Voices of Resistance

Oral Histories of Moroccan Women

By Alison Baker

Subjects: Public History
Series: SUNY series in Oral and Public History
Paperback : 9780791436226, 362 pages, January 1998
Hardcover : 9780791436219, 362 pages, January 1998

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations



Part I: Introduction

1. Oral History in Morocco

2. Nationalism and Feminism in Moroccan History

3. Colonialism, Conflict, and Independence

Part II: Nationalist Women

4. Fez and the Nationalist Women

5. Malika El Fassi: Foremother of the Modern Women's Movement

6. Zhor Lazraq: Fez, the Next Generation

7. Rqia Lamrania and Fatima Benslimane Hassar: The Free School Movement in Salé

8. Oum Keltoum El Khatib: Casablanca

9. Amina Leuh and Khadija Bennouna: Nationalist Education and Politics in Tetouan
Part III: Women in the Armed Resistance

10. Casablanca and the Women of the Armed Resistance

11. Fatna Mansar: Casablanca

12. Saadia Bouhaddou: Casablanca

13. Ghalia Moujahide: Rabat

14. Aicha and Mina Senhaji: Co-wives of a Resistance Leader

15. Zohra Torrichi and Rabiaa Taibi: Oujda

Part IV: Conclusion

16. Conclusion

Appendix A: Notes on Methodology

Apendix B: Chronology of Events Mentioned in the Oral Histories

Appendix C: Glossary of Moroccan Arabic and French Terms


Selected Bibliography



Providing new information on women's participation in the Moroccan independence movement, Voices of Resistance offers a rare opportunity to hear Moroccan women speak freely about their personal lives. Each woman is introduced in terms of her family background and personal style, and the interviews are given texture and context by references to Moroccan history and popular culture, including contemporary songs and poems. These women are storytellers, and they lived through stirring times. Their active struggle against French colonialism also challenged and redefined traditional Moroccan ideas about women's roles in society. The narratives reconstruct the little-known history of Moroccan feminism and nationalism, and probe the lives of a remarkable group of Islamic women whose voices have never been heard until now.

Alison Baker has taught East Asian Civilization and Urban Anthropology at New York University and for two years directed the School for International Training academic semester abroad program in Morocco. She currently works as an independent writer, film producer and oral historian.


"What I like about this book is the opportunity to hear Moroccan women speak about their personal lives freely--their youth; their education; their roles as women, wives, mothers; and particularly about their involvement in the resistance to French colonialism in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Baker is an excellent guide to her subjects and she writes very well. Her comments throughout are important and insightful." --William A. Hoisington, Jr., University of Illinois at Chicago

"The author has found an interesting way of inserting and managing her voice as an observer and fashioner of the narrative. The women's oral histories are engaging and give a sense of the distinct personal styles and personalities of the individual Moroccan activist women who were interviewed. She has performed an important service in collecting these oral memoirs of a transitional time in the political and social history of Morocco and the neglected role of women in these events." --Marcia K. Hermansen, San Diego State University

"The immediacy, spontaneity, and openness of these oral history interviews are a testimony to the intelligence and empathy with which Alison Baker has 'listened' to the stories. Oral history is a dynamic and interactive process and the author has used the possibilities of the genre to bring us unforgettable narratives of courage and perseverence. Voices of Resistance is must reading for students of women's contribution to politics and change in Muslim societies."--Mahnaz Afkhami, Director, Sisterhood Is Global Institute and editor of Faith and Freedom: Women's Human Rights in the Muslim World