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Why Morocco is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Mandy Sinclair in conversation with inspiring creatives and personalities who share her love of the North African kingdom of Morocco. Prepare to be inspired and motivated and perhaps left with a desire to visit the place we call home.
 
A weekly podcast featuring short interviews with Peace Corps volunteers serving in Morocco. This is an informal and unofficial way to get to know our fellow PCVs better, to hear us share our stories, and to give us an additional opportunity to connect with one another through our service. Disclaimer: The content of this podcast is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Moroccan Government.
 
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show series
 
After several months off from podcasting from Morocco, I’m back with a bonus episode of Why Morocco. I’m chatting with my friend and author Adrienne Chinn about her two books The Lost Letter from Morocco, set in Morocco and The English Wife, set in Newfoundland, Canada. Adrienne began developing her latest historical fiction novel The English Wife …
 
For final episode of Why Morocco’s second season, I chatted with one of the people I’m checking in with weekly and that person is my life coach, Ray Beach from Drift and Design. I credit her and our weekly coaching sessions for helping me to live my best life in Marrakech, Morocco. Ray and I have been working together for over a year during which t…
 
For this week’s episode I chatted with MoroccanTapes.com founder Amino Belyamani. Amino, who grew up in Casablanca and now lives in Brooklyn, created the site that brings Moroccan tapes of various musical genres, which are typically only available for purchase in Morocco and in regions where the musicians hail, to the world. With music in his blood…
 
With the third edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair kicking off on 20 February 2020 in Marrakech, I chatted with fair founder Touria el Glaoui by telephone in the lead up to the event. The fair is designed to provide exposure to artists from the 54 countries that make up the continent. Touria talked about the changing landscape and dia…
 
For the thirtieth episode of Why Morocco, I reached Lonely Planet travel writer Helen Ranger by telephone from my studio in Marrakech. Helen is a friend and colleague, concierge, a fellow Morocco lover albeit one who prefers to call Fez home, and has recently submitted a chapter about Morocco’s rural Middle Atlas Mountain region for the forthcoming…
 
With a new year and a new decade upon us, I sat down with Meryam Demnati, an Amazigh activitist, to chat about a little-known New Year celebrated in here in Morocco – Yennayer – the Amazigh New Year for the latest episode of Why Morocco. Celebrated on 12 January by the native peoples of North Africa, Yennayer marks the shift from extreme cold and m…
 
For this week’s episode,I chatted with architect Aziza Chaouni in her Toronto office by telephone. I first learned about Aziza and her work when she was featured in Brownbook magazine, a publication I used to write for. I knew immediately that I needed to meet her given that we have swapped home countries. Aziza lives between Toronto, Canada where …
 
For this week’s episode I met with Nadir Bouhmouch, the filmmaker behind the documentary Amussu. In the film, Nadir takes a collaborative approach to telling the story of the villagers of Imidir peacefully protesting against Africa’s largest silver mine, located in the region, that led to water scarcity in their oasis and their right to land. Beaut…
 
For this week’s episode I met with architect Imad Dahmani in Casablanca for an architecture tour of some of the modernist buildings throughout the city. Imad works in Casablanca and also the president of the MAMMA Group, an organization that aims to protect modern architecture in Morocco. You may remember that I interviewed Lahbib El Moumni, also f…
 
For this week’s episode I travelled to Casablanca to meet Justina Tulloch, the Aussie and one half of the duo behind Bondi Coffee Kitchen. A little known secret – I was terrified of Casablanca for years, but when this restaurant opened in 2015 I knew I needed not only a flat white, but to give the city a second chance. So I finally did in 2016 and …
 
This week I’ve stepped out of the studio and sat oceanside with Shiraz Ksaiba, a London girl and creative I met while working together on the launch of her yoga retreat centre Tamazirt by Amayour near Taghazout in Morocco. Shiraz and I share a similar journey in how we ended up in Morocco. We both came out on solo holidays before eventually returni…
 
This week I’m joined by Abderrazak Houdzi, owner of Ateliers D’Ailleurs, a company that encourages its clientele to roll up their sleeves and learn a Moroccan craft or trade in Marrakech. Through the workshops Ateliers D’Ailleurs organizes, I’ve had the chance to make a pair of traditional Moroccan slippers, piece together a mosaic tile and hammer …
 
