“There is a place where words are born of silence,
A place where the whispers of the heart arise.
There is a place where voices sing your beauty,
A place where every breath
carves your image
in my soul.” Rumi
Art dealer Dorothea McKenna’s Elkon first encounter with this beautiful 18th Century Riad was love at first sight. Located in the the magical fishing town of Essouria, the riad was in total disrepair. Seduced by Essouria and its riad Ms McKenna bought it only after few days having arrived in the town. Whilst back in France she met a dashing designer named Salem Graasi who happened to be traveling to Morocco that following week, he went to see the riad and came back inspired , Dorothea hired him to oversee the renovation.
Inspired by such books as Arabesques by Jean Marc Castera, mosques and palaces of Spain and Morocco they sourced the best woodworkers, tilers and stone carvers and painters. Moroccan artisans are renowned for Zellige and Mashrabiya techniques. As you can see from the images the riad was completed to perfection, a creative splendor.
Today the riad is named Dar Maktoub (House of Destiny) and Dorothea and Salem got married. What a fantastic story Dar Maktoub indeed a labour of love.
Listen to : Golou Limma by Chaba Zahouania who is Algerian but thought the song was perfect for this story.
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