Rabat - As a journalist who has travelled all around Morocco, I can’t imagine myself living anywhere but Rabat.
Rabat – As a journalist who has travelled all around Morocco, I can’t imagine myself living anywhere but Rabat.
Rabat is big yet quiet, peaceful and relaxed with a temperate. It’s modern with a rich historical heritage. Its fabulous combination of old and new architecture makes it a wonderful tourist attraction. Through its vibrant cultural life, with varied transportation (tramway, bus, taxi, train), you can feel the excitement of a modern city. Moreover, it is home to academic institutions and government offices.
Rabat is highly walkable; tourists walk along the city’s old fortifications and historical monuments and take waterfront strolls. I love Rabat for numerous reasons but I will try to limit them to the following:
Rabat is a vibrant cultural city
One of the big rewards of living in Rabat is the chance to experience its cultural life. A number of foreign institutes and cultural institutions organize daily cultural events. Mohammed V Theater is one of the most active theaters in Morocco. It presents theatre, concerts, music and dance shows almost daily. Art Villa (Villa des arts) presents the best contemporary art. It’s not just a gallery but a place of creation, exhibition and show. Moreover, a number of cinemas like Cinema Royal, 7th Art Cinema and the Renaissance provide daily shows.
Rabatis known for its international festivals, including include the Mawazine Festiva, the Jazz Festiva, Rabat’s Film Festival.
Rabat is an administrative city
Rabatis are lucky to live at the center of Moroccan administration. Just after Morocco’s independence in 1956, Rabat was declared the administrative capital. It is the home to the royal palace and government administrative offices. The parliament and all political parties’ offices, ministries and embassies are all located in Rabat. Rabat is also the place for international non-governmental organizations. UNESCO, Amnesty International, Transparency and many other active associations are all based in Rabat.
Rabat is a green city
Tree-lined streets is what distinguishes Rabat from other cities and Annasr Avenue is a good example. In addition to its green belt, which stretches over 1,063 ha, a large number of parks, green spaces and gardens have been created and managed on a total area of 240 ha. “Nouzhat Hassan” and botanical gardens” are two famous gardens located in the heart of Rabat. Rabat was the first Moroccan city to organize and celebrate the 40th Earth Day anniversary, according to the American association “Earth Day Network.”
Rabat is a tourist attraction
Due to the value of its historical heritage, from Chellah, Hassan mosque, and the Oudayas Kasbah to the Andalusian medina ramparts and historical gardens to the 20th century architecture, Rabat was named a world heritage site in 2012. You haven’t seen Rabat until you’ve been to the Oudayas and its gardens. Visitors enjoy walking between its old white and blue houses and its spectacular views of the Bouregreg river.
On the outskirts of Rabat, Chellah features medieval and Roman ruins. Not far from the city center, Hassan Mosque is a must-see monument. It’s the final resting place of both Hassan II and his father king Mohammed V. All these sites can easily be seen on foot, as they are not far from each other. It is no wonder that CNN ranked Rabat second in “Top Travel Destinations of 2013.”
Rabat is the city of knowledge
If you are looking for a good education, then Rabat is the city for you. It’s the home of Morocco’s most prestigious academic institutions. Madinat al-Irfan for example or (the city of knowledge) is a campus that includes the most important universities and schools in Morocco.
Mohammed University was founded in 1957. In addition to literature, science and law, the university encompasses a number of schools and departments, such as:
– University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the National Institute for Computer Science and Systems Analysis, National School of Architecture, the Higher Institute of Media and Communication, the University of Educational Sciences, the Institute of the Study and Research for Arabization.
King Mohamed VI established IRCAM (The Royal Institute of the Amazigh Culture) which was officially founded on October 17, 2001 to promote and develop the Amazigh language and culture. The king also set up the National Library of Morocco in Rabat to promote scientific research and protect the national cultural heritage. In 2012, the king also set up the Higher Council for Education to observe, assess and monitor the educational system in Morocco.
Rabat is a cosmopolitan city
Rabat is are open and very tolerant when it comes to living with foreigners. Christians constitute only 1.1% of the population, but most of them reside in Rabat. This is due to the presence of a number of churches that testify to the peaceful coexistence that existed and still exists between Muslims and Christians in Rabat. The two most famous churches in Rabat are St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Some foreign artists, especially painters and writers, may find Rabat a perfect city for both work and retirement. This is due to the city’s aesthetic appeal, nice bars, restaurants and cafés. A number of international schools have been created in Rabat to serve the foreign community. The French high school in Rabat (Lycee Descartes) and the Rabat American School were both founded to meet the needs of foreigners affiliated with the foreign embassies and other bilateral agencies.
Rabat is also the perfect place for foreign students and researchers who find help from local cultural institutes. Many leading centers are located in Rabat, including Qalam wa Lawh in the Souissi district and the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL). The centers, which attract foreigners who want to study in Morocco, are dedicated to teaching Arabic as a foreign language.
Once in Rabat, you will never feel bored. You can go sightseeing, shopping, eat out or go to a garden. You can also go to the beach or cross the Bouregreg river by a small boat. There is far too much to be done in this amazing city.
Edited By Jessica Rohan
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed