|In Essaouira, the Marjana Cooperative offers literacy classes to the women who work in the argan oil production process.|
Before I leave the topic of reading, I have one final note—a disappointing observation, really. Yes, it's a generalization, but one of the truer ones I've told: in spite of the rich body of literary and narrative works written by Moroccans and about Morocco, this country still has no culture of reading.
The first few times I rode the train in Morocco, I felt something amiss. At the start of every long, dull ride, Jacqueline and I would sit down and immediately reach for our books. All around us, the Moroccans chatted with each other, stared at the wall, stared out the window or, more often than not, stared at us, generally doing little to fill the free time. (That I find their inactivity so bizarre is, I realize, also a reflection on my own, very Western inability to sit still.)