Moha Ennaji Presents Anthropological Study of Morocco in ‘The Olive Tree of Wisdom’

Morocco World News

Rabat - The prestigious French publishing house Karthala has just published in Paris a book entitled "The olive tree of wisdom," by the Moroccan university professor and author Moha Ennaji.

This 165-page book sheds light on the situation of ancient Morocco through the life of the author’s father, a hero of the resistance, Sufi and adept of a tolerant Islam. The book describes the life of an Amazigh family in Timoulilt, a Middle Atlas village. The author speaks nostalgically of a rural world that no longer exists. The book is a narrative of the past that leads directly to the future with a spirit of tolerance and openness, in short a great lesson in life that should interest all those who remain curious about ancient Morocco and the eternal Morocco. This narrative portrays Morocco as a country that has always been characterized by dialogue between cultures, by its diversity, tolerance and openness to the modern world.

The multiple perspectives (anthropological, historical and cultural) of this narrative make this book very important to understand the life of Moroccans during the French protectorate and at the dawn of independence. Its sixteen chapters are organized around six major themes: the history of the struggle for independence in the Middle Atlas in particular and in Morocco in general, the harsh living conditions of Imazighen under the protectorate, their tolerant Islam and Sufism among them, the linguistic question and the impact of the education system, the situation of rural Moroccan women and the challenges of the multiple identities, as well as their impact on  the integration of Imazighen in modernity as well as the participation of the rural population to the struggle for independence and the Imazighen's contribution to the economic, political, social and cultural development after independence.

Highlighting topics previously little studied and analyzed, the book highlights the importance of respecting cultural specificities in any debate on diversity and social justice in Morocco.

The book describes the Moroccan Imazighen as serious workers whose main objective is to improve their standards of living. It shows that rural people in general and Amazigh people in particular are actors of socio-economic development in view of their various immense contributions and their achievements at several levels. They fight every day for a better future for themselves and their children and deserve recognition and respect. Their Islam, which is both modern and moderate, is considered a basis for stability and social peace for Morocco.

Ennaji argues that the Maghreb countries, especially the elites, would do better to know and appreciate the social and popular history as well as the ancestral traditions of their countries, and to protect their tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Similarly, young men and women must recognize the generous culture of their country and be more tolerant and respectful of political and religious pluralism.


Moha Ennaji is a prominent Moroccan academic with research interests in culture and society, migration, gender issues, and linguistics. He is co-founder and president of the International Institute for Languages and Cultures at Fès, Morocco. He is the author of several books, among which «Multilingualism, Cultural Identity, and Education in Morocco» (Springer New York, 2005), « Multiculturalism and Democracy in North Africa  (Routledge, London 2014) and “Muslim Moroccan Migrants in Europe and North American” (Palgrave, 2015). He has published many articles in Moroccan, American and European journals and newspapers.




  • The Moroccan Gold Eldorado

    The Moroccan Gold Eldorado, a Myth or a Reality?

    Rabat - Recently, a conspiracy theory video about a large gold discovery in Morocco is making rounds online. The video claims that a substantial gold reserve was discovered and is being extracted by a Canadian mining company called Maya Gold and Silver. We Moroccans are very proud human beings, we love our country and cherish...

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

    Qatar: How the Tables Are Turning in The Gulf

    Rabat - Amidst harsh sanctions and a long list of demands from its neighbors, Qatar’s ability to thrive under pressure may prove to be problematic for Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia and its coalition attempt to wait out Qatar, the recent spat in the Gulf continues to become more and more global, and severely against...

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

    Climate Change : If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Fix It

    Chefchaouen - Climate change is happening at home and around the world. Chefchaouen is doing its part by embracing clean energy climate solutions and engaging its citizens in climate action. When it comes to fighting climate change, cities and local leaders are best positioned to lead that charge. Local leaders from coastal to landlocked communities are...

  • 20

    India Orders Internal Probe into Mistaken Use of Morocco-Spain Border Picture

    Hyderabad - The Indian Ministry of Interior on Wednesday ordered an internal investigation to find out how a picture of Morocco-Spain border was used in its annual report to show floodlights along the India-Pakistan border. What is most embarrassing is that the annual report of previous years was tabled during the Budget Session of Indian...

  • Amid Growing Tension, Thousands of Moroccans Stage Pro-Rif March in Rabat

    Neglect in Harsh Soil: The Deep Roots of the Rif Crisis

    Rabat - The ongoing protests in northern Morocco started almost eight months ago, but they have their origin in nearly a century of violent repression by the state. The Rif has, in spite of itself, got involved into a peaceful revolt since the death of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri at the end of October 2016, a...

  • Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani emir of Qatar

    The Qatar Crisis: What Does It Mean?

    Rabat - The recent diplomatic fallout between Qatar and the rest of the Middle East could have serious economic and geopolitical consequences across the globe. Earlier this week, Qatar’s diplomatic crisis took an extreme turn as several Arab states severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.  The original list of countries in the coalition against...

  • Moroccans spend Laylat al-Qadr, the 26th day of Ramadan, at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.

    Ramadan: Not just Abstinence from Daily Intakes 

    By Abdellatif Oudra Rabat - The observance of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, compels Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. But it is not just about abstaining from food or drink.  Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed in commemoration of the revelation of Qur’an to the prophet Mohammad,...

  • Morocco Threatens to Terminate Agriculture Agreement with Europe

    Morocco and the EU: Managing the Future

    Rabat - Morocco enjoys proximity to Europe and is at an advantage of being favoured by the European Union as a close partner on political, economic, and cultural levels. Historical archives and political legacies tie Morocco directly with at least three influential European countries: France, Spain, and England. Demography, kinship, and immigration compel other EU...

  • The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab Spring

    The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

    Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others. World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of...

  • Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri

    Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

    Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science. Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil...