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MOROCCO

The Best of Morocco: Ancient Medinas to Modern Identity

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Road Scholar
Program #20739RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a more flexible schedule with ample independent time and several meals on your own, then our FLEX learning adventures are made for you.

Itinerary for Mar 14 — Mar 26, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, March 14 - Overnight in Transit
Depart From: International flight to Morocco

Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: Located on the heights of the oldest city Fes, the Merinides Hotel is a few minutes walking distance from the Merinides dynasty tombs and other main sites to be visited during the program. Its proximity to Al Karaouiyine Mosque, Dar Batha Museum, the Andalusians mosque and the Thermal baths of Moulay Yacoub contribute to make of Merinides Hotel an address of charm for a stay for discovering and relaxation.

Contact info:
Borj Nord 33000, Fès, Maroc
Fes, MO Morocco
phone: +21235645226
web: www.lesmerinides.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable TV, direct phone line, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, and Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: The Merinides Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hours room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Euro 246,17
The rates for the Executive room (1 double bed) MAD 2730 (EUR 246,17) per room, per night. Breakfast excluded and Tax included). * Rates subject to change

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, March 15 - Arrival Morocco
Arrive To: Group arrival in Rabat Sale-Airport. Program Orientation at the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning in Rabat. Departure to Fes.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Merinides

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: Located on the heights of the oldest city Fes, the Merinides Hotel is a few minutes walking distance from the Merinides dynasty tombs and other main sites to be visited during the program. Its proximity to Al Karaouiyine Mosque, Dar Batha Museum, the Andalusians mosque and the Thermal baths of Moulay Yacoub contribute to make of Merinides Hotel an address of charm for a stay for discovering and relaxation.

Contact info:
Borj Nord 33000, Fès, Maroc
Fes, MO Morocco
phone: +21235645226
web: www.lesmerinides.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable TV, direct phone line, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, and Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: The Merinides Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hours room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Euro 246,17
The rates for the Executive room (1 double bed) MAD 2730 (EUR 246,17) per room, per night. Breakfast excluded and Tax included). * Rates subject to change

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Monday, March 16 - Learn from university professors, experts, activi...
Learn from university professors, experts, activists, artists and researchers about themes related to spirituality, religiosity and daily life in Morocco

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy two introductory lectures, "Islam & Politics in Morocco" and "The Spirit of Fes through Women’s Narratives."

Lunch: At a restaurant.

Afternoon: Founded in the ninth century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fes reached its height in the 13th and 14th centuries when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. Experience an expert-led exploration of the urban fabric and principal monuments in the medina — madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains — that date from this period. Make your way through the narrow streets and alleys, exploring the oldest Islamic Arab architecture in Morocco, the Medersa, the Foundouq museum and the tanneries. Walk past the mausoleum where the founder of the first Islamic dynasty in Morocco is buried, as well as the Qaraouyine Mosque that was built by a woman in the ninth century.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Merinides

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: Located on the heights of the oldest city Fes, the Merinides Hotel is a few minutes walking distance from the Merinides dynasty tombs and other main sites to be visited during the program. Its proximity to Al Karaouiyine Mosque, Dar Batha Museum, the Andalusians mosque and the Thermal baths of Moulay Yacoub contribute to make of Merinides Hotel an address of charm for a stay for discovering and relaxation.

Contact info:
Borj Nord 33000, Fès, Maroc
Fes, MO Morocco
phone: +21235645226
web: www.lesmerinides.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable TV, direct phone line, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, and Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: The Merinides Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hours room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Euro 246,17
The rates for the Executive room (1 double bed) MAD 2730 (EUR 246,17) per room, per night. Breakfast excluded and Tax included). * Rates subject to change

