The American Language Center bookshop in the Ville Nouvelle is situated at 2 Ave Ahmed Hiba, (just ask the taxi driver for the "American Centre"). While the shop has text books for the students at the Arabic Language Institute, and carries a range of dictionaries and some books for the Moroccan students learning English, the range of other books is impressive.
There are some handsome photographic books on Moroccan architecture and design,as well as wonderful cookbooks. The shop focuses on books about Morocco such as Edith Wharton's In Morocco, Fatima Mernissi's Dreams of Trespass, Peter Mayne's A Year in Marrakech, Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky and some of his short stories, and has some non-fiction by writers such as Fatima Sadiqi. Books written in English by Arab writers are also represented. Thankfully, with the expansion of titles, there is now a Paul (and Jane) Bowles section. There is also an interesting selection of modern fiction that will make perfect reading during the hot weeks ahead.
Ahmad al-Mansur: The Beginnings of Modern Morocco
Author: Mercedes Garcia-Arenal
Price: 330 dhs
Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603) was one of the most important rulers in the history of Morocco, which to this day bears the mark of his twenty-five year rule in the sixteenth century. Though famed for his cunning diplomacy in the power struggle over the Mediterranean, and his allegiance with Britain against Spain in the conquest for the newly discovered Americas, he was more than a political and military tactician. A descendent of the Prophet Muhammad himself, al-Mansur was a charismatic religious authority with ambitions to become Caliph and ruler of all Muslims. Spanning four continents, Dr. Garcia-Arenal places this fascinating figure in a context of political intrigue, discovery and military conquest. With insightful analysis, a glossary and a guide to further reading, this book is the ideal introduction to a multifaceted figure that fully deserves the epithet “Maker of the Muslim World”.
The Arab Spring
Author: Toby Manhire
Publisher: The Guardian
Price: 125 dhs
Spontaneous, unforeseen and contagious, the uprisings of the Arab Spring took everyone – participants included – by surprise. Like revolutions in other times and places, they seemed impossible beforehand and inevitable afterwards. The Guardian has been running, often breathlessly, to follow the story and to explain it ever since. This is a tale of many chapters, told by the journalists, bloggers and citizens who have lived through this incredible time.
The Moroccan Soul: French Education, Colonial Ethnology, and Muslim Resistance, 1912-1956
Author: Spencer D. Segalla
Price: 330 dhs
Before French conquest, education played an important role in Moroccan society as a means of cultural reproduction and as a form of cultural capital that defined a person’s social position. Primarily religious and legal in character, the Moroccan educational system did not pursue European educational ideals. Following the French conquest of Morocco, however, the French established a network of colonial schools for Moroccan Muslims designed to further the agendas of the conquerors. The Moroccan Soul examines the history of the French education system in colonial Morocco, the development of French conceptions about the “Moroccan Soul,” and the effect of these ideas on pedagogy, policy making, and politics. Spencer D. Segalla also reveals how the resistance of the colonized shaped the ideas and policies of the school system and how French ideas and policies shaped the strategies and discourse of anticolonial resistance.
Unveiling Traditions: Postcolonial Islam in a Polycentric World
Author: Anouar Majid
Publisher: Duke University Press
Price: 210 dhs
In Unveiling Traditions Anouar Majid issues a challenge to the West to reimagine Islam as a progressive world culture and a participant in the building of a multicultural and more egalitarian world civilization. From within the highly secularized space it inhabits, a space endemically suspicious of religion, the West must find a way, writes Majid, to embrace Islamic societies as partners in building a more inclusive and culturally diverse global community.
“An important book. Coming from a different intellectual perspective, Majid qualifies and expands the ordinary terms of postcolonial discourse and he does so from a genuinely international intellectual position. There are few academics writing today who draw on the cultural and literary range that Majid does here.”—Leila N. Ahmed, author of Women and Gender in Islam.