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Morocco: Deserts and Oases - Books & Movies
RECOMMENDED READING 
  • Morocco That Was ​by Walter Harris. A sharp, melodramatic and extremely funny portrait of the vanished days of the unfettered Sultanate in all their dark splendor, a mingling of magnificence with squalor, culture with barbarism, refined cruelty with naive humor. The combination of perceptive and reliable observer, and romantic eccentric, makes this book a classic of its genre.
  • Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood by Fatima Mernissi. Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of women who, deprived of access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination. Dreams of Trespass is the provocative story of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex in the recent Muslim world.
  • A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco by Suzanna Clarke. The Medina, the Old City of Fez is the best-preserved, medieval walled city in the world. While vacationing in Morocco, Suzanna Clarke and her husband are inspired to buy a dilapidated, centuries-old riad in Fez with the aim of restoring it to its original splendor. 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.
  • A Year in Marrakesh by Peter Mayne. This 1953 classic captures the very essence of the people and place. Having already learned to appreciate Muslim life from his time spent in Pakistan, Mayne bought a house in the labyrinthine back streets of Marrakesh. He settled there, not as a privileged visitor in a grand villa, but as one of the inhabitants. This is not a travel book in the accepted sense, but rather a record of personal experience of foreign life well beyond the tourist's eye.
  • In Morocco by Edith Wharton. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare's finesse to Oscar Wilde's wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim s Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is a must-have addition to any library.
  • The Sand Child by Tahar Ben Jelloun. Already the father of seven daughters, Hajji Ahmed determines that his eighth child will be a male. Accordingly, the infant girl is named Mohammed Ahmed and raised as a young man with all the privileges granted to men in traditional Arab-Islamic societies. This lyrical novel set in Morocco offers an imaginative and radical critique of contemporary Arab social customs and Islamic law.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING 

  • Casablanca (1943) by Michael Curtiz. In this Oscar-winning classic, American expat Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) plays host to gamblers, thieves and refugees at his Moroccan nightclub during World War II ... but he never expected Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) - the woman who broke his heart -- to walk through that door. Ilsa hopes that with Rick's help, she and her fugitive husband (Paul Henreid) can escape to America. But the spark that brought the lovers together still burns brightly.
  • A Thousand and One Hands (1972) by Souheil Ben-Barka (with Abdou Chaibane, Mimsy Farmer and Si Ahmed). In Morocco, an old dyer and his young son Miloud work transporting wool packs. So begins this story in the hands of thousands of old men, women and children involved in meticulous weaving carpets.
  • El chergui/The Wind From The East (1975) by Moumen Smihi (with Ahmed Boda, Aicha Chari and Abdelkader Moutaa). Tangier, 1954: on the eve of independence, Aicha, abandoned by her husband for a younger second wife, turns to magic as a last resort. Between sacrifice, witchcraft and revelations, we are presented with the everyday tragedy of a woman living in this difficult time.
  • Hideous Kinky (1998) by Gillies MacKinnon  With two young daughters (Bella Riza and Carrie Mullan) in tow, a soul-searching mother (Kate Winslet) on a quest for enlightenment leaves 1970s London for Morocco, where she takes up with a kindhearted street performer (Saïd Taghmaoui) who does his best to protect her family. But her thirst for adventure proves bad medicine for her children. The film is based on a novel by Esther Freud, a descendant of the famous founder of psychoanalysis.
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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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