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Author to share stories of Moroccan women at PL library

Susan Schaefer Davis will talk about her book at the Pequot Lakes Library. Submitted Photo

Susan Davis, author of "Women Artisans of Morocco: Their Stories, Their Lives," will talk about her experiences and her book at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Pequot Lakes Library.

The book is a combination of life histories and textile information. According to reviewer Deborah Chandler, "Women Artisans of Morocco" is the "stereotype-busting presentation of Muslim women that the non-Muslim world so needs right now. A lifetime of Arabic-speaking relationships with Moroccan women has given Davis the basis for sharing their stories as well as their world perspectives."

You get a hint of the vast range of life experiences among Moroccan women, young and old, urban and rural. One old woman herded camels as a girl, a younger one is a feminist and the first woman ever on a tribal council, and one of the youngest is a traveling saleswoman of Fes embroidered table linens.

Most of their textiles are woven rugs, but some also produce needle-woven buttons, and innovators make them into jewelry. Others embroider, and one makes traditional qaftans or party gowns. The women and their products are captured in the photography of Joe Coca.

Susan Schaefer Davis has been captivated by Morocco since she was a Peace Corps volunteer there in the 1960s. Her work and research with traditional women led her to a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and through an economic development project she created, Davis has worked with women rug weavers in Morocco, helping them to make direct sales of their work via the internet at www.marrakeshexpress.org.

In addition to being a consultant on economic development with the American Friends Service Committee, the World Bank, USAID, and several nonprofit organizations, Davis leads cultural and textile tours through Morocco.

You may have met her at the Pequot Lakes Community Library, where she volunteers in the summer. Contact her at sdavis@uslink.net.

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