A House in Fez

Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco

A House in Fez

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.

Cities and Metaphors

Beyond Imaginaries of Islamic Urban Space

Cities and Metaphors

Introducing a new concept of urban space, Cities and Metaphors encourages a theoretical realignment of how the city is experienced, thought and discussed. In the context of ‘Islamic city’ studies, relying on reasoning and rational thinking has reduced descriptive, vivid features of the urban space into a generic scientific framework. Phenomenological characteristics have consequently been ignored rather than integrated into theoretical components. The book argues that this results from a lack of appropriate conceptual vocabulary in our global body of scholarly literature. It challenges existing theories, introduces and applies the concept of Hezar-tu (‘a thousand insides’) to rethink the spaces in historic cores of Fez, Isfahan and Tunis. This tool constructs a staging post towards a different articulation of urban space based on spatial, physical, virtual, symbolic and social edges and thresholds; nodes of sociospatial relationships; zones of containment; state of intermediacy; and, thus, a logic of ambiguity rather than determinacy. Presenting alternative narrations of paths through sequential discovery of spaces, this book brings the sensual features of urban space into the focus. The book finally shows that concepts derived from local contexts enable us to tailor our methods and theoretical structures to the idiosyncrasies of each city while retaining the global commonalities of all. Hence, in broader terms, it contributes to a growing awareness that urban studies should be more inclusive by bringing the diverse global contexts of cities into the body of our urban knowledge.

Book Lust to Go

Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers

Book Lust to Go

Adventure is just a book away as best-selling author Nancy Pearl returns with recommended reading for more than 120 destinations around the globe. Book Lust To Go connects the best fiction and nonfiction to particular destinations, whether your bags are packed or your armchair is calling. With stops from Texas to Timbuktu, Nancy Pearl's reading recommendations will send you on your way.

Garment of Shadows

Garment of Shadows

In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding at the door. Out in the hive-like streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper showing a mysterious symbol. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north. Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim — who could be a Robin Hood, or a power-mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he discovers, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.

Charting the Unknown

Family, Fear, and One Long Boat Ride

Charting the Unknown

This is Kim Petersen’s memoir recounting how she and her family navigated through death of a child, facing fear of the water, personally building a sixty-five-foot power catamaran and a four thousand mile crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and two teenaged kids. It’s Eat, Pray, Love on the water.

Living in a World Heritage Site

Ethnography of Houses and Daily Life in the Fez Medina

Living in a World Heritage Site

Through a thick ethnography of the Fez medina in Morocco, a World Heritage site since 1981, Manon Istasse interrogates how human beings come to define houses as heritage. Istasse interrogates how heritage appears (or not) when inhabitants undertake construction and restoration projects in their homes, furnish and decorate their spaces, talk about their affective and sensual relations with houses, face conflicts in and about their houses, and more. Shedding light on the continuum between houses-as-dwellings and houses-as-heritage, the author establishes heritage as a trajectory: heritage as a quality results from a ‘surplus of attention’ and relates to nostalgia or to a feeling of threat, loss, and disappearance; to values related to purity, materiality, and time; and to actions of preservation and transmission. Living in a World Heritage site provides a grammar of heritage that will allow scholars to question key notions of temporality and nostalgia, the idea of culture, the importance of experts, and moral principles in relation to heritage sites around the globe.

Brookes's General Gazetteer Improved

Or, A New and Compendious Geographical Dictionary; Containing a Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, Provinces, Cities ... &c. in the Known World; with the Government, Customs, Manners, and Religion of the Inhabitants; the Extent, Boundaries, and Natural Productions of Each Country ... and the Various Events by which They Have Been Distinguished: Including a Detail of the Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Market-towns, and Principal Villages, in Great Britain and Ireland: Together with a Succinct Account Of, at Least, One Thousand Cities, Towns, and Villages in the United States ... Illustrated by Eight Maps, Neatly Executed

Brookes's General Gazetteer Improved


Fez and the Middle Atlas (Rough Guides Snapshot Morocco)

Fez and the Middle Atlas (Rough Guides Snapshot Morocco)

The Rough Guide Snapshot to Fez and the Middle Atlas is the ultimate travel guide to this area of Morocco. It leads you through the region with reliable information and comprehensive coverage of all the sights and attractions, from the winding alleys of Fez to the glorious trails of the Aït Bouguemez valley and the Roman ruins of Volubulis to the immense complex of the Ville Impérialein Meknes. Detailed maps and up-to-date listings pinpoint the best cafés, restaurants, hotels, markets, bars and nightlife, ensuring you make the most of your trip, whether passing through, staying for the weekend or longer. The Rough Guide Snapshot to Fez and the Middle Atlas covers Fez, Meknes and the surrounding area including the ruins of Volubilis and Moulay Idriss, and south through the grand the Middle Atlas Mountains. Also included is the Basics section from the Rough Guide to Morocco, with all the practical information you need for travelling in and around Fez and the Middle Atlas, including transport, food, drink, costs, health, festivals and culture and etiquette. Also published as part of the Rough Guide to Morocco. The Rough Guide Snapshot to Fez and the Middle Atlas is equivalent to 126 printed pages.

Ritual and Belief in Morocco: Vol. II (Routledge Revivals)

Ritual and Belief in Morocco: Vol. II (Routledge Revivals)

Between the years of 1898 and 1926, Edward Westermarck spent a total of seven years in Morocco, visiting towns and tribes in different parts of the country, meeting local people and learning about their language and culture; his findings are noted in this two-volume set, first published in 1926. The first volume contains extensive reference material, including Westermarck’s system of transliteration and a comprehensive list of the tribes and districts mentioned in the text. The chapters in this, the second volume, explore such areas as the rites and beliefs connected with the Islamic calendar, agriculture, and childbirth. This title will fascinate any student or researcher of anthropology with an interest in the history of ritual, culture and religion in Morocco.

The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence marks the pinnacle of Edith Wharton’s career as one of the finest American novelists of her era. The narrative follows Newland Archer, of upper-crust 1870s New York, whose passion for the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska leads him to question the very foundations of his way of life. Written in the aftermath of World War I, the novel explores the psychological and cultural paradoxes of desire in a world undergoing unprecedented transformations. This edition includes a critical introduction and a range of appendices that contextualize the novel in terms of its modernist themes and tensions.