Wednesday, 27 September, 2023

Morocco can seem like something conjured from a dream. The twisty alleys of its old-town medinas hold secrets around every corner. Its markets are infused with the aroma of spices and the lilting melodies of musicians, with jewel-colored leather and scarves and rugs as far as the eye can see.

Morocco’s history is just as colorful. Nomadic peoples like the Berbers and the Tuareg (a.k.a., the Blue People) were roaming and riding the Sahara desert for centuries. The cities — Tangier and Casablanca, Marrakech and Fez — were well-known havens in and around the World Wars for secret agents, ambitious businessmen, and glamorous movie stars.

Providing a background for all of this is Morocco’s breathtaking scenery: the rugged beauty of the Atlas mountains, the flowing dunes of the Sahara, the sparkling beaches on the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and the fragrant cedar forests.

our podcast

In this episode, we explore Moroccan history and culture, then discuss books that transported us there, including two memoirs of personal adventures; a historical novel featuring a mysterious amulet; a poignant look at the fading art of Moroccan storytelling; and a contemporary thriller about a traveler’s worst nightmare. We also talk Moroccan food and travel with Amanda Ponzio-Mootaki, the founder of the MarocMama website and Marrakech Food Tours. (show notes / transcript)

recommended books

The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty

buy | read review

The Last Storytellers

buy | read review

The Salt Road

buy | read review

Skeletons on the Zahara

buy | read review

A Street in Marrakech

buy | read review


buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Louis Hansel/Unsplash.

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featured posts

The breathtaking scenery and raucous markets of Morocco can seem like something conjured from a dream. In this episode, we share the books that transported us to this special place and talk Moroccan food with MarocMama.
We're usually more interested in what's inside a book's covers, but volumes bound in Morocco leather are some of the most beautiful in the world. And it all starts at the Choara Tannery in Fez, Morocco.
Twisty alleys, boisterous markets, trained monkeys, exotic spices, and world-class leather — Morocco feels both magical and mysterious. This fragrant recipe serves Moroccan intrigue at your table.
This colorful salad combines sweet oranges, cool fennel and mint, and salty olives for a taste that's bold and a little exotic. It's a tribute to 'Tangerine,' a taut noir thriller set in 1950s Tangier, Morocco.
Have you ever daydreamed about riding a camel across the Sahara with the wind in your hair? Or strolling through the market in the old town of Marrakech? These six books will take you there asap, no passport required.
For centuries, women have been adorning their bodies with delicate, colorful henna tattoos to mark significant events in their lives. We take a look at the origin of this art and share tips for you to try it yourself.
Your weekend plan has just been sorted: Read this page-turning, satisfying thriller set in Morocco, then pop a big bowl of popcorn and snuggle in to watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman smolder in 'Casablanca.'

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