The Purple Library
Our pilot project, in 2014, was a library at the Lycée Moulay Rachid in Erfoud, near the Algerian border. This was truly a collaboration. The students and teachers fixed up an old room at the school to create a beautiful space with walls of purple (Barb's favorite color), green, and yellow. Back in California, we curated and shipped a great collection of books and other materials to transform the space into a comprehensive library, and we raised funds to help pay for the repairs and furniture.
At first, this library was intended for students in an after-school English Access program, but it quickly grew to serve the larger school community. The Moroccan Association of Teachers of English (MATE) declared this library to be the first official CIRCLE reading club location in Morocco, and now it has become a model for other projects.
The banner image at the top of this page is a detail from a map of southeastern Morocco, painted by local mapmaker A. Oubani. It hangs in Cafe Nora, in the village of Khemliya near the sand dunes. Click the thumbnail to see the whole map.