English Tangier – ‘Our little Town, and narrow lines’

Sitting in a hospital bed I have been consoled by an excellent new book, English Colonial Texts on Tangier, 1661-1684, by Karim Bejjit of Université Hassan II, Casablanca. If that sounds dry, blame only the title, because the book itself isn’t dry at all. Prof. Bejjit (and I admit an interest in both senses of … More English Tangier – ‘Our little Town, and narrow lines’

Tall, Nasty Stories and the Four Pillars of Wisdom

Auberon Waugh returned again and again in his later writing to ‘hamburger-gases,’ the toxic, greasy emissions from hamburgers that he affected to believe were responsible not only for global warming, but for the decay of stonework on ancient buildings, madness in humans and almost any other ill you care to imagine. Seductive as the theory … More Tall, Nasty Stories and the Four Pillars of Wisdom

Bavures and Shibboleths – language in Morocco

As anyone who follows this blog knows, I am rather preoccupied with the question of language. Both the fus7a–darija dimension, and the whole question of foreign languages. (And of course the matter of Tamazight.) To dispense with the first, I have little doubt that the very high levels of illiteracy (a recent op-ed in by Abderrahmane Lahlou L’Economiste quotes … More Bavures and Shibboleths – language in Morocco