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Moroccan Peephole

This covered window allowed the women in the house to look down on the street and the front door without being seen.


This is the front door of the residence. I love the contrasting elements in this photo: the big and sturdy hardware, the rough surface of the stuccoed walls next to the soft look of aged wood.

And there's one more element: the Arab script. I'm fascinated by the beautiful calligraphy; to me it's an art form. We did not have the time to ask our guide for a general translation of the writing on the entry wall but I'm hoping that fellow blogger Candi might be able to tell us something about it.

Comments (14)

Cool photos although I'm trying to figure out how that peephole works. Love the wooden door with all those metal studs. And the Arabic is beautiful - can't wait to see what Candi says! I wonder if there's any significance to the aqua blue inside some of the letters?


Cool photos, I love the covered window (although not so much the idea that women shouldn't be seen in public!) I totally missed the blue in the letters until saw Annie's comment, and now see that there look to be some pink/purple marks too. Will have to check back and see if Candi has any thoughts on the meaning!

Annie, the peephole looked like a smallish niche and it was located on what appeared to be the second floor of the residence. I imagine it is like looking from a second story window down to the ground.

I also noticed the colored letters but I'm guessing that the real color is green and not aqua. I looked at other photos from the trip and the greens looked kind of bluish. Green is the color of Islam so the writing could be something related to religion. We will have to wait to hear what Candi says.

Anne, I also noticed the pink and purple marks. Ever since I came back from Morocco, I've been looking at the Arabic alphabet trying to decipher some of the writing but it is very hard. I'm hoping Candi will explain to us the meaning of the markings on top of the letters. Maybe she can do a blog post on the subject.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Maria, great photos! I am really enjoying looking at your photos from Morocco and learning more about this country.

What an interesting feature to see who is at the front door. And you're right about the hardware on the door contrasting with the soft wood.

It will be interesting to hear what Candi says about the writing on the wall. I did not know that about the color green, very interesting.

Thanks so much for this very interesting and informative post Maria. Have a great evening!

What beautiful photos! I also love the contrasting in the second photo. Very fascinating!

Now, the Arabic writing, it IS religious, Maria, and hence the green coloring, as you mentioned it is the color of Islam.

It is hard for me to read the full paragraph, as some words are hidden, and it is written in one of the most complicated and beautiful fonts in the Arabic Language, can you believe this is hand written and painted? I think it is.But I believe I recognize this passage from the Quraan(We study the Quraan in the Arabic Language classes), it is praising the greatness of God, and His ultimate knowledge of what's known and unknown.

Interesting! I didn't know that green is the color of Islam. So basically it's a prayer or message that they will see first thing as they walk into their home. It's so very beautiful. Thanks Maria and Candi.

Kathy, I'm happy to hear that you are enjoying my posts on Morocco. It is such an interesting and exotic country!

Candi, thank you for your explanation on the writing. It's amazing to see the beautiful calligraphy with such attention to detail.

I was going to edit the original post to add the following but decided to put it here in the comments section. Since posting the photo yesterday I learned that the beautiful decorative calligraphy is the result of a prohibition on all religious figurative representation in Islam. Passages from the Koran are to be transcribed not in ordinary writing but in an elaborate and fine script.


What a beautiful doorway, Maria, and the calligraphy is really lovely (as are the tiles around it!)

The peephole is interesting. Have you read Mahfouz's Palace Walk, from his Cairo trilogy? It was a fascinating tale of family life, with the women often getting few other glimpses of the outside world than what they could see through a tiny peephole. And heaven help any woman seen from the street as she peeked out!

Sandra, I haven't heard about the Cairo trilogy but will check it out. Sounds utterly fascinating. Thanks!


Beautiful photos, Maria!

I am enjoying hearing about Morocco.

Great photos. I think doors and windows make some of the most interesting photos. And always leave you wondering what's behind them.

Very cool peephole and door! They are both so intersting and beautiful. Amazing that the Arabic script is hand written and painted. I love looking at and taking photos of windows and doors.

Thank you all for your comments. I have a few more photos of Moroccan doors and will be posting them soon.

Barb Cabot:

Such an interesting doorway and fascinating peep-hole. I'm loving this adventure you're taking us on.

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