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        With the rise of european
powers from the beginning of the seventeenth century , the barbaric world as
the europeans tend to call it , was viciously being targeted by the expanding
colonial countries . The French , British , Spanish , and Portuguese all
developed colonial empires in different parts of the world .

        Prior to the european
conquest of the barbaric world , they sent expeditions to different parts of
the world , especially to Africa which was the closest continent to Europe
,  with a purpose of garnering as many
information as possible about the native peoples ‘ culture , traditions , race
, and military equipment which proved to be of great importance as these
expeditions paved the way to the colonization of those targeted countries .

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        As for the book I chose
for my research , it is called “travels through the empire of morocco”  by John Buffa . It was published in 1810 at a
time when Morocco , under the rule of 
Mulay Slimae , was facing internal conflicts which led to many native
tribes demanding to acquire greater power from the monarch , resulting in
numerous revolts that were successfully quelled by the monarch . The book’s
main focus is on the city of tangier , as John Buffa , a British doctor who was
commissioned to cross to Barbary ( Morocco ) to take care of the ill governor
of Laarache , recounts his his journey to Morocco , particularly to Tangier .
One of his first observations was the land in which the city was built on ,
provided with the privilege of the gaze 
, he gave a perfect description of Tangier , its military equipment and
the way the houses of foreign residents were constructed . These descriptions
could be deeply analysed by

Talbi 2

James Agee’s theory of surveillance or the power of the gaze that
enables the colonizer of inspecting , examining , exploring , and mapping the
targeted territory .

        One of Buffa’s strongest
comments were written about the Moors , he dedicated a specific chapter in
which he talked about the Moorish inhabitants , he said that they were all
soldiers labelling them as poor , uncivilised , undisciplined and entirely
exposed to the will of the emperor . He also laid an eye on the situation of
the Jewish people in Morocco , saying that they lived under grinding
persecution , forbidden from many aspects of what can be called as normal life

        This chapter could be well
analysed under the lens of Edward Said’s theory of orientalism , he criticised
the West’s historical , cultural , and political perception of the east . In
this groundbreaking intellectual study , Said traces the origins of the word
orientalism to the centuries-long period during which Western countries
dominated the Middle east and large parts of Africa .

        Frederick Lugard’s theory
of  classification can also be included
in analysing the situation of native peoples in Morocco , particularly in
Tangier . As he demonstrates how dividing the natives of Africa into Three classes
can help the colonial power in taming , controlling , and ranking the native
peoples according to their relative degree of technical and political
sophistication .

        One of the main reasons as
to why this research has been done , is to put ourselves in a position where we
have the ability to reexamine , reevaluate all the writings that has been
written about us in that specific period of time , but most importantly ,
analyse the ways we were represented in European society , particularly the
British one .

I feel the urge to agree with almost all the things John Buffa mentioned
in his book , however brutal it may be . His notes have proven to be eerily
true supported by many other British writers who visited and wrote about
Morocco .

        John buffa wrote his book
at a time when morocco was in disarray , the political situation back then was
unstable , as many Amazigh tribes were desperately trying to regain their land
from a different type of colonizer , only to be quelled by the monarch who was
suffering internally as well as externally . Mulay Slimane was the Sultan of
Morocco at that time , he was facing major challenges abroad , as the long
running conflict with Spain and Portugal never came to an end , he decided to
set up a new approach in terms of the country’s foreign policy which only
served to deepen Morocco’s isolationism , halting all kinds of trade with
Europe made the country largely passive for a couple of decades .

        One of John Buffa’s most
annotated comments in his book was when he said ” If Spain and France are to
take any action against West Barbary , my country’s privileges and interests
should be respected and well protected ” which provokes the thought that all
this has been planned all along .

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I'm Erica!

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