Many pictures online show an elderly man sitting at the entrance to a cozy bookshop and reading a book.
These images – and there are lots of them – don’t come with a photo attribution.
I’ve spent a lot of time to find the person in these photos. His name is Mohammed Aziz, and he is the oldest bookseller in the old town of Rabat, Morocco’s capital city.
He started selling books when he realized that he would not be able to continue his education because the textbooks were too expensive for him. It was in the mid-60s of the 20th century, when Morocco’s illiteracy rate was over 80%. In 2018, it was 26%.
Mohammed Aziz is now over 70. He works 12 hours, and, on average, he sells one or two books a day. In an interview with Morocco World News, he said:
💬 I’ll be here till everyone can read. I’ve read more than 4,000 books, so I’ve lived more than 4,000 lives. Everyone should have that chance.
Mohammed Aziz’s small and cozy bookshop is called Bouquiniste El Azizi. It’s located at 26 Rue Sidi Fateh, in the Rabat old town.
More info: Selling Books in a Country That Cannot Read
All images: Stephen Higgins / Morocco World News