Village Stay: Inside the Singing Walls


BIRTA, MOROCCO – Dunia Chamoun sat in the warmth of the sun that cast a hazy glow through the dirty window. Her notebooks, worn by her fingers tracing the corners and words, sat on her lap. Since she dropped out of school seven years ago, at age 11, she’s spent the majority of her days inside the family’s small, clay-walled house.

After Chamoun’s father passed away, her older brothers decided to keep her at home in order to preserve her body, her beauty, and ultimately her reputation as a “good girl.” Despite her domestic isolation, she finds ways to express herself through writing. 

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Challenging Illiteracy in Morocco, a Bookseller Pursues Paradise

By Hannah Rehak

Photographs by Will Matsuda

RABAT, Morocco – Magazines spill out onto a busy street and blue painted shutters stretch open, exposing Aziz Muhammed sitting on a dusty pillow. As always, he is reading, eyes focused on an orange-bound book, spectacles resting on his prominent nose. Though tucked away behind the work of hundreds of authors, Muhammed is known throughout the medina, the oldest part of Rabat, for his unique aesthetic. He is a 66-year-old bouquiniste, a proud bookseller, in a country with an adult literacy rate of approximately 67 percent.

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