Salaam, future friends.
I write this on a foggy morning in Rabat, as the weather indecisively turns toward the summertime and the heat that will welcome us to Morocco in late June. I’m Kevin – one of your three instructors – and I’m looking forward to our program this summer. This will be my third time working a Dragons program and my second in Morocco, and I’m looking forward to building upon past experiences, and spending the summer traveling around with you all.
I come to this with a mainly academic background, having done graduate work focused on Islam in the contemporary Arabic speaking world, colonial histories, and social theory. I’ve also spent many years working as an educator in various capacities, and have recently cultivated a renewed interest in spending time in the outdoors. I spend much of my free time reading (fiction and non-fiction), doing yoga, listening to jazz (and other genres of music), cooking (and eating), and debating with friends about the (sad) state of the world. I’m interested in deep thinking, parentheticals (see previous sentence), learning through experience, encounter, and debate, and finding joy and pleasure in simple things.
Badr, Keshet, and I are currently building our itinerary for the summer, so more on that soon, but I’m excited to spend our time exploring the diversity of Morocco. One of the amazing things about this country is the difference that it embodies – we’ll get to spend time in major urban centers and also in small towns in the Atlas, and on the coast. We’ll attempt to notice and understand internal dynamics that make contemporary Morocco what it is – from differences in historically Arab vs Amazigh communities, to the South vs North politics, and further embodied in many ways in the legacies of the (largely French, but also Spanish) colonial experiences of the first half of the 20th century. It is a lot to take in. Luckily, we will be amongst good people, good food, and pretty skies.
IN the coming weeks this place will be a site of convening, information sharing, and further introductions. I’m looking forward to reading student introductions and learning about all of you. Please share group-relevant questions that you’d like answered, and also feel free to share site-specific/topical resources – are you reading Morocco-related things to prepare? keeping up on local goings-on? Share here!
Enjoy your May, and looking forward to more to come.