Berber Wedding Fair at Imilchil by Muguette Goufrani My father, who owned and operated a tour company in Casablanca, Morocco for many years, took me along with a German tour group to visit a traditional "Wedding Fair" at Hadiddou Imilchil, a Berber village in southern Morocco. While I knew that many Berber Fairs combine a local Saint's Day with a regional market event, only at September's 'moussem' pilgrimage of Imilchil, have I seen such a colorful pageant, with instant engagement, and a mass exchange of marriage vows. Berbers have inhabited North Africa for centuries, some being of Caucasian ancestry, with fair complexions and blue eyes. Visitors may think of Berbers as exotic outsiders, yet they preceded the Arabs in settling Morocco, and they remain the country's main culture.
Young Islamic men and women or boys and girls do not enter into one-on-one intimate relationships, spending time alone together and "getting to know one another" in a very deep way as a precursor to selecting a marital partner. Rather, in Islamic culture, pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex are forbidden. The Islamic Perspective Islam believes the choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions a person will make in his or her lifetime.
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Gender and Romance in Morocco Douglas A. Davis and Susan Schaefer Davis 1 We in the West hear little about romantic love in other parts of the world, and this has led many people to believe it does not exist in non-Western cultures, or that it is a recent innovation, following on the heels of the global spread of Western media. In what follows, we will explore this question from the viewpoint of Arab Muslim culture in general, and Morocco during the last decade in particular.