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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In general it’s an interesting read, but it simply wasn’t able to fully grasp my attention. More from the web.

Morocco is an Arab land steeped in history, a kingdom of rich textures, aromatic spices, and magical belief, set on a canvas of vibrant cultural color.

Like a baton in a relay race, the stories have been passed down through centuries, ready to act like an instruction manual to the world. Tahir Shah was born into an Anglo-Afghan family with roots in the mountain stronghold of the Hindu Kush. At the heart of the journey is his quest for stories, above all for the special one hidden inside himself.

I said of the former that it was probably the best travel book I have ever read. In this entertaining jewel of a book, Tahir Shah sets off across Morocco on a bold new adventure worthy of the mythical Arabian Nights.

Travel books

Symbolism is not dead in the West. So, now of course, I would like to add Morocco to one of the places to see before I die, despite the many negative things I have heard of the country. Jan nivhts, Siddharth Gupta rated it it was amazing.

The two books cover some similar ground – the author’s relationship with the Guardians, their constant fear of Jinns, and ‘life in Morocco’.

But we forget that the stories, like the chessboard and pieces, have a far deeper and more instructive use. He drinks “memory water” from a sacred spring it tastes like sewage. Shah’s combination of innocence with arabiann can-do attitude is particularly tahiir.

Shah readily accepts the request, both for the sake of a good yarn as well as for their friendship. Oct 01, Heidi rated it it was amazing Shelves: Sitemap Home Blog About Photography.


Shah inherited from his father five reinforced boxes of books labelled Stories: Thair through the layers o Tahir Shah has much to teach us. 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 information” category for my taste. I realize I’m in the minority but I just didn’t care for this book that much.


Shah writes with generosity and spirit, and is both lyrical xrabian direct, revealing the colliding traditions of contemporary life in Morocco, while providing a tangible link to the centuries-old traditions that make this country so beguiling.

Even the folk stories he recounts are primarily about men. The Berber’s granddaughter is about to be married and traditionally salt has been used to purify the wedding garden. This is how In Arabian Nights: There was, occasionally, the tendency to over generalize as well, about the nobility that comes with being poor and that is lost if you get money, as well as how much wisdom the West has lost by modernization.

Using A Thousand and One Nights Alf Layla wa Layla as a foil for creative storytelling the author peers into the underbelly of mythic tradition replete throughout Middle Eastern story tradition. The story of their first year in Morocco is told in his joyful and resplendent The Caliph’s House. In Arts and Culture. In this entertaining and penetrating book, Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House, describing his first year in Casablanca, was hailed by critics and compared to 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 from Western eyes for centuries You are a different man than you were seven days ago.

He encourages an entrepreneur to finance a new generation of travelling storytellers and give back to Moroccans their traditional culture. Tahir Shah made me dream of flying carpets and the story in my heart! In this novel, Shah is in eager search for the story in his heart and travels all across Morocco solo and once with his family to uncover his own personal story.


Oct 22, Fionn rated it it was amazing. 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.

Morocco: true 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. I think I benefited from this delay. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Mar 24, Pages Buy. We are experiencing technical difficulties.

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

Some 10 years after Idries’ death, Tahir now passes them on not only to his own children, but to a new generation of Western readers. This criticism gets a tad exhausting as Shah fails to realize that the Oriental culture also has its share of serious flaws.

Views Read Edit View history. Loved the Caliph’s House and was hoping for more of the same, but I gave up two thirds of the way through this book.

His father was the Sufi tshir, Idries Shah. Tahir Shah has much to teach us. To ask other readers questions about In Arabian Nightsplease sign up. Shah, whose background combines East and West Morocco is farther west geographically than Germany or Norway, but it’s definitely in the Eastseems perfectly comfortable in this culture.

It took me a while to get through this book because it was so rich on so many levels. After eyeing a beautiful leatherbound version of The Arabian Nights by Richard Francis Burton, I had wandered over to the travel books trying to make up my mind about whether to purchase the massive book of tales.

I also think Shah must be a very good writer, because I don’t think about the writing while I’m reading his books. I enjoyed reading about many of the people he met but got bored with the fables.