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profile member asked on Aug 28, 2010

Student in Meknes

Our daughter is soon to leave for Meknes for a semester of study at the Moulay Ismail University. We are concerned parents of course. She will be staying with a few other students in an apartment in Meknes. She speaks a little French. Any information you can give us would be appreciated. We live in the United States and parents worry when children travel so far.
Also, she needs to travel from Casablanca to Meknes. We found a driver to take her. Should we be concerned for her safety?
Sincerely.

Meknes

29 Answers


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answered on 8/28/10 by
a VT member from Los Angeles

Ed,

What happened to change your mind about your daughter traveling to Meknes from Aeroport Mohammed V in Casablanca via first class carriage in the train? I gave you bullet-proof advice on this subject. Just so you know, the train is a lot safer than travel by road.
If you're so concerned for her safety, you should break down and buy yourself a ticket and fly out to Casablanca with her. You can then escort her to Meknes and help her get squared away in her Meknes apartment. The two of you can then visit Fes together.

ElDesierto


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Newark upon Trent

My thoughts exactly. Also, I don't think parents in the US have the monopoly over worrying when children travel, be it far or wide. I believe your daughter is 21, so she should be fairly resilient and adaptable and able to look after herself. Train would be a much better way to travel to Meknes and much more fun.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Istanbul

Dear Jane,

I understand that you have changed your mind again. : )

As all posters said, train is the safest way of travelling


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

Same answer as last time you asked this question...

Showing concern is good, but if I remember correctly you told us she is 20, so it's time to let go...


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

Just to add to my previous post, having gone through a similar experience with a daughter who was heading off for a year to a country where she did not speak the language all that well. We made sure that there would be someone to meet our daughter after she cleared customs on her trip.

I too would have opted for a car and driver - having someone local meet you and take you to your destination and helping with the luggage is probably the best thing to do. While the other posters may be right that it is easy to take the train, an inexperienced traveller will have a far better trip knowing there is someone to help her once she leaves the airport.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from London

Hi, youve been posting this same concern quite a number of times now, and been getting answers and good suggestions and recommmendations from experienced people - including me!!
Youve also asked this individually on my home page - but I dont see any sign of looking for info amongst the info on my pages - and Ive answered you - despite everyones answers you are still asking the same questions!

Its totally understandable to be concerned - Ive been travelling to and from and almost living in Morocco the past 7 years and know it very well - safety is not guaranteed in life anywhere in the world but of course risks can be reduced with preparation - and Ive felt safer in Morocco than elsewhere but I minimise risks - as far as I see anyway - have you invested in a good guidebook yet such as the latest and excellent edition of Footprints! its very nicely uptodate

- so I think too the best thing is for you to get a ticket and go with your daughter!
If she is 20 she is old enough - but the greatest risk is probably herself if she is the sort that will easily be led astray by or fall for the charms of young Moroccan guys who like to test and charm foreign females - and see how far they can get ...relationships with foreigners can obviously be lucrative and make a big difference to a lucky ones future eg money...whatever...passports and so on - and a lot of foreign females dont realise that in many cases its a a shortlasting venture and once theyve got their freedom they realise a Moroccan wife and family is better...

I had thought my suggestion to contact VTer Travolta159 was a good idea - he lives in Fes and drives a grand taxi, have you made any contact with him?


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Nashville

Why not compromise and arrange for someone in Casablanca to help her get on the train to Meknes? It is really not so hard - then someone, one of her apartment mates probably - could meet her in Meknes - I too agree that it is time for you to let go a bit, if you keep hovering over her she will never grow her own wings! the more you worry, the more she will be afraid, which is really an unwise beginning - As for the young Moroccan men, all that is part of life experience, but just warn her that they are on the make for American women and to be friendly but not too friendly, and prudent and wary - Hopefully she has good instincts for sincerity - and the best way to develop those instincts is to experience life on her own without an over protective parent preventing her from confronting life directly. After all, she will have peer friends in Meknes, which is in itself a good protection, as around the kitchen table etc they can say - whoa wait a minute! for instance to any encounter or idea she might bring up for discussion - She will also have adult counselors at school - Meknes is a conservative area and that is usually safer, as respect for women etc is preached quite seriously - So try to relax some!


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Newark upon Trent

Absolutely agree, Jean and Angie! I, too, have given multitudinous answers, and even replied at great length to an email, to which I have had no response. The girl is 20 for goodness sake, she's an adult and unless she has been coddled and protected all her life, then she will be able to get around without any trouble. Safety is no more an issue in Morocco than it is anywhere else.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Bristol

Should you be concerned for you daughter's safety??

As parents, you can't help it. Only natural. But if she's moderately sensible she'll be OK. And what's the point of the cab to Meknes? She's going to have to start doing things for herself sometime. It's a pleasant train journey and pretty foolproof.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from Istanbul

I think all posters said what has to be done and it is parents turn to do something.

Let’s stop here


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member

Thank you. As a mother I was feeling a bit awful about the other feedback. Her father is unable to make the trip with her due to age and health. I'm a school social worker and it's impossible for me to make the trip. Work and cost. I just thought that a car would be safer. She will learn the train systems and some language while she is in Meknes. Thank you !


