The Caliph's House

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553902318

Category: Travel

Page: 368

View: 8999

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In the tradition of A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, acclaimed English travel writer Tahir Shah shares a highly entertaining account of making an exotic dream come true. By turns hilarious and harrowing, here is the story of his family’s move from the gray skies of London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca, where Islamic tradition and African folklore converge–and nothing is as easy as it seems…. Inspired by the Moroccan vacations of his childhood, Tahir Shah dreamed of making a home in that astonishing country. At age thirty-six he got his chance. Investing what money he and his wife, Rachana, had, Tahir packed up his growing family and bought Dar Khalifa, a crumbling ruin of a mansion by the sea in Casablanca that once belonged to the city’s caliph, or spiritual leader. With its lush grounds, cool, secluded courtyards, and relaxed pace, life at Dar Khalifa seems sure to fulfill Tahir’s fantasy–until he discovers that in many ways he is farther from home than he imagined. For in Morocco an empty house is thought to attract jinns, invisible spirits unique to the Islamic world. The ardent belief in their presence greatly hampers sleep and renovation plans, but that is just the beginning. From elaborate exorcism rituals involving sacrificial goats to dealing with gangster neighbors intent on stealing their property, the Shahs must cope with a new culture and all that comes with it. Endlessly enthralling, The Caliph’s House charts a year in the life of one family who takes a tremendous gamble. As we follow Tahir on his travels throughout the kingdom, from Tangier to Marrakech to the Sahara, we discover a world of fierce contrasts that any true adventurer would be thrilled to call home. From the Hardcover edition.

The Caliph's House

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409044793

Category: Travel

Page: 368

View: 2290

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Look into the eyes of a jinn and you stare into the depths of your own soul... Writer and film-maker Tahir Shah - in his 30s, married, with two small children - was beginning to wilt under brash, cramped, ennervating British city life. Flying in the face of friends' advice, he longed to fulfil his dream of finding a place bursting with life, colour, history and romance - somewhere far removed from London - in which to raise a family. Childhood memories of holidaying with his parents, and of a grandfather he barely knew, led him to Morocco and to 'Dar Khalifa', a sprawling and, with the exception of its jinns, long-abandoned residence on the edge of Casablanca's shanty town that, rumour had it, once belonged to the city's Caliph. And so begins Tahir Shah's gloriously vivid, funny, affectionate and compelling account of how he and his family - aided, abetted and so often hindered by a wonderful cast of larger-than-life local characters: guardians, gardeners, builders, artisans, bureacrats and police (not forgetting the jinns, the spirits that haunt the house) - returned the Caliph's House to its former glory and learned to make this most exotic and alluring of countries their home. The Caliph's House is a story of home-ownership abroad - full of the attendant dramas, anxieties and frustrations - but it is also much more. Woven into the narrative is the author's own journey of self-discovery, of learning about a grandfather he hardly knew, and of coming to love the magical, multi-faceted, contradictory country that is Morocco.

The Caliph's House

A Year in Casablanca

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0553816802

Category: Casablanca (Morocco)

Page: 368

View: 9463

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Look into the eyes of a jinn and you stare into the depths of your own soul... Writer and film-maker Tahir Shah - in his 30s, married, with two small children - was beginning to wilt under brash, cramped, ennervating British city life. Flying in the face of friends' advice, he longed to fulfil his dream of finding a place bursting with life, colour, history and romance - somewhere far removed from London - in which to raise a family. Childhood memories of holidaying with his parents, and of a grandfather he barely knew, led him to Morocco and to 'Dar Khalifa', a sprawling and, with the exception of its jinns, long-abandoned residence on the edge of Casablanca's shanty town that, rumour had it, once belonged to the city's Caliph. And so begins Tahir Shah's gloriously vivid, funny, affectionate and compelling account of how he and his family - aided, abetted and so often hindered by a wonderful cast of larger-than-life local characters: guardians, gardeners, builders, artisans, bureacrats and police (not forgetting the jinns, the spirits that haunt the house) - returned the Caliph's House to its former glory and learned to make this most exotic and alluring of countries their home. The Caliph's House is a story of home-ownership abroad - full of the attendant dramas, anxieties and frustrations - but it is also much more. Woven into the narrative is the author's own journey of self-discovery, of learning about a grandfather he hardly knew, and of coming to love the magical, multi-faceted, contradictory country that is Morocco.

In Arabian Nights

A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553384430

Category: Travel

Page: 402

View: 7066

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The author continues his account of his adopted home of Morocco, exploring the tradition of the spiritual quest in terms of his own journey of self-discovery and his father's legacy of storytelling as he reveals Morocco's history, mystical beliefs, and culture.