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Four: Tuesday, March 17 - Explore Volubilis and the Town of Moulay Idriss
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Combine a group departure to Volubilis with a lecture, "Agriculture in Morocco." Volubilis is the site of the largest and best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Dating largely from the second and third centuries, excavations have revealed that the site was originally settled by Carthaginian traders even earlier. At its peak, it is estimated that the city housed up to 20,000 people. Gain an understanding of why Islam succeeded in Morocco and why Christianity and the Roman culture left so little impact on Morocco.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit the town of Moulay Idriss, which is named after the Prophet Mohammed’s great grandson, who is considered the country's most revered saint. He came to Morocco from Mecca in the late eighth century, settled at Volubilis and converted the locals to Islam. He became their leader and also established Morocco's first imperial dynasty. Moulay Idriss is considered the holiest town in Morocco with the shrine of this saint causing it to be the location of the largest pilgrimage in the country as the town fills with Moroccans of all walks of life for the annual moussem in late August.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Merinides

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: Located on the heights of the oldest city Fes, the Merinides Hotel is a few minutes walking distance from the Merinides dynasty tombs and other main sites to be visited during the program. Its proximity to Al Karaouiyine Mosque, Dar Batha Museum, the Andalusians mosque and the Thermal baths of Moulay Yacoub contribute to make of Merinides Hotel an address of charm for a stay for discovering and relaxation.

Contact info:
Borj Nord 33000, Fès, Maroc
Fes, MO Morocco
phone: +21235645226
web: www.lesmerinides.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable TV, direct phone line, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, and Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: The Merinides Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hours room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Euro 246,17
The rates for the Executive room (1 double bed) MAD 2730 (EUR 246,17) per room, per night. Breakfast excluded and Tax included). * Rates subject to change

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Five: Wednesday, March 18 - Stroll through the food market of Fes on a shoppi...
Stroll through the food market of Fes on a shopping spree before our Moroccan cooking session and gain an up-close perspective on Moroccan cuisine.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Learn how to prepare Moroccan cuisine in Fes, considered the capital of Moroccan fine and delicate cooking. Begin with a grocery trip to the local souk, where participants will buy fresh ingredients and spices. The cooking lesson takes place at a Riad, a traditional Moroccan home, which has been restored to a beautiful guest house. Learn from a renowned chef who has been at the helm of the kitchens of some of Fes' best restaurants.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon, perhaps choosing to continue exploring Fes, the second-largest city of Morocco with a population of approximately 1 million. It has been called the “Mecca of the West” and the “Athens of Africa.” There is much to experience in Fes el Bali, the oldest walled part of Fes that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. It is believed to be the biggest car-free urban area in the world.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Merinides

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: Located on the heights of the oldest city Fes, the Merinides Hotel is a few minutes walking distance from the Merinides dynasty tombs and other main sites to be visited during the program. Its proximity to Al Karaouiyine Mosque, Dar Batha Museum, the Andalusians mosque and the Thermal baths of Moulay Yacoub contribute to make of Merinides Hotel an address of charm for a stay for discovering and relaxation.

Contact info:
Borj Nord 33000, Fès, Maroc
Fes, MO Morocco
phone: +21235645226
web: www.lesmerinides.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable TV, direct phone line, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, and Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: The Merinides Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hours room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Euro 246,17
The rates for the Executive room (1 double bed) MAD 2730 (EUR 246,17) per room, per night. Breakfast excluded and Tax included). * Rates subject to change

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Six: Thursday, March 19 - A lecture on Islamic architecture will be held in...
A lecture on Islamic architecture will be held in the heart of the oldest continuously functioning university in the world, Al Quaraouiyine.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Visit the University of Al-Karaouine, the oldest continually functioning university in the world. Discuss art and spirituality in Morocco during a lesson at the historic Bou Inania Madrasa.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Delight in a Malhoun musical performance led by a female singer that demonstrates the artistic combination of Andalusian music and melodic, medieval Moroccan poetry.

Lodging: Hotel Merinides

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Chems of Beni Mellal is located in a priviliged position offering stunning vistas of the middle Atlas mountains, yet in close proximity to the bustling city of Beni Mellal.

Contact info:
Route de Marrakech, Beni mellal
Beni Mellal, MO Morocco
phone: + 212 5 23.48.34.60
web: www.hotelchems.com

Room amenities: Air Conditioned, Cable / Satellite TV, Direct dial phone,

Facility amenities: 80 Rooms plus 2 suites all with bathroom and toilet, air-conditioning, mini bar and television. The beautifully landscaped gardens and olive groves are a perfect place to relax, or for the more adventurous, organized excursion or tennis, mountain

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Friday, March 20 - Explore a rural weekly market with its ancestralw...
Explore a rural weekly market with its ancestralways of healing, trading and socializing

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart for Beni Mellal via Khenifra in the heart of the Atlas Mountains and visit a rural weekly market, called a souk, where villagers come to shop, trade, socialize, and visit a doctor or healer. Traditionally ancestral, souks are evolving to include contemporary consumable products and services.

