REPRESENTING MOROCCO, FEZ
The kingdom of Morocco that is at the crossroad of
Europe and Africa is an inspiring country with its beautiful culture, rich and
interesting in terms of history. The country has a very strong sense of
culture. Various rulers that ruled the country influenced the country’s
Despite the weakness of its authority, the Alaouite dynasty
distinguished itself in the 18th and 19th centuries by maintaining Morocco’s
independence while other states in the region succumbed to Turkish, French, or
However, in the latter part of the 19th century
Morocco’s weakness and instability invited European intervention to protect
threatened investments and to demand economic concessions. That’s what made the
country lost its control over its land and its people.
and Spanish activity in Morocco began during the end of the 19th century. In
1904 the French government was trying to establish a protectorate over Morocco,
especially in some cities that were and still till now rich in its cultures and
architecture .Such as, Marrakesh,Tanger , Rabat and Fes which was the capital city
of the country at that time .
First Moroccan Crisis grew out of the imperial rivalries of the great powers,
in this case, between France on one side and Spanish, with British support, on
the other. Morocco during that period was like the center of attention for many
other colonies which aimed and, were able to conquer and invade the country.
the period 1850-1930 , many European and British travellers visited and
explored the place, and found it much interesting , For instance, Edith Wharton
(1867-1937), who wrote a book (In Morocco ) 1920 , where she wrote a travel
discourse about the place . Much more
than that, she explained what the
colony did with the place, Also the Moroccan dynasty during the colonial time
and how it was after World War I. Besides, for what purpose Wharton travelled
to Morocco. The last thing the various wars and conquers of the country.
this work, we trying to analyze what the author write about Morocco, especially
Fes in the duration of eighteen and nineteen centuries. We will give a try to
answer various questions like the different views and perceptions back to the
colonial period of British and European domination on the country. And how the
western people see and consider the orientalist people.
book, in Morocco (1920), by the travel book and novelist Edith Wharton where
she stated her experience during her visit to Morocco, especially the city of
Fez .Edith described the city in many different sides. In the first vision
where she gave to the reader the true image of the city. Focusing on the walls,
towers, and the fantastic architecture of the diverse culture .due to the
impact of the colonies .Fez was the city that all the adventurous travellers
and foreigners interested in. she also explored the dynast tried to stand
against the conquers, but the strong and length of the invaders influenced
harshly on the country, not only the people but also the way of their living.
fez Eldjdid (the new fes) as a very old, and the place Bou- Jeloud stands and
belongs to almoravid Kasbah of the eleventh century, and erected. Fez elbali
had already existed for more than three hundred years .Beside that, El
kayrouiyin is belonging to the contemporary of saint ambrogio of Milan ,and
that the old original mosque of Molay idriss II was built over his grave in the
eight century .Historically speaking , according to Edith in her second chapter
is the oldest city in morocco without any dynasty of phenician or roman past
.Furthermore, Wharton mentioned that fez El jaded the new
place and government buildings,
was founded in the Fourteenth century by The Merinid princes , and look much as
it did then.
her last chapter which titled Fez el Bali , she described the infrastructure of
the city such as( the distance , streets and quarters)considering it like a
melting pot of many different culture of Turks ,Jews and Berbers of the
mountains gathered in one society and been assimilated to each other.
here we can summarize that this text is a narrative text, which by Edith
described and tried to tell us everything about Fez and morocco in particular
way. Mainly focusing on the positive sides, rather than the negative of the
area. From this work we can analyze and observe that the information Wharton
used and opinion is clear and presented objectively about the place.
travel literature played a historical and key role in spreading information,
remote and faraway culture. Before the age of aviation, television, internet,
knowledge and information about foreign culture relied almost exclusively on
oral and written accounts of adventurous travellers like Edith Wharton. It is
clear that the author here involved and mixed a variety of issue based on
stimulating, motivating and facilitating communication between the people of
the United Kingdom and Morocco from one side.
more than that, to facilitate the way of invading, controlling and mapping the
place on the other hand .Besides, to show some of the aspects of Moroccan
culture which retained the attention of British travellers and those which
contributed to enhance the mutual understanding between the two countries .the
main reason why they are interesting in the area is that Morocco is too
curious, too beautiful and , too rich in landscape and architecture .due to the
exploring and discovering of the place at early time .this is why Wharton
travelled to Morocco as the guest of the French governor of the protectorate
general Hubert Lyautey .
There are many various theories
that been use for Wharton to put a clear image about the place during the
colony time and its influence on the society of Morocco especially Fez city.
Such as cultural diversity, as she enjoyed her trip in the city and been
surprised with its diverse culture, traditions, customs and languages too .the
second theory she functioned is Race , whereby the issue of the slavery of
children and stifling conditions affects the society on one side , and on the
author’s feeling on the other .the Third one is surveillance and
classification, where these description could be deeply analyzed by Edith
Wharton theory of surveillance or the power of the gaze that enables the
colonizer of inspecting ,examine ,exploring and mapping the targeted territory
To sum up,
Wharton gave a try to share with us her experience in many cities in the
country during the eighteen, and nineteen century At the duration of the
Alaouite dynast from one side, and of the British and French domination on the
other .That’s all due to the instability and the wars that destroyed the
country and affected it on many sides. Historically consist of the French
government and its protectorate over Morocco. Also the activities that both
French and Spanish with the help of the British started at the end of the
nineteen century .in the other hand, the influence of the colonizer on the
infrastructure and the power of territory based on the rules they established.
Thanks to the rich architecture and various cultures that exist in the country.
That’s what clearly made a relationship between the two countries. Furthermore,
the manner in which the realm of postcolonial theory .For instance, Orientalism
by Edward said where he examines the historical, cultural, and political views
of the East that are held by the West, and examines how they developed and
where they came from. From this we can understand why colonialism was part of a
historical moment to the process of modernity to Morocco.