Nancy Lauer

Cats of Chefchaouen, Morocco

by Nancy Lauer on December 19, 2016 No comments

Cats of Chefchaouen

I’ve noticed that Moroccan cities are either cat cities or dog cities. Without exception, the cats win out in the medinas, or old cities. It’s probably because cats are smaller than dogs, and can fly under the radar easier. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of dogs to go around in Morocco. But in the close quarters of a medina, dogs aren’t present in large numbers. Also, in general, Moroccans have a fear of dogs. To illustrate, one evening while having dinner in our apartment, we heard loud, shrill screaming outside our window. Without even looking up from her plate, Ava said, “Someone probably saw a dog.” I’m 99% sure she was correct. There’s not much else to scream about. 

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Nancy LauerCats of Chefchaouen, Morocco

Cook Like a Local: Moroccan Bissara Soup

by Nancy Lauer on December 4, 2016 10 comments

Cook Like a Local: Moroccan Bissara

Recently, in the famous blue city of Chefchaouen, I ran into the best Bissara soup I’ve ever tasted.  Bissara is a popular Moroccan soup prepared with dried and peeled fava beans. This soup is hearty with plenty of protein and is often served for breakfast in winter, especially in the north. The dish was originally known as a meal of the poor, but these days it’s found its way into the homes and restaurants of all social classes.

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Nancy LauerCook Like a Local: Moroccan Bissara Soup

ODM Bedouin Bivouac Opening Night

by Nancy Lauer on November 13, 2016 2 comments

introducing open doors morocco bedouin bivouac

It’s official.  The Open Doors Morocco – Bedouin Bivouac is open for business and we couldn’t have asked for a more authentic desert launch.  Who better to share the inaugural night with than our friends at The Giving Lens?  The bivouac exists for the purpose of providing fair wages to locals and authentic cultural experiences for foreigners.  Read more about the unique background of our bivouac HERE.

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Nancy LauerODM Bedouin Bivouac Opening Night

The Giving Lens: Morocco 2016

by Nancy Lauer on November 7, 2016 No comments

TGL Photo Exchange

The Giving Lens (TGL), El Fenn Maroc, Creative Interactions, three local photographers from Marrakech, and Open Doors Morocco (ODM) teamed up to launch a photography program for youth in the village of Ait Ouir, Morocco. The Giving Lens regularly brings teams of photographers to developing countries to work alongside local non-profit organizations in tangible ways. The group is committed to helping launch sustainable projects that will eventually become self-sufficient. Each team is led by  two professional photographers with travel experience.

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Nancy LauerThe Giving Lens: Morocco 2016

Artistry of the Sahara

by Nancy Lauer on September 23, 2016 No comments

Saharan Artistry

Said Ahnana, has an eye for the artistic. He has a knack for honing in on disparate details that photograph beautifully. I think growing up in a nomadic culture has aided him well. I’m calling these latest photographs, Saharan Sand Art.

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Nancy LauerArtistry of the Sahara

10 Rules for Climbing Moroccan Kasbahs

by Nancy Lauer on September 19, 2016 1 comment


kasbahs 10 rules for climbing

Kasbahs are amazing ancient, crumbling buildings that were built for defense in North Africa.  Another word for kasbah is fortress.  Kasbahs were built with high walls, usually without windows.  Ruins are dotted throughout southern Morocco. 

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Nancy Lauer10 Rules for Climbing Moroccan Kasbahs

Introducing Open Doors Morocco’s Bedouin Bivouac

by Nancy Lauer on September 16, 2016 No comments

introducing open doors morocco bedouin bivouac

We are excited to announce that with the help of Indiegogo and some very special clients, we have raised 15k to start a bivouac, or camp in the Sahara Desert.  The bivouac will be what we call a “Fair Wages Camp.”  Read on to find out more about this exciting sustainable project in the Sahara Desert.

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Nancy LauerIntroducing Open Doors Morocco’s Bedouin Bivouac

Eid Al Adha | The Sheep Feast in Morocco

by Nancy Lauer on September 13, 2016 1 comment

Eid al Adha, Sheep Feast in Morocco, Sacrifice, holiday

Eid Al Adha is a Muslim holiday celebrated across the world. The root of the religious holiday goes back to the days of Abraham, who is considered an important prophet by Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his only son. Muslims believe that the son was Ishmael, while Christians and Jews believe the son was Isaac. The point that Abraham was willing to obey God even to the point of sacrificing his son. This Muslim holiday celebrates how God substituted Abraham’s son with a sheep.

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Nancy LauerEid Al Adha | The Sheep Feast in Morocco