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This Is A Reflexive Account Of An American Woman And Her Family S Unpredictable Journey Through The Private And Public Worlds Of A Traditional Muslim City In The Process Of Change As A Western Stranger In Marrakech, Fernea Was Met With Suspicion And Hostility The Story Of The Slow Growth Of Trust And Acceptance Between The Author And Her Moroccan Neighbors Involves The Reader In Everyday Activities, Weddings, Funerals, And Women S Rituals Both The Author And Her Friends Are Changed By The Encounters That She Describes A Street In Marrakech Is A Crosscultural Adventure, Ethnographically Sound, And Written In An Accessible Style Titles Of Related Interest From Waveland Press Azoy, Buzkashi Game And Power In Afghanistan, Third Edition ISBN Jordan, The Making Of A Modern Kingdom Globalization And Change In Saudi Arabia ISBN And Omidian, When Bamboo Bloom ISBN A Street in Marrakech 10252007 a personal encounter with the lives of Moroccan women by Elizabeth Warnock FerneaI read this book many years ago, back in 1982, to be exact It has stayed with me all these years because of its warm humanity, its fine description and painstaking details about the slow building of friendship and understanding between an American woman and her female Moroccan neighbors in the Rue Tr sor, a small street in Marrakesh I used it in conjunction with other works on Morocco to teach anthropology courses such works as Geertz Islam Observed , Rabinow s Doing Fieldwork in Morocco , Charhadi s A Life Full of Holes , Maher s Women and Property in Morocco , and Dwyer s Images and Self Images Male and Female in Morocco All of these books portray some aspect of Moroccan society, some anthropologically rigorous than others While Fernea s book can be read purely for pleasure, it gives an excellent picture of what struck an American as different about Moroccan society, what cultural differences were most evident for her If a reader can get hold of the BBC series Disappearing World program called Women of Marrakesh , that makes an excellent companion to the book A STREET IN MARRAKECH is a down to earth, interesting volume that will hold your interest and provide an excellent insight into another culture I strongly recommend it.I am an American woman who has been living in Marrakesh for the past 9 years I just read this book Even though it was written in the early 1970 s, I found it to be a very accurate portrayal of life in the old medina, even now The author and her husband are anthropologists, and both spoke fluent Arabic upon their arrival, from having lived previously in Iraq and Egypt Therefore, the author was able to converse with people daily, and understand completely, what they were saying This is something I have never been able to do Because of this, she is able to give a VERY detailed look at an aspect of life which is nearly impossible for most outsiders to penetrate the hidden life of Medina women, which takes place behind high, closed walls What she describes is very similar to what I have experienced here of life with my Moroccan husband s family, and the people who live around them in the Medina This book is NOT a study of political or historical conditions it is the detailed, personal history of one family s year long experience of living, and immersing itself, in the life of Marrakesh.I read this book in preparation for a return trip to Morocco and wish I d read it the first time This is a story of what it s REALLY like to move to a foreign country non western and try to live as the people do For those of us who have read books like A Year in Provence and suspect that it all sounds too good to be true, this book is a refreshing change It s told from a woman s perspective, and focuses on domestic life, the sharp difference between public and home behavior in Islamic societies, the pervasiveness of religion, and male female roles I would have liked a bit of a broader perspective the author s descriptions of public unrest and a strike were tantalizing, and I would have liked to know a bit about what was going on in the country at the time, but she describes pretty clearly why Europeans or Americans, well meaning though they may be, wouldn t necessarily be met with open arms. If you are travelling to Morocco and particularly to Marrakech I would highly recommend this book Even though it is set during the early 1970s, when the author and her family lived in the Medina old walled city of Marrakech for a year, the author s insights are still really valuable and relevant There may be motorcycles than donkeys on the narrow winding streets now, compared to 1971, but the medina hasn t changed all that much in 40 years It looks and feels ancient, and truly modern encroachments except for cell phones are few Not only will a visitor recognise so many of the place names in the book, which is always satisfying, but the content gives access in the sense of understanding to the people of Marrakech in a way that one s commercial transactions in the souks and museums really do not I was particularly interested in Fernea s revelations about the Muslim faith and how it is practised in Morocco Just to give you some context, Fernea is married to an academic her husband was an anthropology professor at the University of Texas at the time of writing and she also refers to their experiences living in Iraq and Egypt Her husband has come to research the market system in Morocco, but she and her three children are living a most unusual ordinary life She refers to her ability to speak Arabic, albeit with an Egyptian accent, and the reader can infer that she had coping skills far beyond most Americans She came to Marrakech when it was a glamorous and trendy place associated with a certain drugged out hippie lifestyle but except for a few references to some young, feckless American students who come into their orbit, Fernea s family was living in the very closed world of Muslim Morocco Initially, she finds this world nearly inpenetrable but gradually, and mostly because of her growing friendship with Aisha a kind of household help, and also a neighbour she begins to befriend some of the other women in the neighborhood.The book is told in chronological style, and covers exactly a year It does have a kind of narrative arc, as the author goes from feeling utterly foreign to somewhat a part of things, but like real life it is mostly a chronicle of domestic life with the occasional Big Event A wedding in the neighborhood is one of the first big events which the author and her family get to experience At times, because of the many characters in the book not to mention the difficult names it can be hard to follow, but mostly I found it really readable. I typically don t enjoy reading wandering narratives, but I just couldn t put this book down It doesn t have a particular aim or single thread holding the plot together, but really is an account of various experiences of an American family living in Marrakech Elizabeth Fernea does an excellent job of creating an intriguing narrative that outlines the difficulties of many vast cultural differences She is thoughtful, honest, and provocative I appreciate that she holds herself accountable when she discusses how her personal motivations sometimes wins out over her responsibilities to her friends e.g cooking for impressing European friends while her Moroccan friends expect her to go dancing with them at the zaweeya This book is an excellent read for anyone interested in studying about cultural differences and raising a family across borders, political and cultural. Fernea, Bob and their three children decide to live in Marrakesh, on the Rue Tresor, which is basically an alleyway, instead of in the area where the mother foreigners tend to live She wants to really get to know and experience all that the Morocco city has to offer and get to know the real people that live in this city In humorous and wonderfully straightforward writing the reader follows the family with their difficulties in navigating a culture they are not part of or very familiar with.I enjoyed reading about this family, the children s problems and school and how they resolve them, the tasks of marketing and cooking are all unfamiliar and new The people of the Rue Tressor seem not to like the strangers in their midst, they are looked on with suspicion and the family begins to think this will never change Yet slowly and surely it does, small steps at a time Wonderful view of this city and their culture Not sure I could be as fearless as this family, though fun to think of experiencing something new.