Headline June 08, 2016/ ''' THESE GREAT STUDENTS OF THE CASBAH '''



BASED ON WHAT McPhillips perceived the  ''classical approach to academic discipline and decorum-

'' The school developed a unique identity '', which it still retains.

Most textbooks are imported from America, and all classes are taught in English. But the curriculum includes additional language and literature courses, in French and Arabic.

As a  result, all Moroccan and West African students speak two, and very often three or four languages.

For Meryem Taouzani the  school  ''will always remain one of the most special parts of my life.''

A strikingly beautiful Moroccan girl, she answered a call for extras for Legionnaire  ( a Jean Claude Van Dame that was shot in Tangier a year later), but instead she was given a small part.

Yet it didn't make her want to become an actress. More interested in art and literature, Touzani loves the poetry of  Blake  and  Whitman, and hopes to work in design:

''The great thing this school has taught me,'' she says, ''is the importance of communicating ideas to people, and I want to do that through art.''

McPhillips students are eager, in Touzan's words, '' for a bit of experience everywhere.'' 

Joshua Shoemake, a young American, at the time in his third year as an English teacher, could easily better his  $10,000 annual salary by returning Stateside. But Shoemake is struck by the fact that the kids-

''Have no hang-ups about themselves, or about saying what they think. They are completely open about discussing sex and love and the complexities of human emotion.

They love  A Streetcar Named Desire. They really tap into  Stanley Kowalski, and also respond very strongly to Shakespeare, his poetry and his insight into human emotions.

''In America,'' Shoemake adds, '' If I departed too far from the standard textbook approach to things, or used certain words, there'd be protests. Here, the connecting to life,  the candor and the involvement, make me feel that I'm teaching myself, helping myself as well as the kids.''

Despite the school's less than authoritarian approach, discipline is stressed by McPhillips. The young man who took umbrage at the excesses of the Bowleses and their circle is older now, but no more tolerant of frivolity.

*He likes old-style manners, and the insistence that the students stand up when an adult enters the class room is something they now find perfectly natural like*.

*Like theatricality, courtesy is a Moroccan trait.*

The main boulevard of Tangier still looks like an exterior set of from a French movie. Neon signs date from the early 1930s, and only a distant palm tree and a tourist shop selling  fez-shaped ashtrays seem out of place.

The Spanish consulate might be one of these neo-Baroque government building in Madrid, the Italian church a transplant from Tuscany, and the palace bought by the late  Malcolm Forbes  -now a Museum housing his collection of  Tangier memorabilia  -needs only a grand hotel sign above the entrance to belong on the Riviera.

In the hills above the town, foreign residents built homes in the style of traditional Mediterranean villas. More recently, businessmen from Casablanca and oil-rich Saudis and Kuwaitis have favored a kind of postmodern Orientalism.

Boubker Soussi Temli, a Tangier antiques dealer, has created an astonishing  Moorish house with interiors reminiscent of  Pasolini's Arabian Nights.

In 1999, the international colony's most notable survivors are Pat Bowles, 88, who has written music for several McPhillips productions, and the American watercolorist Marguerite McBey, 93, a longtime moral and financial supporter of the American School-

As well as a member of its board of trustees. McBey has presented McPhllips with a house, designed many of the posters for school productions, and attended the 1998 graduation ceremony. The American Ambassador was among the speakers. 

An important part of  Tangier's past is the number of Americans and European eyes it opened. 

An important part of Tangier's future will be the number of young Moroccans eyes opened to America and Europe.

Scholarships now take students of the American school to Brandeis, Bryn Mawr, Harvard, Stanford, U.S.C., and Yale, as well as University of Chicago.

Some students will remain abroad, and some will return home, to work in their chosen professions.

Either way, they will find their lives changed by their experiences at the school, as McPhillips did when he decided to stay in Tangier over 50 years ago.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Head Masters, Professors and Teachers of every school in the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and  !E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' The Grooves '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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