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20739
Morocco

The Best of Morocco: Ancient Medinas to Modern Identity

Gain a comprehensive understanding of Morocco, from sacred monuments to vibrant bazaars, with experts and on independent explorations to learn the story of this ancient land.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20739RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
4,599
Morocco

The Best of Morocco: Ancient Medinas to Modern Identity

Gain a comprehensive understanding of Morocco, from sacred monuments to vibrant bazaars, with experts and on independent explorations to learn the story of this ancient land.
Length
13 days
Starts at
4,599
Program No. 20739 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

No country conjures up images of ancient medinas and bustling bazaars, evokes the smell of mint tea and spices, or touches the spirit with the sound of the muezzin’s call to prayer like Morocco. From the sacred fountains and medieval souks of Fes, follow the ancient caravan routes to the trading city of Beni Mellal and then on to magical and mysterious Marrakech. Along the way university professors, Islamic scholars, activists and local experts illuminate Morocco’s captivating history, spirituality and modern identity as it strives to play its part in the world today.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn about Islamic architecture in the heart of the oldest continuously functioning university in the world, Al Quaraouiyine.
  • Walk the food market of Fes before our Moroccan cooking session, and gain an up-close perspective on Moroccan cuisine.
  • Experience the mosques, palaces, gardens and markets of fabled Marrakech on expert-led excursions and independently.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Searching for a Different Future: The Rise of a Global Middle Class in Morocco,
by Shana Cohen
By examining how neo-liberal economic reform policies have affected educated young adults in contemporary Morocco, "Searching for a Different Future" posits a new socio-economic formation: the global middle class. During Morocco's postcolonial period, from the 1950s through the 1970s, development policy and nationalist ideology supported the formation of a middle class based on the pursuit of education, employment, and material security.Neo-liberal reforms adopted by Morocco since the early 1980s have significantly eroded the capacity of the state to nurture the middle class, and unemployment and temporary employment among educated adults has grown. There is no longer an obvious correlation between the best interests of the state and those of the middle-class worker. As Shana Cohen demonstrates, educated young adults in Morocco do not look toward the state for economic security and fulfillment but toward the diffuse, amorphous global market. Please check : www.amazon.com
Moroccan Islam
by Dale Eickelman
Morocco: The Islamic Awakening and Other Challenges
by Marvine Howe
In Morocco, Marvine Howe, a former correspondent for The New York Times, presents an incisive and comprehensive review of the Moroccan kingdom and its people, past and present. She provides a vivid and frank portrait of late King Hassan, whom she knew personally and credits with laying the foundations of a modern, pro-Western state and analyzes the pressures his successor, King Mohammed VI has come under to transform the autocratic monarchy into a full-fledged democracy. Howe addresses emerging issues and problems--equal rights for women, elimination of corruption and correction of glaring economic and social disparities—a nd asks the fundamental question: can this ancient Muslim kingdom embrace western democracy in an era of deepening divisions between the Islamic world and the West? Please check : www.amazon.com
Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism
by Vincent J, Cornell
In premodern Moroccan Sufism, sainthood involved not only a closeness to the Divine presence (walaya) but also the exercise of worldly authority (wilaya). The Moroccan Jazuliyya Sufi order used the doctrine that the saint was a "substitute of the prophets" and personification of a universal "Muhammadan Reality" to justify nearly one hundred years of Sufi involvement in Moroccan political life, which led to the creation of the sharifian state. This book presents a systematic history of Moroccan Sufism through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries C.E. and a comprehensive study of Moroccan Sufi doctrine, focusing on the concept of sainthood. Vincent J. Cornell engages in a sociohistorical analysis of Sufi institutions, a critical examination of hagiography as a source for history, a study of the Sufi model of sainthood in relation to social and political life, and a sociological analysis of more than three hundred biographies of saints. He concludes by identifying eight indigenous ideal types of saint that are linked to specific forms of authority. Taken together, they define sainthood as a socioreligious institution in Morocco. Please check : www.amazon.com
Gender in the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition
by Deborah Kapchan
Gender on the Market is a study of Moroccan women's expressive culture and the ways in which it both determines and responds to current transformations in gender roles. Beginning with women's emergence into what has been defined as the most paradigmatic of Moroccan male institutions—the marketplace—the book elucidates how gender and commodity relations are experienced and interpreted in women's aesthetic practices. Deborah Kapchan compellingly demonstrates that Moroccan women challenge some of the most basic cultural assumptions of their society—especially ones concerning power and authority. Please check : www.amazon.com
