I went to Morocco with my mother in the summer of 2014, and one of the things that still sticks in my mind from that trip is a particular conversation we had with a Moroccan woman in Taroudant. She was managing the guesthouse where we stayed while the owner was away. She was very friendly, conversant, and kind – we spent our days roaming around the town, but some of the memories I cherish most from that place are sitting down with her for breakfast and for tea and sweet fruits in the evenings before we all went to sleep.
One evening, she brought her youngest daughter (around 3 years old) that evening. We were all talking back and forth in a peculiar mixture of English, Arabic, and French (none of us were fluent in the same languages apart from my mother and I), when our host made a comment about my choice to learn Arabic at university.
“It’s a language with no future,” she said, then voiced her desire to get her daughters to learn more French in school, saying it was more useful than Arabic, but the public schools stopped French instruction after primary school.