Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Book Club in Fez Explores Andalusian Heritage

Andalusian Links book club is starting for those interested in exploring the historical and cultural links between Morocco and Spain - evidenced by the Andalusian heritage shared on both sides of the Mediterranean

Amin Maalouf, whose work will be covered by the new Andalusian Links book club

Founders of the new book club, Zainab Cheema and Cristina Soto Bechet, invite you to come along and discover the fascinating legacy of Andalusian culture and how "Spain of the three religions"produced an intellectual, cultural and artistic flowering that is still admired today.

Andalusian Links book club members will select one book to read for each monthly meeting, which will serve as the basis for discussion.

Cristina says, "As well as exploring this legacy, we will learn how these cross-cultural intersections are reflected in Spain and Morocco's contemporary social and political issues. We plan to invite featured speakers, musicians, and artists to present to the group from their expertise; and to supplement the readings with documentaries and other multimedia sources."

Zainab Cheema
 The first book will be French Lebanese novelist and poet Amin Maalouf's On Identity, which showcases some of the key ideas that the club will explore in the Andalusian context: how identity is shaped in the cross hairs of conflict and cultural plurality

.Zainab Cheema and Cristina Soto Bechet are both residents of Fez who are fascinated with life in the old medina. Discussions of their common interests have inspired them to delve deeper into this subject.

As a Fulbright student from the University of Texas at Austin, Zainab explores the lyrics and poetry that Andalusian exiles brought with them to the Maghreb following the Spanish Reconquista.

Cristina Soto Bechet

Cristina is a community organizer from San Diego, who has been teaching the English language in Spain and Morocco over the past 7 years. She traces her roots to a Spain deeply influenced by Arabic culture.

The meetings will be held in English, on the last Wednesday of each month, at a location yet to be decided. Participants who are willing to contribute to an engaged, intellectually stimulating dialogue are invited.

If you are interested in participating in Andalusian Links, please send an email to for further information.

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments: