Olive and juniper trees, honeysuckle and lavender, emperor dragonflies. Caucasian tree frogs and magpies - Mediterranean species all - can be found in the cool, well-watered.
Water birds and a few lucky golfers share the fairways at the Dar Es Salaam Golf Club in Rabat, whose challenging courses are among the most beautiful in the world - and among the most accessible to visiting players.
Opinions impervious to change were often among the baggage of 19th-century European travelers to the Middle East. Those opinions were often aired in gripping - and inventive - travel accounts.
Within months of the invention of their profession in 1839, photographers flocked to Egypt to record its wonders. Rephotographing the same scenes today points up the changes that have taken place - and those that haven't.
"The world was our community," said one old grad, expressing the role that an unusual high school has played in the lives of its accomplished alumni - and in the shape of Americans' involvement in the Middle East.
To be a young expatriate teacher at ACS two decades ago was a "glorious and enriching" experience. For teachers no less than for students, the school and the city it was part of shaped not only careers - but also lives.