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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Study tours

Morocco: The Edge of the Muslim West: Religion, Culture and Landscape

May 12-22, 2015

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Morocco, in northwestern Africa, has coastlines on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, a rugged mountainous interior, and large sweeps of the Sahara Desert. Its culture blends Arabian, African, European, and indigenous Berber influences. Led by Ross Brann, professor of Near Eastern studies and a CAU favorite, we'll consider the effects of Islam on Europe in the pre-modern period, Morocco's story of independence, and highlights of the country's complex culture and history, shaped by its richly varied peoples and its geography. We'll visit Casablanca's Hassan II mosque; the gardens of Kasbah of the Udayas in Rabat; and the medina and spice market in Fez, the oldest and largest medieval city in the world.

We'll drive in four-wheel vehicles across the Middle Atlas Mountains and, in Erfoud, watch the sun set over the dunes of the Sahara Desert. From the Berber desert city of Ouarzazate, we will drive across the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, the "pearl of the south." From its marketplace cornucopias to its fabulous dishes--couscous, pastille, and tagine--we'll immerse ourselves in the exciting sights, smells, and tastes of Morocco. Here's looking at you, kid.

Ross Brann, the M. R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies and professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, is an extraordinary teacher and mentor. He is the author of Power in the Portrayal as well as numerous essays on the intersection of Jewish and Islamic culture.

Program notes

  • Double occupancy: $7,998 per person
  • Single supplement: $1,500
  • See What's included?
  • See Travel links and resources.
  • Fitness scale: Slightly strenuous. May require extended walking over uneven ground as well as the ability to climb stairs and to stand for considerable periods of time.