In Morocco

Author: Edith Wharton

Publisher: New York, Scribner

ISBN: N.A

Category: Morocco

Page: 290

View: 6141

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In 1917, Edith Wharton toured French-controlled Morocco with her great friend Walter Berry. Wharton was invited by the French Resident-General Hubert Lyautey to attend an exhibit of Moroccan arts he had curated in Rabat. Wharton refers to Lyautey?s positive influence on the country throughout the text, including his efforts to build roads, preserve the art and historic architecture of the country and maintain control of the nation in the face of possible German invasion during WWI.?Wharton describes detailed accounts of visiting cities, markets, mosques, ruins, harems, palaces and events, including a Hamadchas ritual dance of self-mutilation. This would be a rare privilege given that she was a woman and a Westerner. Wharton generalizes about the people of Morocco in an Orientalist manner, portraying them as mysterious and dispassionate. As with all of Wharton's writings, one learns just as much about the writer as one does her travels.

Arabian Nights

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night

Author: Anonymus

Publisher: Seltzer Books via PublishDrive

ISBN: 1455389978

Category: Fiction

Page: 5553

View: 491

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The full text of all 16 volumes of Richard Burton's monumental translation of The Arabian Nights, with all his candid, racy footnotes, with their wealth of anthropological and cultural information. This file also includes "The Life of Sir Richard Burton by Thomas Wright According to Wikipedia: "One Thousand and One Nightsis a collection of stories collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars across the Middle East, North Africa and Indian subcontinent. These collections of tales trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era as well as the Sassanid-era Pahlavi work Hazār Afsān.Though the oldest Arabic manuscript dates from the 14th century, scholarship generally dates the collection's genesis to around the 9th century." Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 – 1890) was an English explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist, linguist, poet, hypnotist, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia and Africa as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian, and African languages. Burton's best-known achievements include traveling in disguise to Mecca, making an unexpurgated translation of The Book of One Thousand Nights and A Night..."

A House in Fez

Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco

Author: Suzanna Clarke

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416545859

Category: Travel

Page: 288

View: 5667

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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.

Sorcerer's Apprentice

An Incredible Journey into the World of India's Godmen

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1628721316

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 7069

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An apprentice to one of India’s greatest illusionists shares the tricks of the trade in this extraordinary travelogue through modern India. Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the amazing story of Tahir Shah’s improbable apprenticeship to one of India’s master conjurers, Hakim Feroze, and his initiation into the brotherhood of Indian godmen. Told with self-deprecating wit and an eye for the outlandish, it is a surprising account of a magical journey across India. Feroze teaches the Shah the basics of his craft, such as sleights of hand, immersing his hands in boiling oil and lead, and—Aaron’s old trick from the Bible—turning a rod into a serpent. To complete his training and prove himself, Shah is sent on a quest to discover the ways illusion is manifested in every corner of the subcontinent. Saddled with a hilarious sidekick and guide he calls the Trickster, Shah travels from Calcutta to Madras, from Bangalore to Bombay. Even as he recounts the most miraculous and bizarre feats of the sadhus, sages, sorcerers, avatars, fortune-tellers, healers, hypnotists, and humbugs he encounters, he reveals—and admires—the imagination and resourcefulness ordinary Indians deploy in order to survive. In this incredible book, Tahir Shah lifts the veil on the East’s most puzzling miracles and exposes a side of India that most never imagine exists. “By turns enrapturing and disquieting, droll and poignant.” —Booklist, starred review “Vivid, lurid and amusing.” —Publishers Weekly

The Spider's House

A Novel

Author: Paul Bowles

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062119362

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 8661

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Set in Fez, Morocco, during that country's 1954 nationalist uprising, The Spider's House is perhaps Paul Bowles's most beautifully subtle novel, richly descriptive of its setting and uncompromising in its characterizations. Exploring once again the dilemma of the outsider in an alien society, and the gap in understanding between cultures—recurrent themes of Paul Bowles's writings—The Spider's House is dramatic, brutally honest, and shockingly relevant to today's political situation in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Casablanca Blues

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Secretum Mundi Publishing

ISBN: 1783012986

Category: Fiction

Page: 315

View: 6812

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Blaine Williams has been obsessed by Casablanca since childhood. Now, in the grip of a mid-life crisis, he goes to the one place that’s always provided hope – CASABLANCA. Descending down through interwoven layers of mystery and intrigue, he finds a city awash with characters right out of Casablanca itself.

Lords of the Atlas

The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua 1893-1956

Author: Gavin Maxwell

Publisher: Eland & Sickle Moon Books

ISBN: 9780907871149

Category: History

Page: 316

View: 7627

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Tells the extraordinary story of a feudal fiefdom in southern Morocco in the early twentieth century.

