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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access February 20, 2020

Border Crossing and Transculturation in Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House

  • Kamal Sbiri ORCID logo EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Cultural Studies


This article examines the construction of transcultural identity as it results from the process of border crossing in Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca (2007. London: Bantam Books). Whereas mobility is mostly characterized by the movement from north to south, The Caliph’s House describes an inverted motion from England to Casablanca in search for belonging. With his roots in Afganistan and historical ties with Morocco, Tahir Shah provides new narrative lines that delve into questions of alterity, mobility, and negotiating difference when crossing borders. With this in mind, I aim to show how alterity is refracted within the migrant’s identity. In so doing, I seek to clarify how this refraction helps in producing forms of selves that recognize all notions of silences and transform them metonymically into moments of conversation. With the help of Stephen Clingman’s theory on transnational literature, I will show that integration can be achieved successfully when difference is negotiated as part of the process of bordering.

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Received: 2018-09-21
Accepted: 2019-10-25
Published Online: 2020-02-20

© 2020 Kamal Sbiri, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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