Morocco’s arts scene has a storied past to match its vibrant present. In the 1950s and ‘60s, expatriate writers and artists like Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs flocked to the so-called International Zone, a cosmopolitan, semi-autonomous region in Tangier, where they were inspired to share their creative insights with the world. Bowles’ 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky makes a particularly good companion for travelers to North Africa. For a native Moroccan perspective, check out Leila Abouzeid’s Year of the Elephant, a 1983 novel that was one of Morocco’s first to be translated from Arabic into English.
Morocco is also popular for lovers of music and dance. Although the ubiquitous belly dancing is not strictly speaking of Moroccan origin, you’ll spot it along with traditional folk dancing, especially at festivals, weddings and other celebrations. Wandering heddaoua are entertaining Berber storytellers who move from town to town reciting poetry to musical accompaniment. (more…)