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Friends of Morocco
Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Books and Writings

    Ben Jelloun and His Morocco.
Hasonah AlMesbahi, Arab News Staff
The story "AlHamam" ("The Baths"), is one of the most beautiful stories in the Moroccan writer AlTahar Ben Jelloun's new collection, "Amours Sorcieres." "What most great writers do is to draw from the reality a background on which they draw everything incredible, from ecstasy of the world to the craziness of people. What writers see is difficult for others to see. Or they refuse to see ...............

    The New Mass Media and the Shaping of Amazigh Identity
By Dr. Amar Almasude
First, this paper describes the Amazigh people of North Africa and threats to their language and culture from schooling and the domination of AraboIslamic ideology........... Chapter 10 of Revitalizing Indigenous Languages, edited by Jon Reyhner, Gina Cantoni, Robert N. St. Clair, and Evangeline Parsons Yazzie (pp. 117128). Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. Copyright 1999 by Northern Arizona University.

    Press Freedom in Morocco Set Back by Journalist Jailing
(Washington D.C., June 18, 2003)
The affirmation Tuesday of a 3year prison term for journalist Ali Mrabet is a grave blow to press freedom in Morocco, Human Rights Watch said today. A Rabat appeals court upheld a lower court verdict that also banned the independent weeklies that Mrabet directs, Demain and its Arabic sister Douman.

   The Sahara unveiled Valley of the Casbahs: A Journey Across the Moroccan Sahara by Jeffrey Tayler 352pp, Little, Brown, 16.99
Matthew Collin discovers much more than sand dunes in Valley of the Casbahs by Jeffrey Tayler and Sahara by Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle 
Saturday April 12, 2003  The Guardian 

Jeffrey Tayler succumbed to the mystique of the Sahara long before he ever visited it. As a young student of Arabic, he dreamed of shimmering dunes and inscrutable Bedouin, and of following the caravan route of the postwar British explorer and writer Wilfred Thesiger. But his first sight of the desert was less idyllic than he had imagined he got lost and almost died of thirst. Nevertheless, he returned, beguiled by accounts of the Dra Valley, an ancient trading path stretching hundreds of miles across the Moroccan Sahara to the Atlantic

   Article on the Guardian on a new book by RPCV who served in Morocco ('88'90), Jeff Taylor (Valley of the Casbahs). You can read more about Jeff on this RPCV Wrtiers and Readers newsletter page:

    A Yank in northwest Africa
(Filed: 02/02/2003)
Max Hastings reviews An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, 19421943 by Rick Atkinson The torch landings on the coasts of Algeria and Morocco in November 1942 brought American armies to grips with the Germans for the first time in the Second World War. Six months later, almost 300,000 Axis troops surrendered to the Allies in Tunisia. The British have always been inclined to regard the NorthWest African campaign as a sideshow, an afterthought to the Eighth Army's desert drive from El Alamein.

    Books: The lie of the sand Sahara: The life of the great desert
By Marq De Villiers and Sheila Hirtle (HarperCollins, 16.99) Reviewed by George Rosie
Shedding light on that great historical/ geographical mystery is what this new book by Marq De Villiers and Sheila Hirtle is all about. If nothing else, it's a reminder of the sheer size of the Sahara region. It stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. It touches no fewer than 10 countries: Western Sahara, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Tunisia, Libya, Chad, Egypt and Sudan. And far from being an ocean of undulating sand it contains some of the most spectacularly shaped mountains on earth, one of which reaches more than 9500ft (almost twice the height of Ben Nevis)....

    Grand tours: Paul Bowles travels back in time in Morocco Out in the desert, armed to the teeth
07 July 2002
Sex, drugs, fantasies and the machinery of derangement" the preoccupations of the writer Paul Bowles are well known, as is his connection to Morocco and the Sahara. Indeed, Bowles is to north Africa what Byron was to Greece: he lived in Tangier for most of his life,

    Tangier's Long-Distance Man
By Geoffrey Moorhouse August 25, 2002, 
Sunday BOOK REVIEW DESK  TRAVELS WITH A TANGERINE: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah.
By Tim Mackintosh-Smith.  Illustrated by Martin Yeoman.  351 pp. New York:  Welcome Rain Publishers. $30.
THERE'S little doubt that Ibn Battutah was, and remains, the greatest traveler of all time. He left his home in Tangier (whose inhabitants are, as the title of Tim Mackintosh-Smith's new book reminds us, called Tangerines) in 1325, at the age of 21, and over the next 29 years journeyed some.......

   Up Above the World: Remembering Paul Bowles. An interview with Paul Bowles
by Phillip Ramey. Published May 15 - 21, 1998

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