The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah

The Caliph’s House – Enter at Your Own Risk

Daria Silter

Daria Silter

Daria Silter is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Global Storybook.
You can read more about Daria here.
Daria Silter
  • Book: “The Caliph’s House – A Year in Casablanca”
  • Author: Tahir Shah
  • Publisher: Bantam Dell, A Division of Random House, Inc., New York, 2006

You have probably already heard about this bestselling book, however we just had to include it in our collection of books on Morocco.  If you haven’t heard about it yet – even better, let’s talk about why you should absolutely add it to your reading list.

The Caliph’s House is a personal, true story of one talented writer that decided to trade the grey and dump weather of his native London, for a much more exotic, sunny, and livelier destination – Morocco.  So he convinced his wife to move and to buy an old, beautiful, large, and quite inexpensive house in Casablanca, but as it turned out later – the house came with a real twist.

This book is the first in the series of Tahir Shah’s adventures in Morocco.  To say that you will be captivated from the first page – won’t do it any justice.  This book is guaranteed to take you on a rollercoaster journey, to a place where you will be laughing to tears, questioning your own beliefs, and at times seating on edge in a full suspense mode, eagerly awaiting – what happens next?

Morocco is a very special arabic country – located in Africa, it doesn’t feel much “African” at all.  Since I have traveled there personally, I can tell you that things don’t exactly work in Morocco they way they do in the rest of the World.  The Caliph’s House is a great introduction into this fascinating, mysterious, and at times unexplainable country, where you must always keep (your sanity and) an open mind, otherwise its mystic and charm will elude you, and you won’t learn a thing.  Whether you are planning a visit to Morocco or just looking for the next best thing to read – definitely give this book a trial run, you won’t regret it.

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“Rachana could tell I was thinking about what had happened the previous night.  She wouldn’t look me in the eye all day.  At last, in the evening, when the children were asleep in bed, she turned to me.

“I had to go in there,” she said in a trembling voice. “I don’t know why, or what it was about. But something happened in there. Didn’t you feel it?

I said I had felt something, a coldness, a danger.

“That’s it,” she added. “It was danger. Pure fear.”

“I’m sure Hamza knows about that room,” I said after a long pause. 

“He won’t tell,” she replied, “at least not until he’s ready to.” (p. 95)

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