The Last Storytellers

Tales from the Heart of Morocco

Author: Richard Hamilton,Barnaby Rogerson

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 1848854919

Category: History

Page: 235

View: 7406

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Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco’s ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction. The competing distractions of television, movies, and the Internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed first-hand the death throes of this rich and captivating tradition and, in the labyrinth of the Marrakech medina, has tracked down the last few remaining storytellers, recording stories that are replete with the mysteries and beauty of the Maghreb.

Casablanca Blues, Paperback

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 9781291530131

Category: Fiction

Page: 314

View: 4550

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Blaine Williams has been obsessed by the Hollywood classic Casablanca since childhood. Now, in the grip of a mid-life crisis, he goes to the one place that's always provided hope - CASABLANCA. Descending down through interwoven layers of mystery and intrigue, he finds a city awash with characters right out of the movie Casablanca. A love story and one of cultural exploration, CASABLANCA BLUES shines new light on Morocco's strangest and misunderstood city. From the author of the best-selling THE CALIPH'S HOUSE: A Year in Casablanca.

House of the Tiger King

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780719566127

Category: Geographical myths

Page: 219

View: 1684

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In 1572, the Spanish Conquistadors stormed the Inca stronghold of Vilcabamba in Peru, searching for golden treasure, only to find the city deserted, burned, and already stripped of its wealth. Myth has it that the Incas had retreated deep into the jungle, where they built another magnificent, secret city. For centuries, explorers, adventurers and archaeologists have searched for the lost city and its gold, known by locals as 'The House of the Tiger King'. Falling victim to this obsession himself, Tahir Shah selects a motley team of desperados for an expedition into the dense jungle in search of the lost city. As his thrilling but ultimately hapless quest unfolds, Shah is drawn to considering why such legends are so enduring.

Travels With Myself: Collected Work

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: ebookpartnership.com

ISBN: 1909270792

Category: Civilization, Modern

Page: N.A

View: 7022

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Travels With Myself is a collection of selected writings by Tahir Shah, acclaimed Anglo-Afghan author and champion of the intrepid. Written over twenty years, the many pieces form an eclectic treasury of stories from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and beyond. Some consider the lives of women in society, both in East and West. The women-only police stations of Brazil, for instance, as well as the female inmates waiting to die on America's Death Row, or the young widows who clear landmines for a living in northern Cambodia.More still look at Morocco, where Shah and his family reside in a mansion set squarely in the middle of a sprawling Casablanca shantytown. And, yet more reflect on the oddities and contradictions of the modern world. Such as why, in India each summer, hundreds of thousands line up to swallow live fish; or how the Model T Ford sounded the death knell of lavish Edwardian ostrich-feather hats.Some humorous, others gently poignant, all the pieces in this book are designed to spark the imagination, and to act as a catalyst for thought. In his introduction, Shah suggests that Travels With Myself ought to be dipped into at random, as a kind of bedside book, or as a companion on a long journey of one's own.

A Year in the World

Journeys of A Passionate Traveller

Author: Frances Mayes

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780767923972

Category: Travel

Page: 304

View: 1125

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A CLASSIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF UNDER MAGNOLIA The author who unforgettably captured the experience of starting a new life in Tuscany in bestselling travel memoirs expands her horizons to immerse herself—and her readers—in the sights, aromas, and treasures of twelve new special places. A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes—a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. An ideal travel companion, Frances Mayes brings to the page the curiosity of an intrepid explorer, remarkable insights into the wonder of the everyday, and a compelling narrative style that entertains as it informs. With her beloved Tuscany as a home base, Mayes travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and to the Mediterranean world of Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. In Andalucía, she relishes the intersection of cultures. She cooks in Portugal, gathers ideas in the gardens of England and Scotland, takes a literary pilgrimage to Burgundy, discovers an ideal place to live in Mantova, and explores the essential Moroccan city of Fez. She rents houses among ordinary residents, shops at neighborhood markets, wanders the back streets, and everywhere contemplates the concept of home. While in Greece, she follows the classic Homeric voyage across the Aegean, lives in a bougainvillea-draped stone house in Crete, and then drives deep into the Mani. In Turkey with friends, she sails the ancient coast, hiking to archaeological sites and snorkeling over sunken Byzantine towns. Weaving together personal perceptions and informed commentary on art, architecture, history, landscape, and social and culinary traditions of each area, Mayes brings the immediacy of life in her temporary homes to the reader. An illuminating and passionate book that will be savored by all who loved Under the Tuscan Sun, A Year in the World is travel writing at its peak. Now with an excerpt from Frances Mayes's latest southern memoir, Under Magnolia