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
by Laila Lalami
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits marks the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction. Laila Lalami evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain.What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future. Please check : www.amazon.com
Islamism and Secularism in North Africa
by John Ruedy
This book provides an excellent handbook to the Islamic movements in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya and fills a major gap in the scholarship on Islam and the Arab West Please check : www.amazon.com
Mystical Dimensions OF Islam
by Annemarie Schimmel
Mystical Dimensions of Islam presents, for the first time, a balanced historical treatment of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism—Islamic mysticism—from its beginnings through the nineteenth century. Through her sensitivity and deep understanding of the subject, Annemarie Schimmel, an eminent scholar of Eastern religions, draws the reader into the mood, the vision, the way of the Sufi in a manner that adds an essential ingredient to her analysis of the history of Sufism. After exploring the origins of the mystical movement in the meditations of orthodox Muslims on the Koran and the prophetic tradition, the author then discusses the development of its different stages, including classical voluntarism and postclassical theosophical mystical trends. Particular emphasis is placed on spiritual education, the different ways of leading the mystic toward the existential realization of the profound mystery of the profession of faith that "there is no deity but God." Sufi psychology and Sufi orders and fraternities are comprehensively explored. Through an examination of mystical anthropology, which culminates in the veneration of the prophet and the saints, the questions of free will and predestination, of good and evil, are implied. The main burden of the text, however, is Sufism as reflected in Islamic poetry, and Professor Schimmel examines the various aspects of mystical poetry in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sindhi, Panjabi, and Pashto. The author skillfully demonstrates how Sufi ideals permeated the whole fabric of Muslim life, providing the average Muslim—villager or intellectual—with the virtues of perfect trust in God and the loving surrender to God's will. Please check : www.amazon.com
Covering Islam
by Edward Said.
From the Iranian hostage crisis through the Gulf War and the bombing of the World Trade Center, the American news media have portrayed "Islam" as a monolithic entity, synonymous with terrorism and religious hysteria. In this classic work, now updated, the author of Culture and Imperialism reveals the hidden agendas and distortions of fact that underlie even the most "objective" coverage of the Islamic world. Please check : www.amazon.com
Cooking at the Kasabah,
by Kitty Morse
Moroccan food features the delicious flavors and health benefits of other Mediterranean cuisines, but tantalizes the senses with its own unique combinations of spices and simple ingredients. Grilled meats, vegetable or fruit tagines (stews), delicately spiced salads, couscous, and sweet or savory pastries are its hallmarks. Kitty Morse, who grew up in Casablanca, brings to this new book fascinating details about life and food in Morocco. Her approach to this exotic culinary tradition is surprisingly accessible yet authentic. With Morse's easy, step-by-step recipes and time-saving tips, any cook can create exquisite Moroccan flavors. On-location photos taken by the author's husband together with Laurie Smith's luscious stills create a beautiful insider's look at an intriguing cuisine and culture. Please check : www.amazon.com
Morocco: Globalization and its Consequences,
by Shana Cohen and Jarbi Jaidi,
Cohen and Jaidi trace the development of contemporary Morocco in the Islamic world of North Africa, which is currently at the forefront of the clash between Western-style development and the politicized Islam that now pervades the Arab world. By applying globalization theory to detailed accounts of everyday life in an Arab society, the book is uniquely suited to students. Morocco in particular is a good place to look at this extremely important confrontation. It is among the most liberalized Islamic states, yet it is also in the midst of a revival of politicized Islam, which has its own globalizing agenda. The authors detail how this clash pervades Moroccan culture and society, and what it can tell us about the effects of globalization on the Arab world. Morocco is extremely close to the West in terms of physical proximity, and it is a favoured spot for Western tourists. Yet its closest neighbours in social terms are Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, all of which have directly experienced the effects of politicized Islam in the last quarter century. Please check : www.amazon.com
The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco, Susan Slymovics
by Susan Slyomovics-
