Morocco library project: winning stories published in USA

The Morocco Library Project has been making waves for its efforts in establishing libraries in high schools in remote areas of Morocco. This initiative aims to promote literacy and education among young students who may not have access to books or educational resources. Since its inception in 2014, Morocco library project has succeeded in opening more than 40 libraries in high-schools across Morocco mainly in remote villages.

To further encourage students to read and write, the Morocco Library Project recently held a short story competition. The competition was open to all high school students in Morocco. Participants were asked to submit original short stories, and the winners were chosen based on creativity, originality, and storytelling.

The winners of the competition and their stories have been published in the US. The book is titled “Student Voices from Morocco”. It is the second volume of a selection of stories from the 2021-2022 Morocco Library Project Short Story Competition. It features 13 captivating stories that showcase the talent and imagination of these young writers.

The stories cover a range of topics, from personal experiences to cultural traditions, and each one offers a unique perspective on life in Morocco. The winning authors come from different regions and backgrounds, but their stories share a common thread of hope, resilience, and determination. The top 3 winners announced back in June 2022 are Aya Gallal for the story “The Tale of Zhor: Origin of Saffron”, Mohammed Laghmari for his story “The Lady of the Tombs”, and Siham Elbalegh for her story title “The Ghost of Justice”.

The 3 winners of the 2nd edition of the short story competition.

The publication of this book is a significant milestone for the Morocco Library Project, as it not only celebrates the creativity and talent of young writers but also highlights the importance of promoting literacy and education in remote areas. The project’s founder, Mrs. Barb Mackraz, expressed her excitement about the publication, saying, “We love this book so much. I’m busy distributing it over here in the U.S., and to Moroccan friends. This beautiful little book should go in libraries everywhere! THANK YOU to all who have contributed, whether through writing, guiding, donating, managing, reviewing, illustrating, editing, or designing.”

The project was spearheaded by Larbi Arbaoui in Morocco and Barb Mackraz in the US. It went through a rigorous selection process involving established network of teachers in Morocco and editors in the USA. The jury was chaired by, Mohammed Hassim, a supervisor of English Teaching for the Ministry of Education, and a Past president of the Moroccan Association of Teachers of English. The editor of the series is Alice Calaprice, a former senior editor at Princeton University Press and publisher of four editions of “The Quotable Einstein“.

The Morocco Library Project continues to expand its reach and establish libraries in more high schools in Morocco. With the success of the short story competition and the publication of the book, the project hopes to inspire more students to read and write and to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

The 3rd edition of this competition is under way with a deadline for submissions set at the beginning of May 2023. The winners of the competition receive many prizes and awards along the publication of their stories.

Barb Mackraz (left) and Larbi Arbaoui (right) holding copies of the published book of the short story competition.