Emma's War

Author: Deborah Scroggins

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307808858

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 2221

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Emma McCune’s passion for Africa, her unstinting commitment to the children of Sudan, and her youthful beauty and glamour set her apart from other relief workers from the moment she arrived in southern Sudan. But no one was prepared for her decision to marry a local warlord—a man who seemed to embody everything she was working against—and to throw herself into his violent quest to take over southern Sudan’s rebel movement. With precision and insight, Deborah Scroggins—who met McCune in Sudan—charts the process by which McCune’s romantic delusions led to her descent into the hell of Africa’s longest-running civil war. Emma’s War is at once a disturbing love story and an up-close look at Sudan: a world where international aid fuels armies as well as the starving population, and where the northern-based Islamic government—backed by Osama bin Laden—is locked in a war with the Christian and pagan south over religion, oil, and slaves. A timely, revelatory account of the nature of relief work, of the men and women who choose to carry it out, and of one woman’s sacrifice to its ideals. From the Hardcover edition.

Shopping in Marrakech

Author: Susan Simon,Nally Bellati

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1892145782

Category: Travel

Page: 234

View: 5686

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How to choose among the thousands of shops, stores, and souk stalls? And how to even find them in this labyrinthine city, where street names and addresses seldom appear on the city map? Let Susan Simon guide you through the winding alleys, hidden courtyards, and bustling markets to uncover the best of the treasures of Marrakech: luxurious caftans; bejeweled shoes and slippers; ethnic jewelry; handmade decorative objects for the home; beautifully embroidered linens; colorful ceramics; sequined antique shawls; gold-encrusted glassware. The stylish author and the photographer (who has appeared on the world’s best-dressed list) both have dozens of ideas of how to incorporate your exotic finds into every wardrobe and home. The guide is divided into seven separate walks–and little bonus walks–that take you through the main shopping areas, using the author’s precise directions and visual landmarks. And, as a caterer and cookbook author, Simon can’t resist pointing out her favorite spots for everything from mint tea and pastries to fragrant tagines–many hidden behind innocuous entrances and set in ancient, verdant riads (traditional Moroccan courtyard homes) or on terraces overlooking the breathtaking city.

Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru

Author: Tahir Shah

Publisher: ebookpartnership.com

ISBN: 1783011025

Category: Incas

Page: N.A

View: 9722

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Enthralled by a line from the chronicle of a sixteenth-century monk, which said that the Incas 'flew like birds' over the jungle, and by the recurring theme of flying in Peruvian folklore, Tahir Shah set out to discover whether the Incas really did flyor glide above the jungles of Peru. Or was the Spanish cleric alluding to flight of a different kind - flight inspired by a powerful hallucinogen? After gathering equipment in London - and advice, not least from Wilfred Thesiger - the long quest begins. First, to the mountains of Peru and a trek to Machu Picchu, the Incas' most sacred city. Then on to the mountain city of Cusco and a mysterious island on the great glittering expanse of Lake Titicaca. Picking up clues as he goes, the author's trail takes him on to the coast and through the desert, to the immense animal-like etchings which form the Nazca Lines, and a remote burial ground for 30,000 mummified corpses. And finally to an epic river journey up the Amazon to discover the secrets of the Shuar, a tribe of infamous savagery living in the deep jungle of the Upper Amazon. In the course of this journey we learn much about the Spanish treatment of the Incas, about Peruvian folklore and magic, about the great but brief Amazon rubber boom of the nineteenth century, about head-shrinking, shamanic knowledge and plant-based hallucinogens. Even for a traveller so used to surreal adventures, there are many strange encounters and physical challenges - gruesome but often hilarious - among madmen and dreamsers, sorcerers, con-men and jungle experts, before Tahir Shah can at last discover the truth about the Birdmen of Peru.

Travels with Herodotus

Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307548236

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8803

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From the renowned journalist comes this intimate account of his years in the field, traveling for the first time beyond the Iron Curtain to India, China, Ethiopia, and other exotic locales. In the 1950s, Ryszard Kapuscinski finished university in Poland and became a foreign correspondent, hoping to go abroad – perhaps to Czechoslovakia. Instead, he was sent to India – the first stop on a decades-long tour of the world that took Kapuscinski from Iran to El Salvador, from Angola to Armenia. Revisiting his memories of traveling the globe with a copy of Herodotus' Histories in tow, Kapuscinski describes his awakening to the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of new environments, and how the words of the Greek historiographer helped shape his own view of an increasingly globalized world. Written with supreme eloquence and a constant eye to the global undercurrents that have shaped the last half-century, Travels with Herodotus is an exceptional chronicle of one man's journey across continents. From the Trade Paperback edition.