Thursday, July 4, 2013

Medina of Marrakech

“Jamaa el Fna” is a square and market place in Marrakesh's medina quarter (old city). The origin of its name is unclear and a more likely explanation is that it refers to a mosque with a distinctive courtyard or square in front of it.The Jemaa el-Fnaa is one of the most famous squares in all of Africa and is the centre of city activity and trade. It has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Medina of Marrakesh”since 1985. Historically this square was used for public executions and decapitations by the rulers to maintain their power by frightening the people. The square attracted dwellers from the surrounding desert and mountains to trade here and stalls were set up on the square from early in its history. The square attracted tradesmen in foods, animal forage and domestic items, snake charmers, Berber women in long robes, camels and donkeys, dancing boys of the Chleuh Atlas tribe, and shrieking musicians with pipes, tambourines and African drums. Today the square attracts people from a diversity of social and ethnic backgrounds and tourists from all around the world. Snake charmers, acrobats, magicians, mystics, musicians, monkey trainers, herb sellers, story-tellers, dentists, pickpockets, and entertainers in medieval garb still populate the square. It has been described as a "world-famous square", "a metaphorical urban icon, a bridge between the past and the present, the place where Moroccan tradition encounters modernity. Thank you very much my friend Houda who sent me this wonderful postcard from Casablanca, Morocco. The stamp is a 3-D one, very interesting, shows three different kings of the kingdom viewed from different aspects!