Rabat – The number of printed books in Morocco during 2016-2017 increased by 16 percent compared to 2015-2016.
Established in 1985, in Casablanca by the late King Abdullah Al Saoud of Saudi Arabia, the King Abdul Aziz Al-Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences plays a key role in terms of research and documentation in Morocco.
On February 7, the foundation displayed a report on books published between 2016 and 2017, revealing 3390 publications as a total which amounts to 16 percent, including novels, study books, religious books and printed articles written in various languages.
The report highlights statistics of published books in Arabic, stating that these works have steadily increased since the 1980s when human sciences and literary textbooks went through a major “Arabization,” while works written in French declined.
In 2016-2017, books published in the Arabic language dominated, and those published in both Arabic and French received the widest readership.
Arabic leads publication statistics, making up 81.88 percent of 2016-2017 works–amounting to 2,405 titles, while French works are at 14.54 percent (427 titles), English at 0.75 percent (22 titles), Tamazight at 2.25 percent (66 titles), and Spanish at 0.58 percent (17 titles).
For a local language, Tamazight takes a share of merely 2.25 percent in the total of published titles, a weak presence in contrast with French and Arabic.
Though Morocco has historically depended upon Islamic religious books imported from Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt and Lebanon, the report shows that the publication of religious works in Morocco has increased by 9.23 percent, equating to 271 titles.
The database divulges Morocco’s growing attempts to publish local works in relation to Islamic studies to avoid importing religious textbooks that promote “radical Ideologies” and instead produce titles relevant to local Islamic traditions.
Titles dedicated to other religions score only 0.27 percent, a total of 8 titles.
Other disciplinary texts include of literature, history, politics, education, economy, psychology, sociology, science, art, law, and management, among others.
Literaature made up 24.17 percent (710 titles), Law takes 14,61 percent (429 titles), Society 7,52 percent (221 titles), Politics 5,75 percent (169 titles), Arts 3,51 percent (103 titles), Philosophy 3,44 percent (101 titles), Education 1,80 percent (53 titles), Geography 1,67 percent (49 titles), Economy 0,82 percent (24 titles), Sciences 0,48 percent (14 titles), Management 0,34 percent ( 10 titles), and Psychology 0,14 percent, only four titles.
Several genres fell under the category “others” in the report, including works in translation and travel books, as well as an emerging genre in Morocco under the name of “feminist literature.”
Works of “feminist studies” or “feminist literature” reached 26 titles, focusing on women empowerment through tackling issues of sexuality and women’s rights in Muslim countries.
As for works in translation, Arabic remains the predominant language.
Around 160 titles and 181 titles were translated into Arabic, while French translations composed 63 percent and 14 percent were in Spanish.
English, German, Italian and Portuguese translations hold a marginal position of 8 percent.