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Dear readers,

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Happy New Year Inshallah full of joy, happiness and of course a lot of travel!

Yesterday, I celebrated Christmas for the second time of my life. Last time it was in 2010 in Madrid. This year, I joined a CouchSurfing gathering with 12 other amazing people in London. We were all from different countries which made this celebration very special. We had food from Hungary, Italy, Morocco (by me), Holland, France, Latvia and many more. I had an amazing time and this is what Christmas is about.

For those who ask me if we celebrate Christmas in Morocco, the answer is no. However, it is a very common holiday in the country and is widely represented by decorations at shops and malls as I saw few days ago when I went back to Casablanca. Some families think it’s a sign of modernity celebrating Christmas so they decorate their homes and make their sons familiar with this holiday since a young age. Others think it’s just a regular day but a good opportunity to get together and have a lovely time. Others think it’s not in the principles of the Moroccan culture and it’s religious believes and it should be forbidden to celebrate it at all. But the country’s openness towards other religions and it’s multi-cultural background make it easy for foreigners to celebrate their holidays when visiting Morocco.

Today, London is empty. No public transport and few cars running. I can hear the birds singing… And by the way, on the picture above I’m protesting for Santa’s arrival at my home. Not yet… I start to believe he doesn’t exist. Did he brought any good presents for you?

Greetings from Omar, In A City Near You!