There are hundreds of booklovers in the world. But bookstores in this street in Rabbat, Morocco has a special place in every booker’s heart. From latest to vintage/rare books, you can find anything from here.
Tucked away from the busy streets of Morocco’s capital, Rabat’s only all-English bookstore is a hidden gem. You can only really recognize the store by a discreet sign and its business hours. Handwritten in both Arabic and English. It is hard to not be amazed by the sheer number of books on sale. Carefully placed in categories such as fiction, women’s studies, media, or human sciences. Morocco has the best collection of books in the whole world.
If you visits Morocco and explore the amazing streets from native city. You will witness hundreds of book stores that opened in early 1900s. Some of the book sellers are in this business from 3 generations and so on. They love their books and content like their kid. Interestingly, most of the book sellers remembers almost 4000 plus books themselves. This depicts the love of books and reading in them as a nation.
Story of a book store
Belhaj, the sole owner of the bookstore, is originally from Fez. Born in 1941, his studies took him to Rabat at the end of the 1950s. At first reluctant to leave his hometown and the city’s vibrant medina in which he grew up, Belhaj said his options were somewhat limited when choosing where to continue his education. At the time, Morocco’s only modern university was in Rabat, where Belhaj studied political science.
He started learning English, an unusual undertaking for the majority of Moroccans at the time. “I realized that French is not an international language,” said Belhaj.
“English is not important itself. It is also not better than any other language. Language is simply a reference for human knowledge. It is a pool of knowledge,” he added.
The owner added that his own personal interest in politics, anthropology, Islamic studies, and Sufism eventually prevails when choosing which types of books he sells at the store.