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TOUS LES ARTICLES :

LE DERNIER N°
• THE GNAOUA
• ARAB-ANDALUSIAN MUSIC
• HISTORY OF A RELIGION

GUIDO N° 45
• TOWARDS CAPE SIM
• DAR SOLTAN AND BORJ EL OUED
• SHELL FISHING
• THE LMAHALOU SPRING

GUIDO N° 44
• THE ZAOUÏAS
• DOORS HAVE THEIR SECRETS
• DATES AND PALM TREES

GUIDO N° 43
• THE TOWNS OF ESSAOUIRA AND SAINT-MALO: TWIN SISTERS OR MIRROR IMAGES OF EACH OTHER ?
• RAFFIA CRAFT MIRO : AN EXCEPTIONAL DESIGNER
• SAFI COASTAL ROAD KASBAH HAMIDOUCH, AGOUZ, SOUIRA KÉDIMA

GUIDO N° 42
• ETERNAL MAGIC YESTERYEAR MEMORIES TODAY’S IMPRESSIONS - !!!!!
• THE SYNAGOGUE SLAT LKALHAL
• SPICES

GUIDO N° 41
• ESSAOUIRA: « A WORLD WITHIN A TOWN »
• THE NATIONAL TEA MUSEUM IN ESSAOUIRA, A CHINESE AND MOROCCAN PARTNERSHIP
• ESSAOUIRA AND ITS REGION ENHANCED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARGAN TREE
• A TOP QUALITY SARDINE

GUIDO N° 40
• UNIQUE MODEL SHIPS IN THE MEDINA!
• AN OUTSTANDING ARGAN TREE! YES, BUT WHY?
• THE DROMEDARY CAMEL AND THE BACTRIAN CAMEL
• LEMONS AND THEIR PROPERTIES

GUIDO N° 39
• EDITO N° 39
• MOULAY HASSAN SQUARE
• BREATHE, SWIM AND MOVE AROUND: SUMMER IS HERE!
• THE GNAOUA AND THE FESTIVAL

GUIDO N° 38
• THE ATTIA SYNAGOGUE: A FUTURE MUSEUM OF JUDAISM?
• THE RETURN OF THE BALD IBIS OR GERONTICUS EREMITA
• AÏN AHJAR OR THE « SOURCE FROM THE ROCKS »

GUIDO N° 37
• PUBLIC LETTER-WRITERS, A LONG LASTING TRADE!!
• THE INLAYERS’ COOPERATIVE
• THE MENZEH (OR WAREHOUSE)
• YENNAYER OR BERBER NEW YEAR OR AMAZIGH
• THE BRIDAL VEIL BROOM OR « BILOUGUI »

GUIDO N° 36
• THE PORTUGUESE CHURCH & THE DANISH CONSULATE
• ELEONORA’S FALCON
• FROM ESSAOUIRA TO SIDI KAOUKI DUNES, DESERTED BEACHES AND FISHERMEN’S VILLAGES

GUIDO N° 35
• REED CRAFTSMEN
• SAFI : THE MEDINA AND THE MARABOUT ALONG THE COAST
• TOWN ZAPPING
• THE TRAVELLER’S TREE OR RAVENALA MADAGASCARIENSIS

GUIDO N° 34
• THE SLAT LAKLHAL SYNAGOGUE
• THE DONKEY: NOT SO STUBBORN!

GUIDO N° 33
• ORGANIC HORSEHAIR : AN OLD STORY!
• FROM OLIVE TO OIL ! : ZITOUN, ZITOUNA, ZIT…
• BLACK OLIVE JAM
• THE TRACKS AROUND SIDI KAOUKI

GUIDO N° 32
• BEACONS AND SEA MARKS : REFERENCE POINTS FOR SAILORS
• WELL BEING CENTRES
• SAFI

GUIDO N° 31
• GNAOUA AND WORLD MUSIC
• A NEW LIFE FOR THE INDUSTRIAL ZONE?
• AZEMMOUR
• THE TAZOTA
• GATHERED IN THE PAPERS AS DAYS WENT BY

GUIDO N° 30
• ESSAOUIRA, THE « EVER-CHANGING »
• THE CAFÉ-HÔTEL AABDI AND THE AABDA TRIBE
• WATCHTOWER-MOUCHARABIEH-PEEPHOLE
• GREEN TOURISM IN IDA OUGOURD
• IN-CITY ZAPPING