Lunch: In Khenifra.

Afternoon: Arrive in the inland trading city of Beni Mellal, at the foot of Mount Tassemit and next to the plains of Beni Amir. The walls of the city of 163,000 date to 1688, but most of the city is quite modern and is an important economic center for the region. Textile manufacturing is the backbone, but local agricultural products such as oranges, olives and figs find their way to market via Beni Mellal.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy an Ahidous performance, a traditional dance performed by Berber tribes from the Atlas Mountains in which men and women, side by side, dance in soft and undulating rounds, accompanied by singing punctuated by bendir instrument (a small drum). The choreography of Ahidous brings the community together in order to “speak” and sing the issues of daily life, be it social, economical or political.

Lodging: Hotel Chems

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: In the heart of the most elegant part of town, the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa is where you find the fashionable luxury boutiques, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants. The hotel is a short walk from the Jema El Fna square and 10 mins from the airport.

Contact info:
Rue Harroun Errachid Quartier de l hivernage 40000 MARRAKECH,
Marrakech, MO Morocco
phone: +212524425600
web: www.Sofitel.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable television, direct phone line in room, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wifi, Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: Sofitel Marrakech Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hour room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, the hotel provides a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Saturday, March 21 - Explore Marrakech, a merging agora for diverse cu...
Explore Marrakech, a merging agora for diverse cultures and the heart of Southern Morocco with its African colors, Berber (Amazighi) origin and human warmth.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart to Marrakech, Morocco’s fourth-largest city after Casablanca, Fes and Rabat. Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakesh comprises both an old fortified city packed with many people working in stalls — the medina — and modern neighborhoods, the most prominent of which is Gueliz. Near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and a few hours from the foot of the Sahara Desert, its name originates from the Berber words mur (n) akush, which means “Land of God.”

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to begin your fascinating orientation to Marrakech.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Sofitel Lange and Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: In the heart of the most elegant part of town, the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa is where you find the fashionable luxury boutiques, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants. The hotel is a short walk from the Jema El Fna square and 10 mins from the airport.

Contact info:
Rue Harroun Errachid Quartier de l hivernage 40000 MARRAKECH,
Marrakech, MO Morocco
phone: +212524425600
web: www.Sofitel.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable television, direct phone line in room, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wifi, Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: Sofitel Marrakech Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hour room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, the hotel provides a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Sunday, March 22 - Experience the Koutoubia mosque and the fascinati...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Begin today’s exploration of Marrakech in the Djemaa el Fna square viewing the Koutoubia mosque — dating to 1200 — whose beautiful minaret rises nearly 70 meters and can be seen from much of the city. Then experience the 16th-century Saadian Tombs, resting place of Saadian Sultan Ahmed el-Mansour ed-Dahbi, whose tastes included imported Italian marble and archways gilded with pure gold. The tombs lay hidden and mostly forgotten until 1917, when they were discovered during an aerial survey.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon, perhaps visiting the Museum of Marrakech, housed in the 19th-century Dar Menebhi Palace. Carefully restored by the Omar Benjelloun Foundation in 1997, the museum holds exhibits of both modern and traditional Moroccan art, as well as fine examples of historical books, coins and pottery of Moroccan Jewish, Berber and Arab cultures.

Dinner: On your own

Lodging: Hotel Sofitel Lange and Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: In the heart of the most elegant part of town, the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa is where you find the fashionable luxury boutiques, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants. The hotel is a short walk from the Jema El Fna square and 10 mins from the airport.

