In the heart of Rabat’s Medina there is a bookstore run by a 71-year-old man named Mohamed Aziz. A bookstore that opened its doors in 1967 after Aziz spent a few years selling books under the shade of a tree. A bookstore that emerged in a country where reading is not common and that was born as an act of love towards his city and literature.
Today, very close to International Book Day, we tell you the story behind this man. A bookseller who attracts the attention of any passerby. If you come across him and his bookstore in Rabat’s Medina, he will surely catch your attention.
Mohamed spends most of his day in his bookstore surrounded by books and stories, and reading (always reading). He says that, to date, he has been able to read more than 4,000 books because he devotes at least 8 hours a day to reading. The rest of his time he walks around the neighborhoods of Rabat in search of book vendors from whom he extracts literary treasures that he later puts up for sale in his store.
Why did he decide to open a bookstore in a country where reading is not common?
Mohamed lost his parents at the age of 6. As an orphan, he had to make a living and try to finish high school, but it was not possible for him. At the age of 15, he dropped out of school due to the high cost it represented for him and his family to have access to textbooks. This fact generated a terrible frustration that has led him to live surrounded by books.
“That’s how I get back at my childhood, my situation, my poverty.”
Thus, the lack of access to books in his childhood caused him, once he could decide what to dedicate himself to, to never be apart from them again for a second. Aziz, the bookseller of Rabat. And he already says it himself, he only needs a couple of pillows and books to be happy.