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Old 02-14-2012, 12:36 AM
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MonsieurM MonsieurM is offline
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the following is going to be fun ...........found this book :

Full text of "Mysterious Morocco, and how to appreciate it"

the following is applicable to many themes of our Discussion:

Introductory Remarks.

ALTHOUGH this brief epitome of Moorish
history runs to 40 pages, the space occupied
is not excessive. It is true of most
countries that you cannot understand to-day unless
you know something of yesterday,
and this truth
applies with special force to Morocco, which
without some knowledge of its history would
be a hopeless enigma

The anecdotes inserted are intended not only
to lighten the narrative, but to illustrate present
Moorish life. The incidents in the flight of Idris I.,
the building of Fez, &c., might mutatis mutandis
happen to-day. The stories of Kahena and of
Zeinab will show that women's life in the East is
not the mere harem existence it is supposed to

Historical Sketch.

Early Days.

Legends. Ancient legends tell of Antaeus, the mighty

Giant son of Atlas, King of Mauretania
. The
monster killed all whom he could catch, to add
their skulls to a mound which he was raising in
honour of Neptune (which is none other than Poseidon God of Atlantis. Hercules destroyed him, and
the rocks which guard the Straits of Gibraltar are
known to this day as the " Pillars of Hercules."
The Berbers claim for themselves descent from Goliath of Gath,
the Amalekite giant
who fell before the pebble of David, the shepherd
boy of Israel.
In 424 A.D. we find Bonifacius, the Roman
Count (Comes) of Africa, inviting Genseric the
Goth to Morocco. These kinsmen of our own
Anglo-Saxons accepted the invitation to such
purpose as to form a Vandal Empire
which lasted
for about 80 years. Some ethnologists claim still to
recognise traces of the blood of the fair-haired blue-
eyed Goths amongst the mixed races of Morocco

A Christian Hermit. Idris II. founds Fez.

On a fair hillside clothed in verdure and forest a
young Moorish noble is busying himself and a
few followers. It is February, in the year of
our Lord 808, and the country shows the tender
green due to the influence of spring. An old
hermit whose crucifix betokens his creed, and
whose solitude has been disturbed by the bustle,
asks him what he is doing. " Building a City
is the curious reply. The answer seems to
awaken th£ old man from the lethargy of age
and, " If this be so, O Emir, I have good tidings
for thee," quoth he. He then narrates how his
predecessor at the hermitage told him that a
city named "Sef" had been located there 1,700
years ago. The *' Book of Knowledge " of this
predecessor had also stated that "one day a son of
" the Prophets should come and rebuild, his name
" shall be Idris, and his achievements great : he
" shall plant Islam here, and it shall endure for
"ever." "Praised be God," said Idris, and starts
digging the foundations of Fez.
a mystic indeed

now this is interesting:

Decline of ^"^ ^^ ^^^ famous words of the great French

Idrisi detective Lecoq is " Cherchez la Femme (find the woman )" and you'll find the

certainly the mot seems applicable to the fall of

dynasties. Yahya the second (fifth in the line

from Idris) " was a man of depraved morals, and

" violated a pretty Jewess named Hanyna" (Roudh

El Kmtas). This rape cost Yahya his life and his

it The family their throne by starting a series of insur-

Stranger." rections which finally ended the dynasty. Soon

one, surnamed ** The Stranger," arose, established

himself in the mountains, and captured part of



here is an interesting Family:

The Glories of Empire.

Origin of Again the change of dynasty had its origin in
Almohade a religious *' Revival." A desert Berber tribe
Power, inflamed with reforming zeal, rushed upon the
settled kingdom and subjugated it. Mohammed,
son of Tumart, the originator of the movement,
was a man of mark. He was originally a poor
student who visited the East and acquired a

reputation for sanctity.* As a mystic reverenced
under the title of " Mehdi " {the directed of God) he
found refuge in the Atlas Mountains not far
from Marrakesh, and passed on his mission to
Abd-el-Mumin, who took the Southern capital by
force of arms in 1 147-8 a.d. Abd-el-Mumin is the
favourite hero of Moorish history
. He was a
great horseman, his skin was white and cheeks
ruddy, his eyes dark and his beard thick. He
was learned in " the Law and the Prophets " and
a devoted lover of poetry. But, above all, he
was a great administrator, and passed on an
organized Empire to his descendants.!

It was in his time that Sicily was ruled by Norman
Counts, and the tivo Rogers, father and son, were men
of great ability. They took Algeria, Tunis and Tripoli,
and would have carried their conquests furthey\ (says
the Arab historian) but for a quarrel which resulted in
war with the Byzantine Emperor, whom they defeated
and bearded in Constantinople.

* He was not particular as to the means. When he was beaten, he
got some friends to allow themselves to be buried alive with breathing
boles arranged. At night be took his followers to the battlefield and
addressed questions to the faithful dead. He was answered by his
confederates who told of the glories of Paradise. When the dupes had
gone, he buried his friends in real earnest. " Dead men tell no tales."

t One of the towns re-established by Abd el Mumin was Mequinez
(iijo A.D.), and the water supply of Sallee was laid on by him. He also
built the castle at Gibraltar (1161 (HM 9 ) a.d.).

J After the death of the second Roger, his son Gregory lost Algeria
and Tunis to Abd el Mumin, who thus extended his Empire till it
included Spain and the whole cf North Africa.

Abd-el-Mumin's son, Abou Yakoub Yussef, who
succeeded him (1163) was a great student,* and
administrator, who would be better known to
history, but for his eclipse by his more famous
brother '• El Mansur."

The greatest of this family was Abou Yussef
who is usually known emphatically as
" El Mansur " the Victorious (sometimes written
Almansor). He beat three Christian Kings
combined (Kings of Castille, Leon, and Aragon)
on the field of Alarcos (1195 a.d.).
the following made my heart skip a bit

* Averroes / Avicenna, one of the most famous Muslim philosophers (his proper
name is Abu-'l-Welid-ibn-Roshd), was at one time imprisoned by him
because he wrote " Venus then is one of the Divinities "—a gloss on a
classical author. He was liberated afterwards on being better under-
stood and accompanied the succeeding monarch, El Mansur, as a
closa friend int« Morocco, where he died.

Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws.” -Confucius.

Last edited by MonsieurM; 02-14-2012 at 01:03 AM.
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