"If I had a nomination vote for the nobel prize he'd be in the running." Klaus Gerken, Ygdrasil editor
When the father of the Benzimra family dies, he leaves a will informing his family of an illegitimate son he fathered with a Muslim woman in Morocco. To receive the inheritance, the family is instructed do everything possible to find that son. They embark on a journey to Tetouan, Morocco, from places as far-flung as Jerusalem, Madrid, New York and Paris. They are in search of their lost brother; a journey that will bring them face-to-face with their Moroccan roots and with their Judaism, a journey that will force them to think about their identities. After this experience they will no longer be the same. The novel reveals the Sephardi-Ashkenazi conflicts that exist in Israeli society as well as the ties and tensions between the Arab world and Europe, and between Middle Eastern and Western cultures. This is a world of complexities and nuances that are often blurred in the versions shown to you by the media.
This is a novel about the little-known world of the Jews of Northern Morocco, full of intrigue, humor, and eroticism. But there is also the possibility of a homecoming.
"Gates to Tangier is not primarily a critique of the marginalization of the Sephardim in Israel, but rather and exploration of the Moroccan component of Sephardic identity. The Benzimras' pilgrimage to Tangiers, however, is not suggesting that this Moroccan component is the essence of Sephardic identity. Benarroch follows Khatibi's bilingual paradigm in suggesting that identity is expressed in the intersection of languages." Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo, Memories of the Maghreb: Transnational Identities in Spanish Cultural Production (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)