This week I’m joined by Aida Alami, a journalist and contributor to the book Our Women on the Ground, Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World. Aida returned home to Morocco after completing her journalism studies in the United States and contributes to The New York Times, Middle East Eye and Al Jazeera. While she also works abroad, here in Morocco…
 
I’m back after a summer podcasting break and reached Richard Hamilton, author of Tangier: From the Romans to the Rolling Stones, by telephone to chat about his latest book. Richard worked as a North African correspondent for the BBC World Service and lived in Morocco for a year while covering the region. He had the opportunity to travel to Tangier …
 
On this week’s episode of Why Morocco, Rose Button, the first female, non-Muslim guesthouse owner in the holy town of Moulay Idriss near Fez, Morocco, sat down with me during her Ramadan stay to chat about visiting this often over-looked hillside village. We also talked about her guest house Dar Zerhoune, her initiative to help the donkeys, and slo…
 
Cris Martinus from boutique travel agency Sun Trails Morocco is back to chat planning a summer vacation in Morocco. Many travellers think it’s too hot to travel to Morocco in the summer, but Cris provides endless ideas that provide travellers with the opportunity to comfortably enjoy the best of Morocco, while experiencing the local culture as well…
 
Alice Morrison describes herself as an adventurer and she has just completed an 81-day trek along the Draa River in Morocco’s south. Palm groves, adobe houses, and kasbahs that dot the landscape, and of course the flowing Draa River make this region one of my favourite region of Morocco. Accompanied by a team of local guides, Alice witnessed the ef…
 
As we’re gearing up for Ramadan, I sat down with Assim, one of my valued Tasting Marrakech guides, to chat about travelling to Morocco during Ramadan. Many people tell me that they put off their trip if it coincides with the holy month, or that they cancelled it because they heard it wasn’t a good time to visit. But in fact, in my opinion, there si…
 
On this week’s episode of Why Morocco, my friend and fellow art-deco architecture lover David Packer stopped by in between the opening of his show at Anima Gardens and sending his book off to print. David is a trained ceramicist who came to Morocco in 2011 on a Fulbright Scholarship to study the regional ceramics. He has since documented his findin…
 
On this week’s episode of Why Morocco, I had an opportunity to interview artist Christo during the opening of his exhibition Femmes at the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakech. During the press preview I was able to visit the exhibition and admire the Wedding Dress sculpture which, given the exhibition space, was a very fitting choice given its r…
 
On this week’s episode of Why Morocco, British-Moroccan author Saeida Rouass stopped by the studio following her TEDx Marrakech talk to chat writing her first book Assembly of the Dead, a historical fiction set in Marrakech in 1906, and what the Marrakech medina may have looked like compared to today. We also talked about the soon-to-be-released se…
 
On this week’s episode Sarah Kchirid stopped by the studio to chat about the tradition of storytelling in Morocco. Sarah’s first memories of the tradition started with hearing tales throughout her childhood in Abu Dhabi when her grandmother came to visit from Morocco. Having returned to Morocco eight years ago, the stories helped her to understand …
 
On this week’s episode I met with pop artist Hassan Hajjaj at one of my favourite art galleries in Marrakech where he was preparing an installation in advance of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair kicking off this week. Hassan’s the photographer beyond the pop culture images of Madonna released last year following her 60th birthday celebrations…
 
On this week’s episode I traveled to the Sahara Desert to visit fellow Canadian Michelle Fletcher and her partner Kamal Yassine at their sand castle – Kasbah Ait Isfoul – on the edge of Erg Chegaga, a rather untouched area of the Sahara Desert. Michelle and Kamal have spent the last year and a half restoring and renovating a kasbah originally built…
 
On this episode of Why Morocco I’m chatting with Cassie Karinsky, co-owner of +61, Marrakech’s own Australian restaurant. Cassie’s an entrepreneur and has owned a few business here in Marrakech and just seems to have a go-get-it attitude – something I admire about her. She’s grateful and appreciative. She is inspired. And inspiring. And she loves t…
 
On this episode I’m chatting with my dear friend Dana Elemara, the owner of Arganic, 100% pure organic argan oil from Morocco. Dana’s passionate about what she does and I think that really comes across in the conversation we recorded back in the autumn when she came out to Marrakech for a visit. And of course, she brought me a bottle of Arganic cos…
 
For the eighth episode of Why Morocco, I reached Lonely Planet’s Destination Editor for the Middle East & North Africa Lauren Keith by telephone from my studio in Marrakech. Lauren’s a former colleague and sometimes editor (did I mention I freelance write and have bylines in Lonely Planet?). For this episode, I was keen to catch up with Lauren as t…
 
