As we exit the restrooms, we are offered tea and cookies by the waiter. We sit down to visit with him for a bit. “Can you honor us with your name, kind sir?” Jeremy asks in the local dialect. Language is one of the keys to working cross-culturally and developing excellent rapport with our new friend. It is one of the values we hold as business owners and we have worked hard to learn to speak Darija – the local Morrocan Arabic dialect.
“My name is Hassan”, he says as he beams with pride. We proceed to discuss the various suggestions of changing the direction that the bathroom door opens as well as the possibility of adding grab bars in one of the stalls in the Gents and one in the Ladies. “Of course! We built this ramp for people to have access to our restaurant and any suggestions you can give us will help to make this restaurant better for all of our clients. We would be honored to work with you and your clients in the future.”
We thank him for the tea, get a business card and head out to the 4×4. This is the forging of a potential partnership for our accessible desert excursion. Increasing accessibility in the tourism service sector is often the first step in increasing accessibility for locals and visitors, alike. We will return in a few weeks with grab bars to mount on the walls and to change the orientation of doors for easy access and use for our clients as they travel to the desert.
Just another day of doing business in Morocco. Advocating for accessibility in Morocco is a vital part of our business vision.