Contact info:
Rue Harroun Errachid Quartier de l hivernage 40000 MARRAKECH,
Marrakech, MO Morocco
phone: +212524425600
web: www.Sofitel.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable television, direct phone line in room, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wifi, Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: Sofitel Marrakech Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hour room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, the hotel provides a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Monday, March 23 - Visit the village of Aghmat, an exceptional arche...
Visit the village of Aghmat, an exceptional archeological site in the suburbs of Marrakech, and interact with local residents and site excavators

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart for the archaeological site of Aghmat, 30 kilometers southeast of Marakech. As you interact with site excavators and local residents, learn how Aghmat was built around a former Arab Andalusian king (Mouatamid Bnou Abbad) who had been exiled from Sevilla in southern Spain to the south of Morocco until his death. Aghmat was an important city for routes through the Atlas Mountains on the trans Saharan trade. Locals detail how such a site intertwines with the reality of the inhabitants.

Lunch: Experience a lunch with locals.

Afternoon: Return to Marrakech.

Dinner: On your own.

Lodging: Hotel Sofitel Lange and Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Description: In the heart of the most elegant part of town, the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa is where you find the fashionable luxury boutiques, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants. The hotel is a short walk from the Jema El Fna square and 10 mins from the airport.

Contact info:
Rue Harroun Errachid Quartier de l hivernage 40000 MARRAKECH,
Marrakech, MO Morocco
phone: +212524425600
web: www.Sofitel.com

Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, Cable television, direct phone line in room, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wifi, Safety deposit box

Facility amenities: Sofitel Marrakech Hotel provides a wide range of facilities: 24-hour room service, dry cleaning, a foreign currency exchange, a hairdresser, boutiques, car rental, the hotel provides a gym and a dedicated area for sauna and massage.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eleven: Tuesday, March 24 - Expert-led Explorations of Marrakech Gardens
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Experience an expert-led visit to two renowned, enchanting gardens — beginning with the Majorell Gardens, home to French artist Jacques Majorelles in the 1920s. Majorelles built houses on the property and surrounded them with pools, banana trees, coconut palms and bougainvilleas. Later, the French couturier Yves Saint-Laurent bought the property and transformed part of it into a private museum of North African artifacts and opened the garden to the public. Then continue to Menara Gardens, a 16th-century pavilion surrounded by an immense, ornamental lake. This idyllic setting has offered a pleasant escape from Marrakech to its inhabitants for centuries.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner and a musical performance at Soulayman Palace.

Lodging: Hotel Sofitel Lange and Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Ibis Moussafir Casablance City Center hotel is a newly opened hotel in the heart of Casablanca. Its unique features are it proximity to the old medina, and its location by the main train station in Casablanca casa-Port. Its is also located 30 minutes away from Mohamed V airport and is a short distance from the sea shore, the old downtown, business district, Hassan II mosque, shopping centers, musems and the port

Contact info:
Angle rue Zaid Ouhmad
Casablanca, Morocco
phone: +212 22 466560
Facility amenities: air conditioning, cable TV, direct dial phone, hair dryer, wake-up call, mini-bar, safety deposit box, voice mail, and offers non-smoking rooms. The hotel offers internet wi-fi connection, a nice restaurant, a bar and offers a 24-hour service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: US$ 100
rate subject to change

Check out time: 11:30 AM

Day Twelve: Wednesday, March 25 - Visit the Elegant Bahia Palace and the Renowned H...
Visit the Elegant Bahia Palace and the Renowned Hotel/Palace la Mamounia

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, explore the Bahia Palace and gardens, built in the late-19th century and intended to be the greatest palace of its time — the name means “brilliance.” As the black slave Abu Ahmed rose to power and wealth, he had the Bahia palace built by bringing in craftsmen from Fez. The structures tell a lot about the taste of the nouveau-riche of its time. Continue to the la Mamounia Hotel — an elegant palace that is a mythical landmark of the city. It faces the Atlas mountains and is at the heart of the old city of Marrakech. It is owned by the railways (ONCF), the city of Marrakech and the "caisse des dépôts Moroccain." Winston Churchill loved to winter here and the daughter of Russian Prime Miniester Vladimir Putin was married here in January 2013.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Departure to Casablanca

Dinner: Check-in at the hotel. Farewell dinner.

Lodging: Ibis Casa City Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Thirteen: Thursday, March 26 - Departure Day
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Group departure to Mohamed V Airport, Casablanca.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
24 meals: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 5 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
3 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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