The Caliph's House

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Jan 31, 2006 - Travel - 368 pages
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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - www.librarything.com

Everyone has a story of an event in their lives; how they met their sparkling spouse, how they came into their fascinating occupation, how they started an odd hobby for which they are extremely ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

Shah, who is Anglo-Afghani, buys an old house in Morocco and moves his family to a new continent and a new life. The book details his cultural adventures as well as his struggles to revive and renovate the beautiful but decrepit house of his dreams. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
16
Section 3
31
Section 4
50
Section 5
69
Section 6
80
Section 7
87
Section 8
102
Section 15
184
Section 16
199
Section 17
214
Section 18
228
Section 19
242
Section 20
244
Section 21
260
Section 22
276

Section 9
106
Section 10
122
Section 11
135
Section 12
151
Section 13
166
Section 14
173
Section 23
288
Section 24
291
Section 25
316
Section 26
332
Section 27
344
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Tahir Shah was born into an Anglo-Afghan family with roots in the mountain stronghold of the Hindu Kush. His ten books have chronicled a series of fabulous journeys. He lives with his wife and two children in Casablanca.

Bibliographic information