GUIDO N° 29
• THE CLOCK
• LA FIXATION DES DUNES À ESSAOUIRA
• THE WATIER STATION - MOULAY BOUZERKTOUN
• BEAUTY SECRETS FROM MOROCCAN WOMEN
• TOWN ZAPPING

GUIDO N° 28
• FESTIVAL OF THE ATLANTIC ANDALUSIAS 2010
• TOWN CHECK
• PARADISE VALLEY

GUIDO N° 27
• THE WOOL SOUK IN ESSAOUIRA, A VANISHING ACTIVITY
• REHABILITATION OF THE ESSAOUIRA MELLAH AND OF THE SCALA AREA
• TAGENZA AND GARA GARA

GUIDO N° 26
• EDITO N° 26
• FLOODING, THE BRIDGES OF DIABET
• THE ZERRAR DAM
• SIDI MOGDUL
• OUALIDIA OR WALIDIA

GUIDO N° 25
• ALICE’S LOOKING GLASS : IOSU URIZ
• THE SOAPS OF MOGADOR

• HAMMAM AND SPA
• ITINERARY IN THE RED TOWN

GUIDO N° 24
• STREET ART
• THE ARGAN OIL FROM SIDI YASSINE
• A TOUR TO NEKNAFA AND ITS « SPA »

GUIDO N° 23
• LOGBOOK ENTRIES : MEMORIES OF THE PORT
• THE SQALAS
• THE WATER
• A TOUR OF THE COASTLINE AROUND ESSAOUIRA

GUIDO N° 22

GUIDO N° 13
• EDITO N° 13

Guido : 37 - THE MENZEH (OR WAREHOUSE)

The Jewish or Berber traders coming from Sous – or the famous « toujar sultan »: the King’s merchants- who settled in the Kasbah and in « derb Ahl Agadir » used to build two storey houses with a roof terrace, the menzeh, with a panoramic view overlooking the sea.

The ground floor was intended for the storing of goods. In the Kasbah, this type of building is even more noticeable as they now have been turned into restaurants or galleries; some are striking examples of this type like the restaurant “El Menzeh”. They are huge spaces with high ceilings, multiple freestone arches, architecturally simple and beautiful with arcades, whitewashed walls and a very high ceiling made in tassiout.

The menzeh is built like an urban house with front walls fitted with openings.

This house had two entrances as trade and private life did not mix. The first door gave access to the workplace that was the storage place for goods intended for exportation via the harbour: sacks piled on top of one another as high as the ceiling containing shelled almonds, wheat, skins, carob and especially gum (lagracha) hence the name lahraya dyal lagracha (gum warehouse) .

In this warehouse, women used to filter and clean the gum during the Great Famine at the end of 1920 and at the beginning of 1930: the gum was brought back from the huge Berber thuja forests in the south of Essaouira.

The second door opened onto the floors: the first floor for the family and the second one for the guests. The latter was often the most beautiful with its view onto the bay. It was called “menzeh” or “panoramic view” in French. At the time there were no hotels and all passing trade was welcomed either at the merchants’ menzeh or in the douiriya, a small house adjoining the house proper or dar. In fact, everywhere else in the old medina, each home had two adjoining houses: the dar (or house) for the family and the douiriya for guests and single people.

The ground floor of the house -the warehouse- was distinguished by huge freestone arches (manjour), a material used for the foundations of the old Kasbah and for the harbour fortifications.

In the Essaouira hinterland, one can still find excellent stonecutters of this sandy rock, in Had Dra, Akermoud and Tamanar in particular. These ground floors were six to eight meter high so as to store enough goods. They had to be big but they had to be strong also: their ceilings were made of thuja wood or tassiout, a Berber ceiling per se, with sixty centimetre long thuja planks supported crosswise by beams in thuja wood also.

When passing through the medina, one can see that very often the houses have no opening out: the light comes down from above. But in Essaouira Jewish houses, the windows are wide open above the level of the ramparts and give out to the sea: people did not have to hide their women. In some main streets like Alouj Street (alouj referring to old converts caught at sea by Barbarian pirates and who used to work as gunners at the Scala of the Harbour) the street leading to the sea, one can even see balconies. It is the typical house of the Jewish traders and of the Christian Consuls settled in Essaouira as early as its foundation in 1794.

While Muslim houses are distinguished by blind front walls, with a small entrance door opening onto a small paradise, with a light shaft coming from above: an architecture that expresses the sense of modesty according to which the woman should not tale off her veil.
Information : Abdelkader and Abdelmajid Mana