Mediterranean Crossroads: The 2016 AIMS Conference

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The 2016 AIMS Conference, titled “Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present” kicked off on Saturday May 14th at the Grand Hotel Villa de France, with three panels that cast a new light on the history and people of … Continue reading

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Green Journalism Workshop

On MaDSCN2627y 13 we were pleased to host a “Green Journalism” climate change workshop for journalists from Tangier, Tetouan and Laraiche   The workshop , offered by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the U.S. Embassy, was the second of five to be held in Arabic (in Oujda, Tangier, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh and Agadir) and two in French (Rabat and Casablanca).  As Morocco prepares to host the 23 COP-22 Global Climate Change Conference next November in Marrakesh, journalists from across the country will be offered training to enhance their reporting skills on issues related to climate change, the environment, and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September, 2015.


The training for journalists from northern Morocco focused particularly on fact and
data-based climate change reporting as Tangier prepares to host “MED COP,”  the
Mediterranean region’s preparatory climate change conference, in July after the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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Columbia’s Hisham Aidi Returns to Tangier


Dr. Aidi during the roundtable at the Salon des Livres

Our thanks to Columbia University professor and author Hisham Aidi for returning to his home town to participate in this month’s Salon International de Tanger des Livres et des Arts. In his round table on “The Artistic Power of Tangier,” Dr. Aidi deconstructed certain stereotypes of expatriate Tangier writers/artists and pointed out the rich diversity of individuals inspired by this wonderful city. The artist Henry Ossawa Taylor, Harlem Renaissance and Jamaican-born poet and writer Claude McKay, Guatemalan author Rodrigo Rey Rosa and others all found artistic inspiration here, and some such as jazz master Randy Weston left imprints on Moroccan culture that continue today.

Dr. Aidi won the prestigious American Book Award in 2015 for his  book, Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture

While in Tangier Hisham also met with students from his alma mater, the American School of Tangier. He is journeying to Essaouira to accompany broadcasters from National Public Radio to this week’s Gnaoua Festival, whose guest of honor this year will be none other than Randy Weston.

Safe travels to Hisham and quick return to Tangier.

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Ending Our 40th On A High Note

On Saturday April 9th, just as our 40th anniversary festivities were coming to a close, we had the opportunity to meet over 40 returned Moroccan alumni of US exchange programs. These professionals are at all stages of their careers, some are students, some teach and many others work in the private sector or in other areas of Moroccan civil society. They were involved in a variety of projects while in the U.S. and they shared with us some of their aspirations for the future.

Participants introducing themselves.

Participants introducing themselves.

Our day began with professor Dale Eickelman of Dartmouth College, who gave a talk titled “New Directions: The Tangier American Legation since 1976”. He spoke about TALIM’s transformation from its inception as a non-profit organization to its work today. The Legation and TALIM are opening up to more community involvement through events and programs. Professor Eickelman unveiled our latest initiative during his talk. The “Legation Scholars” program, developed by TALIM and local partners, aims to provide high school students from the Old Medina of Tangier with English language training and baccalaureate support so that they may pursue higher-level studies in the STEM fields. Many of the Moroccan U.S. alumni present at the talk expressed interest in becoming involved in these kinds of programs, through mentorships and other types of collaboration.   Continue reading

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Medina Children’s Gardening Workshop

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On Saturday, April 9, TALIM hosted a urban gardening and arts workshop.  The event gave those attending the 40th anniversary events an opportunity to see TALIM’s outreach programs live.  See some photos in the gallery.

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TALIM 40th Anniversary Conference

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The 40th Anniversary Conference held today at TALIM reviewed the history of the Tangier Legation as a diplomatic presence, then as a museum, and finally as the multifunctional research, educational, and cultural center it is today. The day began with … Continue reading

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The First Full Day of TALIM’s 40th Anniversary Events

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Today was the first full day of events held to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Tangier American Legation Museum, now the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM).  The events are being held in conjunction … Continue reading

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A new look at the old Villa Perdicaris for #MuseumWeek #ZoomMW

Today’s Museum Week challenge asks us to zoom in on a particular item in our collection.

Over the past few weeks we have had several visitors with a keen interest in seeing Villa Perdicaris in its old splendor. There was the restoration crew charged with bringing Villa Perdicaris, also known as Villa Aidonia, back to its original glory and researchers from the BBC working on a documentary that will feature the ever-infamous Perdicaris incident.

Thanks to a generous donation from local resident Jonathan Dawson, we have a photo album that once belonged to the British Minister in Tangier, Sir Arthur Nicolson composed of photos taken during his mission in Morocco from 1895 to 1904.

The photos capture mostly quotidian things, a child in Victorian-era dress riding a mule, for example, and many fascinating shots in and around Tangier and Rabat. Two pictures in particular caught our eye, however, a shot of Villa Perdicaris looking rather pristine, and another of the Perdicaris family lounging outside their villa.


This photo helped us to rediscover the original white finish of the exterior of the house. Until recently the facade was completely decayed and showing bare brick.

Without these photos, we may never have known what Villa Perdicaris looked like when it was inhabited by its original owners.


Perdicaris mother and children, enjoying a relaxed moment.

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The Architecture of the Legation #architectureMW


View of the stairs at the north end of the east courtyard.

For Wednesday of Museum Week 2016, we focus on the architecture of TALIM.

The Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM), straddling both sides of rue d’Amerique ( زنقة اةمريكا ) approximately 20 m (75 feet) past the southernmost gate in the wall of the old medina, is a very interesting structure from an architectural perspective. It is a multifunctional structure composed of several buildings built at different times and in different architectural styles. Yet the structure as it exists today is remarkably unified.

TALIM, or the Old American Legation as it is commonly known in Morocco, turns 40 this year, but is housed on the site of the building given to the United States by Sultan Moulay Suleyman in 1821. For approximately 140 years the site served as the American diplomatic presence in the city, until 1961 when a new consular complex was built outside the wall of the old medina. The museum, library and cultural center that make up TALIM are housed in a historically significant structure, but it bears little resemblance to the original, single story building. It was badly damaged in the 1844 bombing of Tangier, and essentially rebuilt in an expanded form in 1848. Continue reading

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TALIM at 40: An Anniversary Celebration


Please join us for a conference to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies.  Learn more about the history of the Tangier American Legation — the only U.S. National Historic Landmark located outside of the United States. In English, free admission.

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