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.
Richard Hamilton has worked for the BBC World Service as a broadcast journalist since 1998, including as a correspondent in Morocco, South Africa and Madagascar. He also reports for BBC TV, radio and online. While living in Morocco, he co-authored the 'Time Out Guide to Marrakech' and has written throughout his career for magazines and newspapers such as 'Conde Nast Traveller' and 'The Cape Times'. He has an MA in African Studies from SOAS.
*Introduction * The Red Lantern * The Fakir and the Frog * The Gazelle with the Golden Horns * The Shoemaker and the Bird * The Traveller and the Sultan's Daughter * The Woman who fell in love with the Hermit * The Trials of Noureddine * The Sultan and his Vizier's Wife * The Thief and the Judge * Seven Coins and a Donkey * The Girl from Fes * The Sultan and his Vizier * The Sultan's Daughter * The Clothes Merchant and the Young Woman * The Laundryman * The Man who went against his Father's Wishes * The Lion and the Wolf * The Oil Merchant's Son * The Sultan and the Chicken * The Two Hunchbacks * El-Ghaliya bent Mansour * King Kadour and his son Mouhand *The Land and the Treasure * The Statue and the Robber * The Tailor, the Princess and the Eagle * Nour and the Sultan * The Sultan and the Thief * The Eyes of Ben'Adi * The Vizier and the Barber * The Imam and the Wager * The Date Gatherers * Ismail and the Thieves * The Birth of the Sahara * The Christian Woman * The Rich Woman and the Sacks of Corn * The Nobleman and his Three Sons * The Vengeance of Allah * The Three Figs * The Legend of the Rose * Aicha Rmada * The Queen and the King, the son of Amelkani * The Bird from the Land of Gabour * One hundred and one Beheadings * The Sultan's Daughter and the Leper * The Woman and the Black Cat * The City and the Countryside * Suleiman and the Stork * The Woman and the Devil * The Pomegranate and the Talking Drum*