Growing Up on Different Sides of the World

Easton, MD                                                       source:

       Easton, Maryland- a small town located on the Eastern shore with an estimated population of 17,000 people. A town where there is an urgent drug crisis that is swept under the rug, and where poverty is merely looked away from. Amongst this population are farmers, waterman, stock investors, lawyers, and doctors. The diverse careers presented in this town are a representation of the lack of integration between classes, races, and religions. The main religion here is Christianity and Catholicism, and you never see churches or temples for anything other than those two. Growing up in this affluent town, I was on the outskirts due to being raised by my lower to middle class grandparents and living in the countryside. While the white-collar families tend to live on the water, the blue collar and low-income families tend to live in town or in the rural area. Growing up I was never really aware of how disconnected this community really is until I learned about life in Morocco.

      Morocco is a country located in North Africa, left of Algeria. It has a population of around 37 million and is a result of multiple cultures coming together as one, such as “Arab, Amazigh, Andalusian, African, Hebraic, and Mediterranean”.[1] While it is now predominantly Muslim, every aspect of life here is influenced by some culture from the past and present. For example, Moroccan cuisine, is a blend of European and Arab spices such as parsley, turmeric, cumin, and mint. Not only that, but there are two predominant languages here: Arab and Beber, but the people of Morocca have even created their own dialect of Arab. Community is important here and this is illustrated through the arts, such as music like the Arabian chaabi and the Berber reggada.

      Despite growing up in a town that is extremely wealthy while my family is not, I have had the privilege of never really having to worry about where my next meal is coming from, or if we will power the next day. This is because Maryland has great welfare programs and very generous Medicaid. Furthermore, the GDP per capita in Maryland is still around 64,000 a year according to 2019 data.[2] An explanation for this is the fact that Washington D.C is in Maryland, where many government and state workers reside. On the other hand, Morocco may be one of the more developed regions in Africa but the GDP per capita is still very low compared to this, with it being around 3,695 dollars as of 2022.[3] Morocco has privatized some of their businesses since the 90s, but it is still an export-based economy for minerals and agriculture.[4] The drought in this region prevents Morocco from being as productive as they could be, while drought in Maryland is not an issue. The North African country also has a large amount of external debt, high unemployment rates, and high rates of informal jobs which do not factor into GDP. Going back to the health factor, Morocco’s infant mortality rates are high -something Maryland does not struggle with due to the government’s healthcare system.

Marrakesh, Morocco
source: National Geographic

   If I were to grow up in Morocco, I would have had a totally different experience than I did, such as having to worry about things that I didn’t necessarily have to ever worry about in Maryland. On the other hand, it is likely that I would have been exposed to many more cultures at a young age which is something that I wish I had.

[1] “Culture of Morocco.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Last modified September 7, 2023.

[2] “GDP Per Capita Data for Maryland – Gross Domestic Product on the Open Data Network.” Open Data Network. Accessed September 14, 2023.

[3] “Morocco Vs United States: Economy Facts and Stats.” Global Industry Market Sizing – NationMaster. Accessed September 14, 2023.

[4] “Country Comparison Morocco Vs United States 2023.” Accessed September 14, 2023.






3 responses to “Growing Up on Different Sides of the World”

  1. Noah Boyd Avatar
    Noah Boyd

    I like how you point out how different it would be growing up in Morocco and you would have been introduced to different cultures. It is interesting how your town in Maryland does not have the exposure that a country like Morocco has, but with it being a smaller town the lack of exposure does make sense.

  2. Ed Webb Avatar
    Ed Webb

    I think it’s important to recognize that there are many kinds of riches. While materially most Moroccans are much less well off than most Marylanders, they do benefit from the cultural richness you discuss here. If you get a chance to sample Moroccan cuisine, I recommend it very much. There are a few places not far from Carlisle where you can find it!

  3. clarkei Avatar

    This comparison between your town and Morocco is really interesting. It is really interesting how few privatized companies there are in Morocco. I wonder how this affects government power and dynamics with the population since industry is mostly controlled by the government.

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