Uncovering a different side of Muslim culture as a journalist in Morocco

“What was it like being in a Muslim country?”

Most of the time when I’m asked this question, it’s followed by something along the lines of: “I hear it’s dangerous over there.” No, it wasn’t dangerous. In fact, in Morocco — where I spent fall term studying with the School for International Training’s Journalism and New Media program based in Rabat — I was surrounded by some of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. And that would be the short answer. I could go on for days answering this question, and I have before.

Unfortunately, the America I came back to in December wasn’t the America I left behind in August.

In a time of increasing Islamophobia in the world, it is more pressing than ever to produce high-quality journalism. I am thankful that I now have insight into such a misunderstood religion and community of people. As a journalist, I have returned from abroad with a deeper commitment to finding the truth, giving a voice to the unheard and embracing human connection through storytelling.

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Shirley ChanComment