Il nonno paterno era il diplomatico e scrittore Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah e il nonno materno il poeta parsi Fredoon Kabraji. Tra i membri della famiglia di Shah ci sono molti autori di successo tra cui la zia Amina Shah, e la nonna scozzese, Elizabeth Louise MacKenzie. Il padre, lo scrittore e pensatore Idries Shah, era circondato da una variegata coterie di persone, molte delle quali interessate alle sue opere. Descritti nel suo libro La casa del Califfo,  questi viaggi introdussero Shah "direttamente nel regno de Le mille e una notte. La sua vita a Dar Khalifa ha avuto ampia copertura sui media internazionali.
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Shelves: uk-author , non-fiction , travel , africa-north , morocco , 5-star Firstly I am a fan of Tahir Shahs writing, so this was always going be a good review from me. I enjoyed this book a lot and having read other reviews it is clear the book is polarising many didnt enjoy it. There are some things to consider. There is a bit of never let the truth get in the way of a good story going on here, and there are a number of suggestions within the writing that some liberties have been taken.
The form of the book is 25 chapters, but each chapter is broken up into smaller sections — sometimes a paragraph, sometime a few pages — and the story jumps around a lot from the current narrative, to the authors childhood, then a story, then to a past event, then back again.
This makes it sound disjointed, but it reads as smooth transitions, and the overall narrative flows well. For me this is very successful — he describes fantastically well, invoking a real sense of the places he describes with his use of rich and atmospheric writing. It just brings out the vibrancy and the activity of the scenery, the markets, the public squares, the people.
I think I benefited from this delay. There is also a lot of autobiographical information about the author, and particularly his father Idries Shah - also a well known author and teller of stories , and the importance of tradition.
I really like the blurb which I think comes from the hardcover edition, as it is not the one on my paperback edition , I think it really describes the book well - Steeped in history, Morocco is a kingdom of rich textures, aromatic spices and magical beliefs - a vibrant bridge between the Orient and the Occident. And arriving there can be like stepping into the world of A Thousand and One Nights: a place ruled by ancient codes of honour, duty, chivalry, respect - values that have been handed down from generation to generation through the telling of stories.
Long fascinated by this, Tahir Shah explores his adoptive country in a way that has never been done before: observing it from the inside out, through this ancient use of stories as teaching tools. Always entertaining and eloquent, Shah shines fresh and original light on this ancient, vital part of the world. For me this is everything that the Storyteller of Marrakesh never came close to achieving.
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams