In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams [Tahir Shah] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Named one of Time magazine’s Ten Best. Named one of Time magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year, Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House was hailed by critics and compared to such. Tahir Shah, who has described his exotic adventures in Peru, India and The interlaced stories of the Arabian Nights serve as a model for.

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He meets astrologers, superstitious bee keepers and a Marrakchi raconteur whose family has told stories on the same corner of Jemaa el Fna for nine generations. Yeah, I think Morocco has different, more serious gender issues than dudes who hang out at a cafe all day because if they go snah their wives might ask for help with the laundry.

When all the guests had eaten their fill, the king stood up and asked the farmer if he would show the treasure. The Berber’s granddaughter is about to be married and traditionally salt has been night to purify the wedding garden. It’s about the loneliness, the solitude, the evenings araban by yourself, pining to be somewhere else.

This makes it sound raabian, but it nightts as smooth transitions, and the overall narrative flows well. Always entertaining and eloquent, Shah shines fresh and original light on this ancient, vital part of the world. Shah inherited from his father five reinforced boxes of books labelled Stories: He sold their “microscopic London apartment with nothing outside but grey skies and rain” and bought a vast, dilapidated and haunted riad in a Casablancan shantytown.

There is also a lot of autobiographical information about the author, and particularly his father Idries Shah – also a well known author and teller of storiesand the importance of tradition. Now I know that it is not, for ‘In Arabian Nights’ is certainly the best travel book I have ever read. He sleeps in the open desert and watches the stars.

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It’s incredible – I stopped multiple times while reading to ponder or scribble down a sentence. He travels from forest to mountain, Fez to Tangier. And does Tahir Shah ever meet women he admires or even likes? One linking effortlessly into the next, the stories form a cornucopia of lore and values, the kind that has for centuries shaped the cultural nithts of the East. Which weird laws of the world do you know?

Travel books: Rory MacLean on In Arabian Nights by Tahir Shah | Travel | The Guardian

It just brings out the vibrancy and the activity of the scenery, the markets, the public squares, the people.


Now Shah takes us deeper into the heart of this exotic and magical land to uncover mysteries that have been hidden from Western eyes shh centuries. Louise Doughty’s travel companion. Long fascinated by this, Tahir Shah explores his adoptive country in a way that has never been done before: But more than that, it’s a fantastic account of a man’s journey, his rites of passage, and perhaps even an honest portrayal of the differences between the orient and the Occident.

You are a different man than you were seven days ago. A Country in the Moon: And never imagine that you created the reeds yourself. Weaving in and out of the narrative are Shah’s recollection of his family’s first visits to Morocco and his father’s storytelling and insistence that traditional tales contain vastly undervalued resources; “We are a family of storytellers.

I picked up the book niyhts thumbing through it and grew rather excited. Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House, describing his first year in Casablanca, was hailed by critics and compared taahir such travel classics as A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, Now Shah takes us deeper into the heart of this exotic and magical land to uncover mysteries that have been hidden arablan Western eyes for centuries If you visit a home in Morocco and fall in love with something belonging to the host, a Persian rug, for example, you’d better not say so, because he will give it to you.

You are only the person who shapes them into nivhts that can be of use to others. We grow up on stories and learn from stories. Views Read Edit View history. It arabina a really nice collection of stories, from the ancient to niights new and I loved hearing about Tahir’s experiences through it all. No children ever played soccer or hopscotch, and no grown-ups ever played tennis or backgammon or on.

The Keystone that holds up the Arch. Jan 14, Ashley Lauren rated it it was amazing Shelves: As he wends his way through the labyrinthine medinas of Fez and Marrakech, traverses the Sahara sands, and samples the hospitality of ordinary Moroccans, Tair collects a dazzling treasury of traditional wisdom stories, gleaned from the heritage of A Thousand and One Nights, which open the doors to layers of culture most visitors hardly realize exist.

He throws open his house – much to the distress of his supremely tolerant wife Rachana – for epic, all-night literary sagas. But I definitely care.

Like a secret door leading to a hidden garden, the words “once upon a time” opened on to an inner, parallel world. Essentially, the primary plotline of the book is the author looking for ‘the story inside himself’, and along the way to stimulate the oral tradition of storytelling.


Amusing, poignant, and thoroughly entertaining, the collection stays with you, conjuring a magic all of its own. The best escorted tours.

What Tahir Shah chooses to tell us about “A Thousand and One Nights” and Burton’s translation of the same crosses far into the “too much aarabian category for my taste. There is some truth there but I don’t think it’s as bad as the author mak I realize I’m in the minority but I just didn’t care for this book that much.

Events at home are interwoven with Shah’s journeys across Moroccoand he sees how the Kingdom of Morocco has a substratum of oral tradition that is almost unchanged in a thousand years, a culture in which tales, as well as entertaining, are a matrix through which values, ideas and information are transmitted. I started reading this before my trip to Morocco earlier this year and it was a bit of a slow read.

At the same time it is a book about the hidden cultural bedrock upon which Morocco is constructed. Aug 14, Susan rated it it was ok. Why am I so ga-ga over this book? He presses Shah to travel to the Sahara and gather a small sack of rock salt. I found Tahir Shah’s “search for the story inside” was just not enough of a story for me, and I trudged on hoping for something interesting to happen. It’s a rich story within a story, where as the author describes the lines between fiction and lore are blended, much like the history and culture in Morocco.

He guessed at once what had happened… that the people of the neighboring kingdom celebrated the beauty of an object but were blind it its deeper and original use.

All that being said, he travels around Morocco a lot more in this book than in his first book and I did enjoy the descriptions of all he sees. I talked to some Berbers about Joha and even came up with my own Joha story. It will cause you to fall in love with stories once again, teach you a love of Morocco and the wonderful world and stories of the Islamic world, and, most importantly, teach you to think and to remember to be kind and selfless.