Since independence in 1956, large numbers of Moroccans have been forcibly disappeared, tortured, and imprisoned. Morocco's uncovering and acknowledging of these past human rights abuses are complicated and revealing processes. A community of human rights activists, many of them survivors of human rights violations, are attempting to reconstruct the past and explain what truly happened. What are the difficulties in presenting any event whose central content is individual pain when any corroborating police or governmental documentation is denied or absent? Susan Slyomovics argues that funerals, eulogies, mock trials, vigils and sit-ins, public testimony and witnessing, storytelling and poetry recitals are performances of human rights and strategies for opening public space in Morocco. The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco is a unique distillation of politics, anthropology, and performance studies, offering both a clear picture of the present state of human rights and a vision of a possible future for public protest and dissidence in Morocco. Please check : www.amazon.com
The Land of Veiled Women ; Some Wandering in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco,
by Fraser, John Foster, Sir
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. Please check : www.amazon.com
Politics and Culture in Morocco,
by John p. Entelis
A Street in Marrakech
by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
This is a reflexive account of an American woman and her family's unpredictable journey through the private and public worlds of a traditional Muslim city in the process of change. As a Western stranger in Marrakech, Fernea was met with suspicion and hostility. The story of the slow growth of trust and acceptance between the author and her Moroccan neighbors involves the reader in everyday activities, weddings, funerals, and women's rituals. Both the author and her friends are changed by the encounters that she describes. A Street in Marrakech is a crosscultural adventure, ethnographically sound, and written in an accessible style. Please check : www.amazon.com
Islamic Art and Spirituality,
by Seyyed Hossein Nasr ,
In and out of Morocco: Smuggling and Migration in a Frontier Boomtown,
by David a. Mcmurray
Every summer for almost forty years, tens of thousands of Moroccan emigrants from as far away as Norway and Germany have descended on the duty-free smugglers' cove/migrant frontier boomtown of Nador, Morocco. David McMurray investigates the local effects of the multiple linkages between Nador and international commodity circuits, and analyzes the profound effect on everyday life of the free flow of bodies, ideas, and commodities into and out of the region. Combining immigration and population statistics with street-level ethnography, In and Out of Morocco covers a wide range of topics, including the origin and nature of immigrant nostalgia, the historical evolution of the music of migration in the region, and the influence of migrant wealth on social distinctions in Nador. Groundbreaking in its attention to the performative aspects of life in a smuggling border zone, the book also analyzes the way in which both migration and smuggling have affected local structures of feeling by contributing to the spread of hyperconsumption. The result is a rare and revealing inquiry into how the global culture is lived locally. Please check : www.amazon.com
Islamic Art and Literature,
by Oleg Grabar and Cynthia Robinson
Edited by Oleg Grabar, one of the leading experts in Islamic art history, along with Cynthia Robinson, this book breaks new ground in the field of Middle Eastern art history. While illuminated manuscripts from Persia and the Arab world are outstanding masterpieces of art, only recent scholarship in Islamic visual culture includes written sources in its consideration of the relationships between the textual and visual worlds. Likewise, scholars of Arabic and Persian literature have become aware of the comparative and interpretive possibilities contained within visual sources. Nevertheless, separation between the two fields of inquiry remains prevalent. These six essays--three by art historians and three by specialists in Arabic and Persian literature--examine specific instances in which texts and images which would seem to have been intended as one cultural product have traditionally been studied separately. Each essay reunites visual and written or oral products in order to evaluate the mechanisms through which written (or spoke) texts and the images produced in conjunction with them operate in precise contexts. The essays are enhanced with beautiful illustrations selected by the contributors. Please check : www.amazon.com
A house in fez: Building a life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco,
by Suzanna Clarke
The Medina -- the Old City -- of Fez is the best-preserved, medieval walled city in the world. Inside this vibrant Moroccan community, internet cafes and mobile phones coexist with a maze of donkey-trod alleyways, thousand-year-old sewer systems, and Arab-style houses, gorgeous with intricate, if often shabby, mosaic work. While vacationing in Morocco, Suzanna Clarke and her husband, Sandy, are inspired to buy a dilapidated, centuries-old riad in Fez with the aim of restoring it to its original splendor, using only traditional craftsmen and handmade materials. So begins a remarkable adventure that is bewildering, at times hilarious, and ultimately immensely rewarding. A House in Fez chronicles their meticulous restoration, but it is also a journey into Moroccan customs and lore and a window into the lives of its people as friendships blossom. When the riad is finally returned to its former glory, Suzanna finds she has not just restored an old house, but also her soul. Please check : www.amazon.com
Women as Brave as Men: Berber Heroines of the Moroccan Middle Atlas,
by Michael Peyron





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