Jamila Hassoune

The Travelling Bookseller

Activities and Projects
  • Since 2006 » Book Caravan - a mobile cultural space for the rural zones in the South of Morocco... and various other projects concerning the civil society
  • Sine the 90ies: Several cultural projects in the domain of civil society
  • Since 1999 » Caravane civique - foundation of this annual event together with » Fatema Mernissi
  • Since 1996 "Travelling Bookseller" - the begin of regular travels to the High Atlas villages with boxes full of books
  • 1995 Club du livre et de lecture de Marrakech (foundation) - for the organisation of cultural events
  • 1994 Bookshop Hassoune at Marrakech

  • Publications and Topics of lectures, discussions, conferences (national and international)
  • 2012 "La Libraia di Marrakech", Jamila Hassoune, Mesagoa 144 p.
  • 2012 The Caravan-Librarian Conversation: Jamila Hassoune, Morocco, Inspirational Friday: Weekly conversations with inspirational women, October 26, 2012
  • 2011 Come la pioggia. Donne marocchine raccontano il loro impegno, Edizioni Una Città, 120 pagine, Interviste
  • 2011 Die Buchhändlerin von Marrakesch: Mit Büchern für die Freiheit, gofeminin.de, Mai 2011
  • 2009 "Il civismo virtuale del Marocco contemporaneo di Tommaso Palmieri", Mediterranea online 01/10/2009
  • 2009 "Nomadin des Wissens von Elisabeth Wellershaus", 5.5.2009, Brigitte - woman.de
  • 2006 Emigration and the role of the media, Unacitta, Italie
  • 2006 "La révolution quotidienne au Maroc d'aujourd'hui", Meridiani, Italie
  • 2006 "Democratization of Knowledge", Ichrakat, Bahrain
  • 2005 "Dove i libri sono rari come la pioggia", UNA CITTÀ n. 131/luglio-agosto 2005
  • Morroco in movement ..., Meridiani, March 2006, Italy
  • Democratization of Knowledge, Ichrakat Bahrein, 2005
  • 2003 Survey on "Internet and Youth" in Cybercafés in the university neighbourhood of Marrakech (500 persons have been asked)
  • 1999 Survey "What do young people in rural districts want to read?" (1000 persons have been asked in 6 villages around Marrakech.)

  • The Background of Activities and Projects
    Since 1994 Jamila has managed her family bookstore, Hassoune Books, in her hometown of Marrekech as the only women traveller bookseller in Morocco.
    Aware of the high illiteracy rate in surrounding rural areas Jamila began to single handedly transport books every month to school children in the High Atlas Mountains. During that time, she discovered that youth were thirsty for knowledge.
    In 1995, Jamila's interest in reaching out to youth became formalized as she founded the NGO "Club du Livre du Lecture " dedicated to providing book discussions, author conferences, and cultural space to Moroccoan communities while at the same time bring these communities to share knowledge to the rural areas.
    As a result, Jamila created and began to organise the Caravan Civique in collaboration with Fatema Mernissi, aimed at developing a democratic cultural and artistic network bridging the gap between urban and rural areas, spreading dialogue and encouragement to young Moroccan people so that they can find alternatives to immigration or apathy. The idea was simple, to bring together intellectuals, artistes and actors of the civil society to the field. After the successful organisation of some Caravan Civique meetings, Jamila has branched off to launch the first Caravane du Livre, which returns to the heart of her initial mission of the travelling bookseller. It essence is communicating knowledge in many forms, beginning with the richness of the book.

    « retour (A propos de moi)

    Thus in 1996, I made my first trip with a carload of books for students of the schools of some rural villages in the Atlas Mountains surrounding Marrakech. That was the beginning of the "Rural School Book Project", which continues today.
    © Jamila Hassoune, 2008