Book clubs are a big thing in a lot of cultures. Sadly this is not so true in Morocco. Nidal Chebbak is Morocco World News’ correspondent in Fez, Morocco and she reports on a very positive development in Fez.
I met Souad Belhorma last year when we were collaborating in associative activities. Souad is currently a PhD student, at Center of Women and Gender Studies, in Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University in Fez. She has always had a project in mind to develop the habit of reading books among young people in her city, Fez. The idea was a book club where a group of people can read and discuss a book each month.
First of all, she created a Facebook group page in June 2011 entitled The Fez’ Book Club, Reading Club and Book Discussion. According to Souad, the club is “a Facebook-based group where members can interact with each other. The selection of the book to-be-discussed goes under a system of suggestion and vote by the members themselves. The book that gets the highest rate, regardless of its language, whether Arabic, French or English is the one to be read and discussed. At the beginning, our meetings took place at Café clock, a cultural café in Medina of Fez. Two months later, the American language Center of Fez offered us its space to organize our reading and discussion activities.”
The Fez’ Book Club creates a space for book lovers to read, share ideas and discuss books. It’s a great opportunity and an initiative that was lacking in the intellectual sphere of Fez as the Spiritual and Educational capital of Morocco. Souad describes the group as being “a public reading club which includes a number of readers who actively engage and participate in reading and discussing different genres of books, from different disciplines, different cultures and in different languages.”
The book club has organized four book discussions about the following books
1- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho ( July 2011)
2- The Awakening by Kate Chopin (August2011)
3- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss ( September 2011)
4- Seven Wives and Seven Prisoners or Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Maniac. By Abbott, L. A ( November 2011)
5- The Sand Child by Taher Benjelloun (will be discussed December 24, 2011)
Email: Fezbookclub@ gmail.com
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