Tahir Shah’s Tales of Morocco & Surviving Pakistani Torture Prison

Tahir Shah Podcast

SEASON 1 EPISODE 11 – SUMMARY

In an enthralling episode of Adventure Diaries, hosted by the ever-curious Chris Watson, listeners are treated to the riveting stories of Tahir Shah, a man whose life is as captivating as his writings.

Tahir Shah, who has carved a niche for himself with his vivid storytelling and exploratory documentaries, shares tales that are bound to ignite the wanderlust in us all.

Tahir Shah Is Guest on Adventure Diaries Podcast Episode 11
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The Roots of Adventure

Born into an environment steeped in creativity and intellect, Tahir Shah’s upbringing in the Southeast of England was anything but ordinary. His childhood home, Langton House, was previously inhabited by the founder of the Boy Scouts, which perhaps sprinkled the early seeds of adventure in Shah’s life. His home was a hub for influential thinkers and writers, which enriched his perspective and molded him into the storyteller he is today.

From Documentaries to Deep Dives into Culture

Shah’s journey into the heart of storytelling wasn’t confined to the written word. His work with channels like National Geographic and the History Channel took him on quests ranging from the search for King Solomon’s mines in Ethiopia to the lost treasures of Afghanistan. Each documentary, while challenging, added layers to his understanding of the world’s diverse tapestries.

The Moroccan Connection

One of the most captivating narratives from the podcast is Shah’s deep connection to Morocco. His anecdotes about purchasing Dar Khalifa, a house steeped in history and local lore in Casablanca, paint a vivid picture of a land that is both mystically traditional and vibrantly alive. His recount of navigating through the challenges of restoring the house, all the while respecting its history and dealing with ‘jinns’ (genies), offers a metaphorical and literal exploration of Morocco’s complex layers.

The Philosophy of Storytelling

What resonates throughout the podcast is Shah’s philosophy that storytelling is an intrinsic human activity, one that is valuable not only for entertainment but for the preservation of culture and history. He shares how storytelling within his family was cherished, a tradition he passionately continues with his children, further enriching the narrative tapestry of his lineage.

Embracing the Chaos of Adventure

Tahir Shah’s life lessons extend beyond mere anecdotes; they are invitations to embrace the unpredictable. His stories of survival, like being mistakenly thrown into a torture prison in Pakistan, are not just thrilling—they’re reflective of his resilience and ability to find meaning in even the most perilous situations.


Episode Takeaways

  • Childhood Influences: Langton House, influenced by historical figures and visited by notable intellectuals.
  • Storytelling Value: Emphasized within the family, cherished as a medium for preserving culture and history.
  • Documentary Challenges: Explores various global locations, each adding depth to his understanding of cultural complexities.
  • Moroccan Connection: Deep ties with Morocco, through family history and personal investments in local property and culture.
  • Survival and Resilience: Overcoming extreme challenges including wrongful imprisonment.


Pay It Forward

  • Charitable Focus: Each One Teach One in India
  • Tahir Shah’s Suggested Good Cause: “Each One Teach One…will take you if you’re living on a railway track outside Delhi and they will pay for your education all the way up to university level. And in return, they just ask that in the future, maybe once you’ve had an education, that you pay for someone else’s education…it’s this kind of micro thinking, which I think we need more of in our lives.

Call To Adventure

  • Tahir Shah Call to Adventure: “Turn off your mobile phone…come to Morocco… use it as a camera…But don’t use Google Maps. You know, get lost, meet people, enjoy yourself in a way that is becoming less and less obvious…The greatest joy in my life just about is getting lost and learning from that and having the zigzag experiences of getting back on the track again…getting lost is what we should all be aiming for, not getting found.”

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