|Moroccan music has been influenced by Arabic,
Berber, African and Spanish traditions. Distinctive musical instruments
include the ghalta (a wind instrument), the amzhad (a stringed
instrument used by Berber musicians) and the bendir (a type of drum).
Traditional Berber music is connected to storytelling and is an important
part of moussems, weddings, and other celebrations. Chaabi,
a type of popular music often heard in cafés, combines Arab, African
and Western styles. Usually at the end of each song, there is an instrumental
section with a faster tempo, which encourages the audience to dance and
|Moroccos rich architectural heritage is evident
in its mosques and madressahs. The mosques interiors are usually
adorned with paved courtyards, fountains and elaborate mosaics. Delicate
traceries surround doors and windows and embellish screens. The Al-Qarawiyin
mosque in Fez is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. Moroccans
are known for their handmade rugs (kilims). The rugs are made from
wool or silk. Certain colours and designs are associated with particular
regions. A good Moroccan carpet contains up to 480,000 knots per square
metre and can take up to nine months to make.
The sound of metalworkers hammers is often heard
in the souks. Moroccan metalwork includes decorated trays, silver
jewellery and kitchenware. Maroquinerie (leather working) is also
a long-standing tradition. Moroccan leather workers produce beautiful bags
and sandals as well as pointed slippers known as balgha, made from
sheep or goat skin.
|Many contemporary Moroccan writers write in French.
One of the countrys best-known writers is Tahar ben Jelloun, who now lives
in France. His books Solitaire and Silent Day in Tangier have been
translated into English. Driss Chraïbi, author of Heirs to the
Past, is another Moroccan writer who lives in France. Mohammed Khaïr-eddine,
a poet, writes about the need to change Moroccan traditions. Ahmed Sefrioui
is a writer of Berber descent who described the everyday life of Moroccans
in La Boîte à Merveilles (The Box of Wonders).
Did you know?
well-known movies, such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), have been
filmed in Morocco. The Sheltering Sky (1990) was based on a book
by the American-born writer Paul Bowles, who has lived in Tangier since
the 1940s. However, the famous film Casablanca (1942) was not made
on location in Morocco, and the story depicts wartime life in Tangier,