FatimaZahra Taglaoui was a student at Lycée Moulay Rachid in Erfoud when we developed the Purple Library there, and did a lot of the work transforming and painting the library room. She also corresponded with Barb throughout the curation of that first library and provided much of the first inspiration. After moving to the New High School in Erfoud for 12th grade, FatimaZahra initiated a second library there.
An avid reader, FatimaZahra spent three years reading in the libraries in Erfoud and is now studying English literature at Moulay Ismail University in Meknes, the first woman in her family to go to college. She dreams of studying English in graduate school and becoming an English teacher or translator one day, while continuing to be a key member of the MLP team. She also hopes to help elevate the education of girls and women in her area.
"My love of English started in middle school and grew with the after-school English program where teachers used to give us abridged stories (I loved Tom Sawyer). My teacher gave us stories that I would finish in a couple minutes. My thirst for reading was growing, and the children's short stories were not enough for me anymore. But there were no real books where we live. People have to travel a long way to the big city to find books. If I ever borrowed a book from someone, I would keep it a long time, making excuses to the owner so I could read and re-read chapters.
After Morocco Library Project started in my town, I began reading books I had never dreamed to touch. I was not thinking anymore about where to find my next book, because it became easier, like breathing. Because of this project, I improved my English, and I met people who share my love of reading. I can say with pride that I have read famous English books. Now I have chosen to study English in college, and I can still get books from the library in Erfoud, not only the famous books but the newest ones too.
I am the first woman in my family to go to college, and reading books from our library gave me the confidence and literacy. I hope to be an English teacher or translator one day, and to help elevate the education of girls and women in my area.
I made the decision to be on this team that changes lives and to spread this Blessing around me, so that other young people in Morocco won't have to grow up without books."