Mohammed Aziz is a 71-year-old bookseller who has owned his shop in Rabat Medina, Morocco, since 1967. He doesn’t just sell books; he also reads every single one that comes through his shop’s doors.
So far, Aziz has read over 4,000 books in various languages, including Arabic, French, Spanish, and English.
He has harbored a lifelong love for books and learning in general.
He was tragically orphaned at age six and worked hard to earn a living fishing, enabling him to continue his schooling and eventually graduate from high school. However, at the age of 15, he realized that his textbooks were too expensive, and he wouldn’t be able to scrape together the funds needed to complete his education.
In 1963, Aziz decided to begin selling books. His first “shop” was set up under a tree, consisting of a rug and just nine books. Four years later, he successfully opened an actual brick-and-mortar store in the heart of Rabat.
Customers can find all kinds of reading material in the five-by-five-foot store, from tabloid magazines to medical textbooks.
Aziz is not just a merchant; he’s also an advocate for education and the power of literature.
In an interview with Morocco World News, Aziz explained, “This is how I take my revenge on my childhood, my situation, and my poverty.”
Aziz is committed to keeping his house open to the public and is eager to give others an opportunity to strengthen their faith in themselves and their abilities. He noted, “I’ll be here until everyone can read.”
Aziz added that, having read over 4,000 books, he’s “lived more than 4,000 lives.” He wants everyone to have that same chance (or at least get as close to it as possible) and pointed out that only two things make him angry: books missing pages and children who have to work instead of studying.