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’

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

Cultural Capital-Formation, by the Book

An interesting review of cultural policy in L’Economiste this week, stressing quite how much of an orphan sector it is, despite its imaginative minister, with only just over 1% of the public budget. This is what counteracts “the motivation, the good ideas, the wish to inculcate a desire for culture.” The review highlights the “enormous … More Cultural Capital-Formation, by the Book

Mancunian silver

Last week in Marrakech I bought a couple of interesting silver-plated objects – a sugar-box and tea-caddy made by Richard Wright of Manchester. Wright has, as all Moroccans know, given his name to the silver tea-tray, or rayt, and was also responsible for what must have been enormous exports of silver-plate from the 1830s onwards, … More Mancunian silver