Jamila Hassoune, the Librarian of Marrakesh, announces a new Book Caravan

Seated womanI've been privileged to meet so many awesome social entrepreneurs around the world, doing fabulous work without much recognition (and often, even less funding). Jamila Hassoune is one of those social entrepreneurs, and we share a love for books and the power of access to books. We've been in touch for almost fifteen years, and I met her in person in 2014 when I was attending the diplomatic conference that resulted in the Treaty of Marrakesh. She's known as the Librarian of Marrakesh, in recognition of her dedication to books and her role as Morocco's first woman bookseller.

She leads Book Caravans into Morocco's rural regions to share knowledge, books and history with students and women. She just sent me the announcement of her new Book Caravan:

The 13th book caravan

Under the theme: The valorization of our heritage is a responsibility of our present and our future.

Jamila Hassoune is pleased to announce the 13th Edition of the book caravan from April 16 to 20, 2018. This edition will take place in the region Draa-Tafilalet in the south-east of Morocco, whose main city is Errachidia. Tafilalet is historical region famous for the largest oasis in the world located in Erfoud. 
Its living heritage and earthen constructions are a particularity of the pre-Saharan architecture. It was formerly known as Sijilmassa which was a former capital of Tafilalet. The date of the first foundation of this city is still imprecise. Léon l’africain reported that the City might be traced back to the era of Alexander the Great or that it would have been founded by a Roman general. Re-founded in 757 on the Saharan caravan route between the Niger River and Tangiers -- time before Tiaret (761), before Fez (808)-- Sijilmassa seems to be the oldest Muslim foundation in the Maghreb. 
According to resources of the East, it was a real center of civilization at that time. Many books and writings have helped to describe this region. The books of the geographer and historian Al Bakri, the traveler Ibn Batuta, european explorers like Renè Caillé, Gerhard Rohlfs, Walter Harris, Meunié…ect are among the famous references that document this civilization. These writings deserve a great and profound reading to restore the value of this region. 
Related to this subject the book caravan is intended to organize a four days vibrant event of culture full of activities for middle and high school students in Errachidia and Erfoud. This event aims to offer a context of exchange between participants from different parts of the world and the local community.
If you have an interest in women's literacy and literacy in general, please learn more about my friend, the Librarian of Marrakesh!


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