شكرا بازاف

Leah Siegel

Before I leave this country that I have come to love, I want to say thank you to several Moroccans whom I have had the privilege of meeting.  Although most* of them will most likely not read this, I still want to express my gratitude.

My host family:

The hospitality with which you hosted me was touching.  You made my first couple of months in a new country much easier than they could have been.  Leaving you was like leaving my family back home.  Soukaina, I hope you have a wonderful life with your new husband.  You two look really happy together.  Amine, you keep doing what you do.  You seem to know what you like and how to get it, which I really respect.  Hejj and Hejja, merci beaucoup.

Othmane*, Simo, and friends:

Othmane, I know that you’re probably reading this.  I’m grateful that Nolan connected us, because you were my first Moroccan friend outside of my host family.  I appreciated your humor (and your very tasteful fashion sense).  Thanks for including me in celebrating your birthday.  I hope we stay in touch.  If you ever come back to Oregon, hit me up.

The same goes for you too, Simo.  It was lovely meeting you.

My tennis buddy:

I wish you the best.  You’re an awesome tennis player.  We might disagree on who’s the best professional player, but I won’t hold that against you.  Study hard in school.  I’m certain that you have a wonderful future ahead of you.  Whenever I see a Barcelona/Madrid soccer match on, I’ll think of you and cheer for Barcelona.

The members of the February 20th movement:

Keep fighting the good fight.  You all are inspiring individuals.  Bonne chance et mon courage.

Mr. and Mrs. Landlord, and Landlord Jr. (Youness, Khadija, and Driss):

Thank you for the food, the cooking lessons, and making five American girls feel welcome in Oudayas.  We were lucky to have had you.

Abdelaziz:

Thank you for your patience in putting up with Kiley and me.  Thank you for translating.  Sorry that we never made you guacamole, and I hope that you enjoyed the Bueno Bar.