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member

HI, it's the mother changing her mind over and over. I wish her Dad could make the trip but can't due to age and health. I just worried about her being able to get a train on her own. At this point, I'm not sure what is most correct to do. Thank you for feedback. Sincerely.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member

Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry if you misunderstand my concerns. Of course, parents worry world-wide. A common thread for sure! Take care.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member

Thank you for your reply. I wish I could travel with my daughter but it's impossible. I guess this is my unrest. Take care.


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answered on 8/29/10 by
a VT member from London

Hi, nice to hear from you and sorry you cant make it over - maybe somewhere along the line you will see a way to come anyway to see a bit of the country that she will have spent some time in!

Im not the only to say that we think too a car with driver would be safer, nothing wrong with the trains, but the whole thing being a smooth pick up and arrival at the destination rather than getting off the train and then still having to get from there to destination, but did you say at one stage her plane was arriving late in the day?
this is why I was suggesting to make contact with VTer Travolta159 and by now you would have had time to have had some communications with him - also there are other VTers such as Jamal Morelli who lives there too - though at times hes not online for long periods.


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answered on 8/30/10 by
a VT member

Thank you for your kindness. I too hope that one day I can visit Morocco since it is such a passion on my daughters. Friends of ours took her to Fez via Spain for 24 hours when she was 13. She feel in love with the people, especially the children. She told us she has always known she would return. She is studying International Policy and hopes to work in Africa one day. Some of her interest is the relationship between different cultures etc.
She knows I've gone a bit over the edge with this trip (I'm a mental health therapist and social worker - too funny)!
A wonderful man named Mahyar from Texas is helping with the driver. I will call him and give him the information you have given me also.
Sorry, given you far to much information but thank you for listening and understanding. Tara, our daughter, has much older parents - we are not global by any means and she is our world. She tells us we raised her with all this passion and love for others :-). Take care!


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answered on 8/30/10 by
a VT member from London

lovely reply thanks!


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answered on 8/30/10 by
a VT member from London

hope we will see more of you here on VT!


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answered on 9/8/10 by
a VT member

A sincere thank you to all who responded with information and support.
Our daughter has arrived at her destination in Meknes safely.


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answered on 9/8/10 by
a VT member from Istanbul

ı am very happy to hear that she has arrived to Meknes.


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answered on 9/8/10 by
a VT member from Newark upon Trent

Glad all went as you hoped.


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answered on 9/9/10 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

Now in a perfect world, you would travel to Morocco when she finishes her term to pick her up and she could tour you around showing you the wonders of what she has discovered.

We did this with our daughter and it worked out extremely positively for all concerned.


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answered on 9/9/10 by
a VT member from London

Yes I recommended/suggested that in an earlier post and it would be great if you were to be able to take tne opportunity to do this while your daughter is still in Morocco and after she has gained her confidence and knowledge of the place to take you around!
...we have lots of tips here for you to look at for ideas around our travel pages!


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answered on 9/12/10 by
a VT member

Thank you. We have heard a few times from her. Seems all is going okay. She starts school Monday. We can't figure out what the cost of using the ATM will be for her in Meknes. She is thinking of going to Spain soon via Tangier and Straight of Gilbralta, I think.

Again, thank you all for your positive energy. And yes, one day, I hope to visit Morocco with her.


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answered on 9/12/10 by
a VT member

Thank you Angie! I'm wondering if any of you have visited Maine? Not as exciting but a beautiful place - choice of rugged coast line and of course
lots of trees, forest, and lakes.

Warm regards.


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answered on 9/12/10 by
a VT member from London

Good to hear shes settling in - she must be if shes looking at Spain already! though i think she should go seem so nice places in Morocco - Asilah is a good quiet, relaxing, non confronting seaside town, has quite a few Spanish owning holiday houses there - very clean - a great place to see at same time as relaxing away from the hardwork that elsewhere in Morocco can often be!

Chefchaouen is also a good alternative for a place thats got so much character and not much hassle....and it has a spanish influence too....so has Tetouan and its an interesting historical site but a lot of touts and hustlers.

But also take a look on my tip of El Kasaba at Moulay Idriss - that would also be a lovely place to relax for a few days - nice family with guesthouse, she could learn a bit about Moroccan cooking from them, go shopping etc - its a town thats only recently been opened to tourists staying overnight so doubt theres much hassle and hustle there - and with wonderful roman city ruins of Volubilis nearby.

but if shes only staying a semester that will soon go by!


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answered on 9/18/10 by
a VT member

Hi Angie, I will share this information with Tara. She sent a message that she will be doing 5 excurtions in Morocco. I think she has one coming up soon.
She really seems to be enjoying everything. She mentioned she is going to Istanbul before coming home. I wonder how her courses and studying is going :-) with all her trip planning. She has started Arabic and Islamic Government courses.
Thanks for the information!


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answered on 9/19/10 by
a VT member from Istanbul

She is really very kind and coming to Istanbul to say “thank you” to me : )

I can do my best, if she needs any help about Istanbul.

Sincerely

Mitat


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answered on 9/25/10 by
a VT member

Hi Mitat, I have not been on line lately. YOUR kindness is deeply appreciated! Warm regards! Mrs. Bartley

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