For the seventh episode of Why Morocco, I reached Casablanca-based architect Lahbib El Moumni by telephone from my studio in Marrakech. I met Lahbib through CasaMemoire, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and safe-guarding 20th century architecture in Casablanca, when I was writing about the need for architectural conservation in Casabl…
 
For the sixth episode of Why Morocco, I headed out to the Montresso* Foundation to meet with artist Hendrik Beikirch, the artist behind the Tracing Morocco project and the upcoming Siberia exhibition opening on 5 November at the art foundation near Marrakech. His book featuring the images and stories of tradesmen and craftspeople in Morocco sits pr…
 
For the fifth episode of Why Morocco, I stepped out of the studio and into the musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech where I met with Mme Christine Alaoui, mother of the late photographer Leila Alaoui whose photographs are currently on display as part of The Moroccans exhibition. I met with scenographer Christophe Martin and exhibition curator Guillau…
 
For the fourth episode of Why Morocco, my friend Willem Smit and I sat on the sofa of my apartment mansion and chatted about some of our favourite things – good design, good books, Marrakech and architecture. Willem is the managing director of El Fenn and also has the fabulous Villa Mabrouka near Essaouira you’ll want to book if you’re a fan of hol…
 
For the third episode of Why Morocco, I reached blogger, chef and cookbook author Nargisse Benkabbou by phone at her home in London in advance of her Casablanca: My Moroccan Food cookbook launch in North America. We chatted cooking and the importance of spices, tradition when it comes to food and mealtimes in Morocco, and our favourite dishes. Orde…
 
What happens when you have a fabulous idea and come to Morocco hot off a research trip around Europe ready to set up shop? On the second episode of Why Morocco I’m chatting with Sophia Bentaher and Annabel Atger about their plans to open a social café in Marrakech, what happens when things don’t go as intended, and how we define success. Because qu…
 
For the first episode of Why Morocco, I’m sitting down with Cris Martinus from SunTrails Morocco, a boutique travel agency based in Marrakech. We’re discussing trip planning in Morocco and the must-sees for various interests. To support Why Morocco, please consider buying me a coffee nouss nouss. For more Morocco ideas and advise, follow host Mandy…
 
You know me as a member of the multi-media committee and a collector and sharer of movies, but do you know about my nomadic cinema in Papua New Guinea or what media project I'm excited to work on next? Check out this week's interview to get to know me, your host Mathew, a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know her as a member of the SPSN committee and someone with great classroom management skills, but do you know about her work in a preschool before Peace Corps or what movie from her childhood she loves to recommend? Check out this week's interview to get to know Maria a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know him as an avid book reader and someone with a great sense of humor, but do you know what his first experience was with Peace Corps or what advice he has for his younger brother and fellow PCVs? Check out this week's interview to get to know Collins a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know her as an adventurous mountain climber and a master chef with a serious passion for cooking, but do you know what she focused on in her master's program or what she plans to do after Peace Corps? Check out this week's interview to get to know Paw a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know him as one of the more mysterious members of our staj and someone who worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before coming to Morocco, but do you know his favorite book recommendation or how he came to apply for the Peace Corps? Check out this week's interview to get to know Karl a little better. Enjoy!…
 
You know her as a down home midwestern gal from Missouri and a big fan of Little House on the Prairie, but do you know her favorite country music bands or what her plans are in the event of the collapse of civilization? Check out this week's interview to get to know Caitlyn a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know her as an avid cross stitcher and someone very interested in international development, but do you know which military school she once considered attending or what blogs and podcasts she recommends you check out? Check out this week's interview to get to know Kate a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know him as an all-around great guy and can spot his mighty beard from a block away, but do you know his favorite charity or his advice for folks who are unsure what they want to do in the future? Check out this week's interview to get to know Kevin a little better. Enjoy!
 
You know her as a member of the GAD committee and have seen her handle challenging discussions during hubs with poise, but do you know the phrase she uses to describe her experience growing up in the USA or what her favorite YouTube video is to share? Check out this week's interview to get to know Heyab-Mariam a little better. Enjoy!…
 
You know him as a one of the many Matts in our staj and have heard him share stories about living in China and Russia, but do you know what his favorite podcasts are or what small town he grew up in? Check out this week's interview to get to know Matt a little better. Enjoy!
 
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