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A Street in Marrakech: A Personal View of Urban Women in Morocco
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A Street in Marrakech: A Personal View of Urban Women in Morocco

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  192 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This is a reflexive account of an American woman and her family's unpredictable journey through the private and public worlds of a traditional Muslim city in the process of change. As a Western stranger in Marrakech, Fernea was met with suspicion and hostility. The story of the slow growth of trust and acceptance between the author and her Moroccan neighbors involves the r ...more
Paperback, 382 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Waveland Press (first published December 31st 1975)
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Beth Bonini
Jan 25, 2017 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it
If you are travelling to Morocco - and particularly to Marrakech - I would highly recommend this book. Even though it is set during the early 1970s, when the author and her family lived in the Medina (old walled city) of Marrakech for a year, the author's insights are still really valuable and relevant. There may be more motorcycles than donkeys on the narrow winding streets now, compared to 1971, but the medina hasn't changed all that much in 40 years. It looks and feels ancient, and truly mode ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Jamila rated it it was amazing
I typically don't enjoy reading wandering narratives, but I just couldn't put this book down. It doesn't have a particular "aim" or single thread holding the plot together, but really is an account of various experiences of an American family living in Marrakech. Elizabeth Fernea does an excellent job of creating an intriguing narrative that outlines the difficulties of many vast cultural differences. She is thoughtful, honest, and provocative. I appreciate that she holds herself accountable whe ...more
Diane S ☔
May 03, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
Fernea, Bob and their three children decide to live in Marrakesh, on the Rue Tresor, which is basically an alleyway, instead of in the area where the mother foreigners tend to live. She wants to really get to know and experience all that the Morocco city has to offer and get to know the real people that live in this city. In humorous and wonderfully straightforward writing. the reader follows the family with their difficulties in navigating a culture they are not part of or very familiar with.
More than 30 years later, I can still identify quite a bit with the Morocco this author describes ... the community of a single neighborhood with all of its sisterhood, hospitality, competition, fears and celebrations. She is more open to authentic Moroccan experiences, and more understanding of the common threads between societies, than most books I've read from the same period.
Feb 23, 2012 Lilli rated it it was amazing
This is by far one of my most favorite books. I am rarely able to reread books but this is one that I still find myself as mesmerized and interested as the first time I read this book more than 15 years ago.
Andy Perdue
Mar 22, 2011 Andy Perdue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mideast
My favorite book by one of my favorite authors, this captures a year in the life of an American family living in Morocco. I have read this a half-dozen times - and could easily pick it up again.
A Street in Marrakech 10252007 a personal encounter with the lives of Moroccan women by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

I read this book many years ago, back in 1982, to be exact. It has stayed with me all these years because of its warm humanity, its fine description and painstaking details about the slow building of friendship and understanding between an American woman and her female Moroccan neighbors in the Rue Trésor, a small street in Marrakesh. I used it in conjunction with other works on Morocc
Mindy McAdams
Apr 13, 2016 Mindy McAdams rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in foreign travel
One of the best books I've ever read. Why? It's about an American family who goes to live in a foreign place with respect and curiosity. The place is Marrakech, Morocco, in the early 1970s, when only three or four families in the neighborhood had TVs. The author has come with her husband (an anthropologist) and three children to stay for a year in a rented house in the medina, the old part of the city, where the streets are too narrow for any cars. Some of the neighbors don't have electricity or ...more
May 29, 2013 McKenzie rated it it was amazing
In preparing myself mentally for my upcoming trip to Marrakech, I was hesitant about reading one of the many travelogues written by foreigners who spent a year in Morocco, but A Street in Marrakech caught my eye, and I am thankful I gave it a chance. Elizabeth "B.J." Fernea moves her family of five to Marrakech in the 1970s when her husband, an anthropology professor at the University of Texas, gets a year sabbatical to research the markets of the city. The family had previously lived in Egypt a ...more
May 12, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
The story of American woman and her family's unpredictable journey through the private and public worlds of a traditional Muslim city in the process of change set in 1970's.

A very detailed story depicting a family living in Morocco trying to acclimate in their two year home. Cultural, religious issues as well trying to befriend neighbors along with fitting in as an outsider in all areas associated with an unfamiliar foreign environment.

If you are hoping to find a travelogue rather than a memoi
Oct 04, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Although written in the early 70's, this book is still a great introduction to Marrakech. If you are planning a trip there, this is a must read. It is well written, moves quickly and provides a wonderful description of this complex and rich city. It truly enhanced my visit there!
Mar 24, 2013 Augusta37 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my all time favorite books.
Annakarima Sanders
wonderfull book, have read it 4 times already, it discribes all i have seen ,,,
May 31, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthropology
A great book that shows how one slowly becomes part of a new culture. Wonderfully written and wonderful to read.
Feb 22, 2014 Shannon rated it liked it
read as part of a gender studies class in undergrad
Rose Anderson
Mar 10, 2016 Rose Anderson rated it really liked it
Enthralling story.
4.5, really, and maybe 5. I don't know...I must think...
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Elizabeth Warnock Fernea was an influential writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist who spent much of her life in the field producing numerous ethnographies and films that capture the struggles and turmoil of African and Middle Eastern cultures. Her husband, the anthropologist Robert A. Fernea, was a large influence in her life. Fernea is commonly regarded as a pioneer for women in the field of Midd ...more
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