The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca

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Doubleday, 2006 - Dwellings - 356 pages
238 Reviews
Look into the eyes of a jinn and you stare into the depths of your own soul (Moroccan proverb) 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 somewhere far removed from London - a place bursting with life, colour, history and romance - 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, long-abandoned (but for its jinns) mansion 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, 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 to mention the original neighbours from hell and the jinns, those 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 something of his grandfather, and of coming to love this magical, multi-faceted, contradictory country.

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Amazing storytelling story for journalist - Goodreads
Furthermore I was disappointed by the ending. - Goodreads
Really like his style of writing. - Goodreads
Also, the ending seemed a little abrupt. - Goodreads
I loved this introduction to Morocco. - Goodreads
At least it was easy to read. - Goodreads

Review: The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca

User Review  - Little Gold Pixel - Goodreads

I have some reasons for liking this book beyond the standard narrative. As I was telling my husband (who is Moroccan), I felt like the book enlightened me here and there on his upbringing/thought ... Read full review

Review: The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca

User Review  - P Robbins - Goodreads

Marvellous. Easy read. Delightful! Bravo. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
17
Section 3
32
Copyright

24 other sections not shown

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About the author (2006)

Born in 1966 into a distinguished Afghan family (his father was the philosopher Idries Shah), Tahir Shah is the author of 10 books including Sorcerer's Apprentice, In Search of King Solomon's Mines and House of the Tiger King. A member of the Royal Geographical Society, he is also a documentary film-maker and photographer and lives in Casablanca with his wife and two children.

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