Catalans Abroad

Perfect choice

Why did you leave Catalonia?

We left mainly looking for new opportunities. The economic crisis at the time was really tough and there weren’t so many opportunities in Catalonia. My husband is Moroccan and here we have the support of a large family. So if we add my curiosity to that, well, it helped us choose.

So why Kenitra?

I think it chose me. A law firm I had contact with in La Coruña contacted me offering me a job. I accepted and so we moved.

How long have you been there?

It’s been almost eight years and both its culture and its people never cease to surprise me!

Are you happy with the job opportunities?

Morocco is truly the land of opportunity. You only need to learn the languages (French and/or Darija) and get to know the habits of the people. Understanding the culture and society means enjoying a pleasant and relaxed life. It’s becoming popular among Europeans. Morocco has a lot to offer.

What do you think is the best thing about living in Kenitra?

Its location is very important - it’s easy to travel anywhere in the country. It’s a resort and an agricultural city enjoying the magical beauty of the Sebbou river, especially at night with the lights on the water that take you into the past ... The Romans sailed on this river and built villages like Banassa, only about 14 km away. Kenitra is also known for its storks, protected by the state. They’re a symbol of prosperity and you see them everywhere - in their nests, flying over the city or teaching their chicks to fly!

What are the highlights for a brief first-time visit?

You can’t miss Moulay Ismail Khasba in Mahdia with the amazing views. The river flows into the sea on one side and the lake and wetlands are on the other. Khabassat is the place to buy the best spices and perfumes. Traditional clothes, shoes, cosmetics, argan oil, nuts ... trade in Kenitra is a bustle, all the smells and colours. Relaxing and enjoying the view and a mint tea or an ice cream on the beautiful terraces that run along the Sebbou.

And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?

Interesting places to visit with time and transport are the resort towns in the province, the fields of orange trees, wheat, strawberries ... Delving into the lives of the rural people, where you can discover a very different life from the city. Their celebrations, music and traditions are very surprising and deeply rooted in religious beliefs.

What do you miss from home?

One thing I miss is the Sunday vermouth. It’s different there, even though here it’s wonderful as well.

Do you plan to come back to Catalonia?

When we have holidays with the family we take the children to see their grandparents. Although we have no plans to make a permanent move, you never know!

lara pla is from Parets del Vallès but now lives in Kenitra where she organises visits to the desert for Catalan tourists

Some suggestions

M.Àngels Ribas

Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?

The best breakfasts are without doubt at the Café Metropole in the heart of the city. A traditional European breakfast in an exquisite and elegant atmosphere.

Where would you have a special dinner for two?

A romantic dinner on the sandy beach in a tent at the Merzouga Restaurant in Mahdia. Good food, good music with the moon over the water.

When’s the best time of year to visit?

October or November is a good time to come to the city. Most of the heavy summer tourism is finished but the temperature is still very warm. The sunsets are magical at this time of year.

What’s the best kept secret about the area?

Undoubtedly the brides! To be part of a wedding and see the splendour and beauty of the clothes, the henna, the food perfumed with thousands of spices, never-ending sweets, mystical music and rhythms.... You would never forget a wedding in Kenitra your whole life!

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