Friday, January 27, 2006

Bureaucracy at (even more) work

So, the day after I spent a lot of time at the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs, I spent even more time there, as I had been told to go back the next morning at 10:30 to meet with the appropriate person.

So, I went back and waited and waited. Eventually, I was told that he was actually in Meknes for business, and that I should go back the next day.

During this time, the same three office employees that had been in the reception area succeeded in printing out a piece of paper with hadith (traditions of Muhammad, PBUH) on it, taping it to the wall, deciding that it was way too small as it couldn't be read from across the room, photocopying it on a larger sheet of paper, and hanging that up on the wall instead.

Anyhow, a ministry employee was eventually called to show me the library, which turned out to be closed (why don't you just wait? he suggested, it will be open again in about two hours) and then I was taken to the National Library (where I've been plenty of times) and where, eventually, it came out that there are microfilm copies of these things on file (so I don't actually need permission to look at the originals.) I had looked through the printed catalog of the library and hadn't come across them, though. Not everything is in the printed catalog, it turns out. Alas. Frustration.

In other news, I've gotten to look at some nice old maps and views of Rabat, and have a map of what the city was (thought to be) like in the seventeenth century. I don't think that it's accurate enough, though, as it shows some buildings that I thought were from later ...


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