International Tangier: Stagnation and Growth in the 20th Century

Dr. Michael Toler (Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT, US)

The urban history of Tangier, Morocco can be seen as struggle to cope with the challenges and opportunities caused by migration both from outside and within Morocco. While this migration of people has brought wealth and opportunities, it has also posed great challenges, particularly as the city began to expand beyond the walls of the old medina in the 19th century. In recent decades the city has successfully cultivated itself as a destination for upscale global tourists, even as it less intentionally became a destination spot for poor immigrants from the countryside, and a transit point for people from across the African continent seeking to eventually find their way into Europe. (In reality one could make a convincing case the Tangier has increasingly become a destination for Sub-Saharan African immigrants.) Both the early 20th and 21st century were periods of great change in the size and makeup of Tangier’s population, but under very different conditions. This presentation compares the two periods, focusing on three particular issues-water and sanitation, public spaces, and housing conditions in relation to income inequality.

Michael A. Toler has been the Archnet Content ( Manager since September 2012. Prior to that he served as the program Director for the Al Musharaka Initiative of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education. Michael was responsible for development of content for the Arab Culture and Civilization Online Resource, and for coordinating inter-institutional, collaborative endeavors of faculty, librarians, and technologists using technology to enhance teaching and research on topics relating to Islam, the Middle East, and North Africa Michael received a PhD in Comparative Literature with a Certificate in Translation Studies from Binghamton University (SUNY), after teaching in Morocco at L’Ecole Supérieure Roi Fahd de Traduction and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. He also holds an MA and BA in English from New York University and Virginia Commonwealth University, respectively. He has published and lectured extensively on digital pedagogy and scholarship, as well as the literature, history, cinema , music, and cyberspace of the Maghreb, and the Middle East more widely. Michael is a Fellow and Secretary for the Board of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM).