Date of Award



© 2014 Bailey Booras

Document Type



Political Science

First Advisor

Ali Abdullatif Ahmida


Situated on the edge of Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea, Tangier is a transnational city in terms of its culture, history, and influences. Authors Paul Bowles and Mohamed Choukri were inspired to write about life in this complex borderland city. These authors, one, an insider, writing from the experience of living in poverty, the other providing unique insider and outsider perspectives on the city as an American expatriate who lived there for 50 years, illustrate whether or not elements of Edward Said’s Orientalism, a term which he uses to describe the negative assumptions applied to the East by the West, are present in Tangier. This paper analyzes Tangier’s romanticized image on the world stage, examines Orientalist representations, and determines the effects they have. Focusing on the two authors’ representations of sex, drugs, and exotic fantasy in the city, it portrays Tangier’s image as one divided by class, Orientalism, and other factors in three main arguments. First, Orientalist representations characterize Paul Bowles’ work, despite his lengthy residency in Tangier, while Choukri’s lower class story contradicts both Bowles’ images and those perpetuated by the Moroccan elite, of Moroccan nationalism. Second, the portrayals of Paul Bowles and others, including the film Casablanca (1942), contribute to American Orientalism and the reproduction of a colonialist image of Morocco. Third, and finally, Orientalism dominates Tangier and the Muslim World in general as it is viewed by the American public.


Senior thesis