks are preferred.

Preparing for the Trip


The aforementioned package provides combinations of double and single beds per room. Sleeping arrangements presumes double occupancy. Private accommodations are available for an additional charge.

Flight Details - Direct round trip flight! Contact us for details.


Through DC Internationals, each participant is expected to purchase traveler medical and baggage insurance costing approximately $60.  DC Internationals is facilitating for each traveler, medical and baggage insurance through Travel Guard Insurance (travelguard.com). Each traveler is required to have this medical and baggage insurance, and is expected to work with DC Internationals and Travel Guard Insurance, to secure the arrangements. Upon request, DC Internationals can provide the details of the insurance.

DC Internationals has arranged low cost and expanded benefits.

Expectations of Participants

Participants are expected to show respect for local cultures’ customs and mores. Additionally, absolutely no alcohol or drugs are permitted in the housing accommodations, bus, or group activities; alcohol can be purchased at restaurants.  Participants should expect to walk, on sidewalks and cobblestone alleyways. Additional walks may occur on sand or optional mountain trekking.


What Past Participants Say:







Preparatory Optional Academic Reading

In advance of the trip, Mesali will provide reading lists for all enrolled travelers. The reading lists are meant to enhance travelers’ context and understanding of Morocco’s history, society, religions, and politics, as well as the lectures that will enrich these readings. While the readings are not mandatory, they are strongly recommended.

Preparatory Meetings Before the Trip

For its guest travelers’, DC Internationals’ MESALI will arrange some voluntary meetings and lectures. At these meetings, we will have opportunities to discuss the trip and any concerns. DC Internationals’ MESALI and its local partners carefully crafted the trip and its activities, to provide a full, enriching, and exceptional experience. While everyone is fully encouraged to participate in all the activities, we understand and welcome travelers’ personal decisions to opt out of any particular activity; however, doing so does not entitle participants to any compensation.

Please feel free to send questions to ross@dcinternationals.com.