Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco's ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in the Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction. The competing distractions of television, movies and the internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed at first hand the death throes of this rich and captivating tradition and, in the labyrinth of the Marrakech medina, has tracked down the last few remaining storytellers, recording stories that are replete with the mysteries and beauty of the Maghreb.
About the Author
Richard Hamilton has worked for the BBC World Service as a broadcast journalist since 1998, including being a correspondent in Morocco, South Africa and Madagascar.
Barnaby Rogerson is an author and publisher. Together with his partner Rose Baring, he runs Eland Books, which specializes in keeping the classics of travel literature in print. He is the author of acclaimed biographies of the Prophet Mohammed, and the Prophet's heirs, a history of The Last Crusades and travel guides to such places as Morocco, Cyprus and Istanbul. He writes frequently for Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveller (UK), Harper's Bazaar and the Times Literary Supplement.