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Diplomacy: Meet Your New Sister

Congratulations! It’s a Rabat.

In March, a cultural and diplomatic delegation of high-ranking Moroccan officials, artisans and even a chef or two will visit Honolulu to finalize a three-year commitment to make Rabat, Morocco’s capital, our sister city. The resulting events, dubbed “Aloha Morocco Week,” will culminate with a signing ceremony at Honolulu Hale with Mayor Mufi Hannemann. For details, visit www.morocco-in-hawaii.com.

Thinking about a visit to your sister city and don’t know what to pack? Don’t worry; slippahs will do the trick. Chakib Benachour, a Casablancan native and Honolulu resident, says Rabat’s climate is almost identical to O‘ahu’s, and that locals there have heaps of aloha to offer, except it’s called marhaba. Don’t be surprised if you are invited into a family’s home and fed baguettes and sardines until you are stuffed. Sound familiar? Benachour smiles. “Hawai‘i is just like home.” Here’s how the sister cities compare:

HONOLULU
Average temperature:
76
Favorite surf spot:
Pipeline
Street grinds:
Spam musubi
Nightlife:
Ocean Club, Pearl
Monarch's home:
'Iolani Palace
Clothing:
Fighting Eel, slippahs
Favorite beverage:
Hawaiian Sun
Languages:
English, Pidgin and Hawaiian
RABAT
Average temperature:
72
Favorite surf spot:
Bouznika (great medium-size winter swells)
Street grinds:
beignet (fried dough, served wrapped in palm leaves)
Nightlife:
A hotel bar, such as the Hamilton Bar in the Hilton Rabat. Moroccan law tolerates alcohol, just keep it indoors.
Monarch's home:
Catch the changing of the guards Friday mornings at the Royal Palace.
Clothing:
Gandoras, sleeved dresses made of cotton
Favorite beverage:
tea
Languages:
Berber, Arabic and French

Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is home to 2.36 million people.

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