Students gain insight into Moroccan language, culture, food at event

Visting Fulbright Scholar shares his Moroccan culture with students in a presentation on Wednesday


Collection of photos from the Moroccan cultural presentation. Photos by Xiaoxia Yin, ‘19.

Xiaoxia Yin

Students were invited to attend a Moroccan cultural presentation and share a cup of Moroccan tea in the Center for Global Learning last Wednesday.

Imad Baazizi, a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant for Arabic, hosted the event.

Baazizi was an English teacher in Morocco for five years before coming to Washington and Lee University. He was also the assistant coach of the Moroccan National Debate Team.

In his presentation, Baazizi first taught students a series of greeting words in Arabic.

He then introduced himself to students using his nationality, origin, religion, recognition and acceptance.

Baazizi explained why he applied for the Fulbright Program, an international education exchange for students, scholars, teachers and the like.

“My life is my message,” Baazizi said. “I wanted to gain experience outside my country, so I would change the way I would see my culture, my traditions and my identity.”

Baazizi introduced the cities where his parents from, where he was born and where he lived. He showed students pictures of the cities and demonstrated the feature dances.

Baazizi then served the Moroccan tea and a Moroccan pan-fried cake, Harsha. The cake is made of semolina powder, olive oil, milk and sugar.

“I made Moroccan tea every single day,” said Baazizi, as he demonstrated how to make the tea.

Baridapdoo Wiwuga, ‘20, has Baazizi as a teaching assistant in her Arabic class.

“[Baazizi] is really intelligent, and he has some really interesting perspectives,” Wiwuga said. “He also has taught students how to make some delicious Middle East food.”

Baazizi said the event was a great chance for cultural exchange.

For example, Baazizi asked students to write down the “good news” and “bad news” that they heard about Morocco. He said he would bring all their perspectives back to Morocco to let his students know how people in the outside world perceive Morocco.

“In the activity, I gain different perspective on Morocco, my home country,” Baazizi said. “And I try to be authentic and realistic when I introduce my own culture.”

Baazizi said his view on Morocco has changed after he came to the United States, but he has enjoyed the experience.

“I start to look at my country differently,” Baazizi said. “So for me, it’s a confirmation process that I get to know more perspectives [about] my culture. And I am glad many students expressed their interested in Arabic and Morocco.”

Quoting Benjamin Franklin, Baazizi said there are three kinds of people: immovable, movable and the ones who move. Concluding his presentation, Baazizi encouraged students to “surround yourself with movable people or people who move.”