Aḥmad al-Kardūdī and His Journey to Spain (1885). Political and Cultural Dimensions
The article is devoted to Aḥmad al-Kardūdī, a Moroccan official in the second half of the nineteenth century, and his state and diplomatic activities, with particular emphasis on the account he wrote for Sultan Al-Ḥasan I (ruled 1873–1894) from the 1885 expedition to Spain, which had been published for the first time in 1963 under the title At-Tuḥfa as-saniyya li-al-Ḥaḍra al- Ḥasaniyya bi-al-Mamlaka al-Iṣbanyūliyya [Shining Gift for His Majesty Al- Ḥasan about the Kingdom of Spain]. This report often is included into Arab travel literature. It is not only a report on the tasks that the ruler set before the diplomatic mission of which Al-Kardūdī was a member, but also an image of the social and political consciousness of Moroccan elites associated with power of the West in times of active attempt at reforms undertaken by the ruler. Unfortunately, these attempts had little effect. The delegation was received in audience by Regent Maria Krystyna, also visited the capital of Spain and the most important Andalusian cities, but the author himself, probably on the orders of the Sultan, was also very interested in the military achievements of the Spaniards. The Gift, written in rhyming and rhythmic prose, can be treated as a literary work (although the author probably did not intend to), and simultaneously an example of an original, official, court document in the shape of a diplomatic report addressed to the ruler.