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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
From Rabat to Jerusalem: The Epic of the Moroccan Contingent in the Holy Land is a short but informative work of historical and cultural fiction penned by author Badr Zahzouhi. Whereas most of history’s great tales are told by the proposed winners of each battle scenario, this fascinating work examines the crusades in a totally different way. We follow a group of young people from the Arabian lands, who travel via Morocco and other parts of North Africa to support the sultan Saladin as he leads the Muslim military into the campaign against the crusaders. From this unique angle, we explore personalities and motivations along the way.
Activism and entertainment come together as author Badr Zahzouhi presents a perspective and culture that has totally been glossed over by Hollywood and Western history. His authentic Moroccan heritage allows for huge cultural awareness and a realistic atmosphere in his work, which views the battle for the Holy Land from sensitive and personal angles, rather than the overarching machinations of entire countries making political and religious moves. The young cast of characters are highly relatable for their predicaments and circumstances which led them to follow Saladin, and they described and narrated their journey with a close and confident style that allows us to sit on their shoulders and practically hear their thoughts. This mastery of authority in narration gives the whole journey its significance and a deep heart. Overall, From Rabat to Jerusalem: The Epic of the Moroccan Contingent in the Holy Land is an accomplished work of historical fiction with much to teach us.