In contemporary Tangiers, two characters cross paths but never knowingly meet. One is a French author suffering from writer’s block, searching for places and people who witnessed the legendary days of the International Zone. The other is a boy of 12 who has travelled from the south of Morocco with a single, burning hope: to make it secretly across the Straits of Gibraltar and reach the Promised Land of the European Union. Both dwell in the same city but their lives are worlds apart.
I like to think that when I’m asleep at night, sorcery is busy all around me, digging unseen tunnels in all directions between thousands of unsuspecting senders and receivers. Spells are cast. Poison goes to work. Souls are robbed of the parasitic pseudo-consciousness that lurks in the unsupervised recesses of the brain. There is drum-playing almost every night. It never wakes me up. I hear the drums and work them into my dream, like the nocturnal wailing of the muezzin. Even if I am in New York in my dream, the first “Allah Akhbar” erases the scenery and shifts what happens next to North Africa. And the dream goes on.