A Special Place to be an International Educator
John Magagna, the director of Search Associates wrote as a personal aside on the Search Associates advertisement for the recruitment of the present Director of CAS Robert van der Eyken in the fall of 2015:
“As with most of us, there are things I would do differently if I had my life to live over again. That said one of the things I would never change is the extraordinary experience of having lived and worked in Morocco for 5 years. They were the most wonderful, exciting, exotic, fascinating, and glorious years of my life. Morocco is a politically stable and beautiful country with a rich culture, and a tradition of warm hospitality and generosity. For an experienced head the Directorship of CAS presents a great opportunity."
John F. Magagna Founding Director, Search Associates
Teaching in Morocco - The Director's View
John Magagna was 100% correct. There are many interesting options for anyone contemplating a career in international education. Morocco is definitely one of the more interesting of those options. The following is a note I posted on my Facebook page after a weekend visiting one of the countless travel options that await anyone visiting or working in Casablanca:
I have visited 40 countries, walked the streets of countless villages, towns and cities, gazed upon so many churches, temples, mosques and town squares and yet can easily say an early morning stroll through the azur labyrinth of Chefchaoun, Morocco, is right at the top of my list of the most awe-inspiring. This town of blue alleys is truly priceless, especially as the sun rises and the population still sleeps.The news is full of such ugly things that we perpetrate on each other, war, greed, destruction of nature. Yet we are also capable of so much beauty. To walk the streets of Chefchaoun and hear the call to prayer from the mosques blocked from view by canyons of blue is a reminder of the beauty we as humans are capable of producing. At one point as I took a photo I felt a dog licking the toes jutting out from my right sandal. The dog followed me for about ten minutes, wagging his tail and clearly enjoying my attention. He did not see me as a Muslim or Christian, an atheist or Zoroastrian. I hope he saw a human who was friendly, who liked dogs, who would do him no harm. No other label need apply. Too bad we did not all see each other as dogs see us.
By far what anyone visiting Morocco undoubtedly takes away is the memory of sincerely friendly the people are. Don't take my word for it. Listen to what the famous comedian Bill Murray has to say about Morocco.
And if a funny person can't convince you of the friendliness of Moroccans how about at tough guy like Vin Diesel?
“The past is buried deep within the ground in Rabat, although the ancient walls in the old city are still standing, painted in electrifying variations of royal blue that make the winding roads look like streamlets or shallow ocean water.”
― Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
Two Centuries of Friendship
Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States and formal relations between the two governments date back to 1787 when the two nations ratified a Treaty of Peace and Relationship. Re-negotiated in1836 and still in effect, it stands as the longest unbroken treaty in US history.
A Free Trade Agreement was recently signed between the two Governments of Morocco and the USA.
Below are photos taken by the director during his first three months in Morocco.