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Moroccan Culture


In the year 2009 Moroccan culture is a unique blend of influences from various eras within Morocco's history, globalization, ethnic differences, and wide discrepancies in the living conditions of people within Morocco. The following is a basic reader put together to understand Moroccan culture, which to be said, changes decidedly based on region, language and socio-economic status with in Morocco.

Moroccan Culture 101

Culture Shock! Morocco by Orin Hargraves (available on Amazon). This book is a basic overview of Moroccan culture at a very practical level. It relates more to traditional Moroccan customs than modern youth culture.

A Deeper Look

Humor and Moroccan Culture by Matthew Helmke (available on Amazon). This book started as the author tried to learn Moroccan Arabic. When he didn't understand a joke during one of his language sessions, although he knew all the vocabulary, it sent him on a quest to understand Moroccan life and thought more. This book is the fruit of that journey.
We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco by Katherine E. Hoffman (available on Amazon). An examination of Berber men and women's use of language to shape their belonging in Moroccan society.
Moroccan Folktales by Jilali El Koudia (available on Amazon). A collection of narratives from various regions within in Morocco and includes an introduction to Arab folktales, and a bibliography of Moroccan folktale collections.
Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua by Gavin Maxwell. This narrative recounts the customs and rituals of daily life in pre-independence Morocco while recounting the story of El Hadj T'hani El Glaoui, the tribal warlord who helped the French rule Morocco.
Traditional Moroccan Cooking: Recipes from Fez by Guinaudeau, Laurent, and Harris. A collection of traditional recipes from Fez, Morocco.
Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Journey Toward Independence by Leila Abouzeid. This was the first novel by a Moroccan woman translated into English and recounts the narrative of a woman who is divorced by her modernizing husband. It contrasts the struggles between modern and traditional values in Morocco.
In and Out of Morocco: Smuggling and Migration in a Frontier Boomtown by David Arthur McMurray. This book examines smuggling of goods into the country by Moroccans living abroad and how the influx of these Moroccans every summer effect the ideas and values of the community.
Morocco: Globalization and Its Consequences by Cohen and Jaidi. The book examines the development of Morocco within the Islamic world of North Africa. It examines Morocco based on the effects of globablization and how that contrasts with Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.
Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges by Marvine Howe. An account of the early days of independence in Morocco.
The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City by Emily Gottreich. This book examines the patterns of how Jews and Muslims as well as other expats interacted in Marrakesh.
Knowledge and Power in Morocco by Dale F. Eickelman. The book examines Islamic education and its role in Morocco from Independence to the Present.


Definitive List of Moroccan Movies is available on the Friends of Morocco website. This list is more than a list of Hollywood movies shot in Morocco, they are movies about Moroccan life and culture.

Moroccan Music

A sample of Moroccan music is available at the Moroccanmusic.com. They also have information on the Fes Sacred Music Festival and the Gnawa Festival.
An extensive sample of Moroccan music is available on morocnet. This is a thorough sampling of various types of Moroccan music.
Paul Bowles compilation of Moroccan Music is available at the American Folklife Center
Articles on Moroccan Music are listed on the Friends of Morocco website
The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco (available on Amazon). A compilation of traditional and modern Moroccan music.
Amazon has surprisingly large sample of Moroccan music.