Today I completed another lap around the sun. :)
There is no tradition of birthday celebrations in Morocco. I'm not sure whether this is a cultural or a religious thing; the phrase "Happy Birthday" does exist (3id Milad Sa3id) but this is in Classical Arabic, which bears the same relationship to Moroccan Arabic as Latin does to English: it's the origin, and really-well-educated or super-religious people will recognize it, but it's foreign to the illiterate women I spend most of my time with.
My PCV friends more than made up for this, though; I was in SouqTown, and I got birthday hugs from Ilham, Brahim, 3dam, Forbes, LaHcen, Sku, and Halima, plus a homemade chocolate cake (with icing and sprinkles!) from Jamila, and a present from RaHma. Only the out-of-town PCVs missed it, and they posted Happy Birthday messages on my Facebook page (where their messages joined those of tons of PCVs from my stage from all across the country, and more from non-Peace Corps friends!). Plus I got Happy Birthday text messages from lots of PCV buds. In fact, today might hold the record for the number of Happy Day wishes I've ever received. :D
And LaHcen, the PCV who lives closest to SouqTown, told everyone that it was my 3id Milad. Imagine my surprise when I picked up a soda from the buHanoot near the hotel and heard a hearty, "3id Milad, Kawtar!"
9 months ago