Is Morocco safe for an American?

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Jan 25th, 2003, 04:24 AM
  #1
Jane
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Is Morocco safe for an American?

My husband and I are planning a trip there because we have always wanted to go but we're getting worried about the pending war with Iraq. Does anyone know the current climate there?
 
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Jan 25th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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J
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I've got the same question since we too are planning a trip. But I'm not sure if anybody knows the answer.
 
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Jan 26th, 2003, 07:39 PM
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Elaine
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My daughter and son-in-law were there first week in December. It was their 4th trip there. Everything fine, but if war begins...who know?
 
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Jan 31st, 2003, 10:30 AM
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That's my question as well, although I'm not an American (I'm Belgian).
We had planned on making a tour in southern Morocco in April but are hesitant to book.
We have been to Egypt in December and everything was fine there too, but I really don't know how the reaction of these people will be towards western tourists when Iraq will be attacked.
I think we'll just wait a few more weeks.
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Jan 31st, 2003, 12:55 PM
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JES
 
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I worry more about safety in Egypt than Morocco so it's good to hear you had a good trip there.
So far I'm hearing positive things from Morocco.
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Feb 5th, 2003, 06:30 PM
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I am curious to hear the answer to this as well.

I hate that Egypt may be considered off-limits right now. We were there for two weeks right before Sept. 11th, 2001. We actually came back to the US on the 9th via JFK.


Egypt was fabulous and nobody bothered us for being Americans. I expect that Morocco is okay. They have been very quiet during this whole terrorism ordeal.

I wouldn't fly Air Morocco though. I researched it when we were considering going there. I was not impressed with my findings. It has been hijacked within the last four years, which scares me.

I'd fly into Gibraltar and then cross into Morocco.

Anyway, I hope somebody is able to answer your question.

Ingrid
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Feb 14th, 2003, 05:40 AM
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Yes! We (me, my husband, children ages 1 & 5, & my mother-in-law) just spent 2 weeks in Morocco during Christmas, 2002 & New Year's 2003. We stayed in the medinas in Marrakesh, Essaouira, & Fez. We had a car & driver several days, as well. Everywhere we went we were welcomed & treated VERY well. We were often asked if we were British & when we said we were Americans, we were given an even warmer welcome! It was a MAJOR plus having our 1-year-old; they love kids & were amazing with her! We all adored Morocco! Go & enjoy! I'm happy to try to answer any questions, if I can...
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Feb 14th, 2003, 05:43 AM
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I forgot to mention our experiences with Royal Air Maroc. The service was good; all the flights on time. The only problems we had the entire trip were in & out of Paris airports. A nightmare. C'est la vie.
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Feb 14th, 2003, 07:17 AM
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To my observation most terrorist attacks - and I guess that is what all of us travelers are worried about - may target areas predominated by a certain demographic, but being an American, Canadian, etc. does not make you more or less of a target than being from any other country where to the casual observer you would look the same.

Obviously you don't go around preaching American slogans or waving a flag, but there is little chance you will look Moroccan, Egyptian or supportive of Arab opinions (unless by some chance that is your ethnic heritage and you dress accordingly). More roughly put, if they are going to blow up a plane or a restaurant they will not ask to check passports first before they decide who to kill.

That said, again I advise if you can relax enough to go and have a good time, then go. If you are going to spend too much time worrying about it, pick another destination.

We could all find statistics which overwhelmingly support your safety, but fear is not governed by statistics.
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Feb 14th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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We also traveled with a young child (22 months). It seems the custom is that when 2 young children see each other they kiss!! What a surprise! Our kid got lots of kisses. The best was when a very well dressed woman pushing a child in a stroller saw our darling, she immediately divided the donut her child was eating and gave it to ours. Now that's friendly.
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Feb 21st, 2003, 06:22 PM
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I recently went to Nador in eastern Morocco. It is much different from Japan or even Melilla, a Spanish settlement nearby.

It is difficult to say whether it is safe or dangerous. If you get stabbed, it is dangerous. If not, it is safe. There weren't pesky guides like in Tangier. A few men tried to speak Japanese but they obviously only knew 1-2 words. French is very useful to know, although Arabic is probably even better.
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Feb 21st, 2003, 06:23 PM
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There is such thing as danger. Weren't some French men shot outside an American chain hotel in Pakistan a few months ago?
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Feb 22nd, 2003, 01:28 AM
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JES
 
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Thanks for all of the great feedback, it does a lot to dissuade my fears. Gypsyatheart, do you have the name of the guide/driver you used? What type of car were you driven in? How many days would you say is necessary in Marrakech? Do you think the desert is safe? Thank you again for any help.
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Feb 27th, 2003, 03:32 AM
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JES: The drivers/guides we used were arranged by rusticblue-morocco.com between Marrakesh & Esaouira, and from Essaouira to the airport in Agadir. We did not use a guide in Marrakesh. I booked a riad in Fes through fesmedina.com & they arranged for our guide, Rachid Tabib, in Fes. I can give you his mobile phone if you are going to Fes. We didn't find it necessary to have a guide in Marrakesh, just a book with a good map. Also, when shopping, prices were much cheaper when we did not have a guide. (I would guess 30% cheaper). How long to stay? It depends if you want to shop. My opinion is, at least 3 full days in Marrakesh. Shopping was very easy here. We had 4.5 days, & still did not get to the Atlas mountains (but we have small kids slowing us down). We hear the Berber villages in the Atlas mountains are fantastic & about 70 kilometers from town. (Also, one of the palaces in Marrakesh was closed for renovation). As far as drivers & private cars, we were driven in a van, a Volvo, & Mercedes on different occasions. Yes, I think the desert is safe. We met lots of backpackers who particularly liked the desert. We just ran out of time before we could go. I hope this helps!
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Mar 4th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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JES
 
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Gypsy,
Thanks so much for the great feedback. It looks like we won't have time for Fes so I won't need that guides info. You cinched my decision as to a guide in Marrakesh!
Thanks again, JES
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Mar 19th, 2003, 03:56 AM
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I just returned from Tangier. I encountered no anti-American sentiment. Of course a war may change that. But as of last week, it was just fine.
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Mar 19th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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Being an Egyptian, I really don't recommend that anyone do any traveling w/in North Africa or the Middle East until things sort of calm down with the war. Are these places generally unsafe for Americans?? Of course not, our economies are based upon your tourism. I'd plan a trip maybe for December....

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Apr 2nd, 2003, 08:26 AM
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ttp
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May 18th, 2003, 07:03 PM
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JES
 
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Well, very unfortunately we got the answer.
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May 18th, 2003, 11:41 PM
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Here's a terrific analysis:
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/me...entid=0&from=1
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