When Samantha visited Morocco for the first time it changed the course of her life. On her return to London she abandoned a successful art career in order to study Arabic. For the next fifteen years she spent time living with a Berber family of former nomads in a small village in the Draa Valley.
Here she immersed herself in the language, culture and traditions of the country. She learned the local dialect, studied the Quran with women from the village, converted to Islam, travelled in the desert, learned how to take care of camels, sheep and goats, and helped the other women in the family with the day-to-day running of the home.
She became captivated by the ancient art of storytelling, and in particular female storytelling within a domestic setting. She began documenting the stories she was hearing. Gradually she found herself imagining and composing her own Moroccan stories, which became the collection ‘The Djinn in the Skull: Stories from hidden Morocco’.
Her previous work includes the English and Arabic publication ‘Dardasha: Testimonies of Migration by Moroccan Women’, which was produced in association with Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre.
Samantha is currently writing a second collection of stories, taking care of donkeys, sheep and goats on her local city farm, and exploring Sufism.