Marrakech students visit Scottsdale on special trip

Scottsdale students with visitors from (Photo by Max Rumbaugh)

Scottsdale and Marrakech students (Photo by Max Rumbaugh)

Scottsdale recently welcomed eight students and three teachers from its sister city, Marrakech, Morocco.

While in Scottsdale, the Muslim delegation volunteered to pack food at the Vista del Camino Community Center. The center receives donated food, which the students sorted by type of food.

The primary language in Morocco is Arabic, and French is the second language.  While sorting the food, the delegation had an opportunity to practice reading English, which is their third language.

Marrakech and Scottsdale have been sister cities for nearly six years. The purpose of the sister cities program is to develop friendships and mutual understanding by the people of one U.S. city and one foreign city, in this case Scottsdale and Marrakech.

This is the third visit by Marrakech students to Scottsdale. The students stay in the home of a “host sibling” and their family for one week.

Comments by one Scottsdale student was, “Before they arrived I expected them to be very different than us, but quickly we learn they are just like us: kind, warm and friendly.”

The visiting students attended classes by shadowing their host sibling on one day. On other days, the students visited Coronado, Arcadia and Chaparral high schools meeting other students and sharing information about their city, schools and people.

This year the Marrakech delegation visited sites to become acquainted with the people and culture of Scottsdale, such as the Pima Salt River Indian Community Museum, Scottsdale Old Town, Scottsdale Museum of the West as well as Vista Del Camino.

In March a delegation of 14 Scottsdale high school students and four adults will travel to Marrakech to complete the third round trip of visits. Scottsdale students will stay in the homes of Marrakech students and their families.

The Marrakech students were quick to remind their hosts that Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States from Great Britain in 1777, and has been friendly ever since.

Scottsdale and Marrakech students (Photo by Max Rumbaugh)

Scottsdale and Marrakech students (Photo by Max Rumbaugh)

Editor's Note: This article was submitted by Max Rumbaugh, president of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale.

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