Podcast: The “Lush Garden” of Andalusian Music by Dr. Carl Davila

Biography Dr. Carl Davila holds a PhD in Arabic Studies from Yale University (2006). He lived in Fez off and on for nearly three years in the early 2000s and has visited Morocco frequently since then. Being the first scholar to write extensively in English on the Andalusian music in Morocco, he has published two … Read more Podcast: The “Lush Garden” of Andalusian Music by Dr. Carl Davila


Support the Legation’s Women’s Literacy Program for #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 30th, is Giving Tuesday, and we are asking for your support of the Legation’s Women’s Literacy Program in order to ensure its continued success and our ability to reach as many women as possible! The Literacy Program is a grassroots endeavor that has played an important part in solidifying TALIM’s relationship with the … Read more Support the Legation’s Women’s Literacy Program for #GivingTuesday


Visit our new virtual tour

TALIM has launched an updated virtual tour, with support from the US Embassy in Morocco. The new tour was developed by filmmaker Ayoub El Jamal, former TALIM Outreach Coordinator. English narrations were done by Laissa Alexis and Grace Olson, both Wellesley College interns, and TALIM Director John Davison. Arabic narrations are provided by our Curator … Read more Visit our new virtual tour


AIMS at MESA: The I. William Zartman North African Award

The American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) is pleased to announce that it continues its annual awards for student members and for North African-based scholars presenting at MESA. While MESA 2020 may be all-virtual, the disturbances and difficulties placed on our lives by the coronavirus pandemic have not stopped scholars of the Maghrib from showing … Read more AIMS at MESA: The I. William Zartman North African Award


January 23-25: Three Busy (and Rainy) Days at the Legation!

Sundays are usually well-earned rest days at the Legation, especially after perhaps 3 of our busiest days in recent memory. On Thursday and Friday, January 23-24, we hosted our first — but we hope not our last —  symposium on “Movement and Migration between Morocco and West Africa,” which addressed a broad range of themes … Read more January 23-25: Three Busy (and Rainy) Days at the Legation!


Circles: Meet the New Director

Last Roll - 3
Former Director Loftus opened the Legation to Zankat America

Thirty-one years ago last month, a group of sixty-plus Peace Corps trainees arrived in Rabat, following a nearly 24-hour trip from Philadelphia via Paris.  It was already night as we drove in from the airport, and it was Ramadan.  The streets were packed, but our bus eventually made its way to the Bulima Hotel in the center of Rabat.  Unable to sleep, I wandered down Blvd Mohammed V to the medina, and entered a new world of sights, sounds and smells.   Thus began my own “beautiful friendship” with Morocco.

After spending two years teaching English at Lycée Laymoune in Berkane (and also visiting the American Legation in 1984), I began a diplomatic career that took me from Guinea-Bissau to Singapore, Madagascar to Tunisia, Cairo to New York City, and finally Niger and New Delhi.  Working subsequently for the United Nations also allowed me to work in lovely, lyrical Cape Verde.  Now I’ve come full circle and will begin a new adventure as Director of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies.

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Morocco’s Music: Archives to Archnet

His Majesty King Mohammed VI Paul Bowles Library of Congress Moroccan Music Collection Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies
His Majesty King Mohammed VI
Paul Bowles Library of Congress
Moroccan Music Collection
Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies

It was the only way I could think of to get the opus of Morocco’s traditional music, recorded in 1959 by Paul Bowles and digitized by TALIM in 2010, into the hands of King Mohammed VI: have a leather presentation case made, embossed with the TALIM logo and dedicated to His Majesty.

US Ambassador to Morocco Dwight Bush now has it, and will present it at an appropriate occasion.  Morocco’s musical heritage will have been repatriated after more than fifty years in the vaults of the Library of Congress.

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Tangier: Guides and Gateways

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Cover by Robert McDonald, Tangier: The Golden Gateway (Tangier: Mediterranean American Press, 1952). Collection TALIM Research Library.

The following is a guest post by Emma Chubb, who made a presentation on her subject to a group of American, European, and Moroccan researchers and interested members of the public at TALIM on June 17.  Emma Chubb is a doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois USA) and is a 2013-14 American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) fellow in Morocco.

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Guides and Gateways

I spent much of last fall reading through TALIM’s collection of guidebooks and tourism magazines published between the 1940s and 1970s. Perhaps it was because I too was a newcomer to Tangier, but these guides fascinated me. Some folded out like maps, mixing quirky tips for the European or American traveler to Tangier with black-and-white photographs and brightly colored illustrations.

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Introducing the New Mudir – John Davison

John Davison in Istanbul
John Davison in Istanbul
Almost four years to the day, I wrote about my predecessor Thor Kuniholm and his long tenure at the Legation.  Next week, it will be my successor, John Davison, who will be coming in after Marie Hélène and I head off to greener pastures.

I was an early and strong supporter of John’s candidacy, among a very competitive field of applicants for this job.  He had visited us at the Legation after learning of the job opening, and we were impressed with his enthusiasm, imagination, and his knowledge of Morocco.

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The Skeletons of Portuguese Tangier

“Portuguese Tangier” uses the latest GIS modeling technology and 15th century archives to recreate a vibrant image of the city during its two Portuguese centuries.