Dâr Damânah in Tangier ;  the Home of Emily Keane

Dâr Damânah in Tangier ; the Home of Emily Keane

Several weeks ago I wrote a blog post regarding Emily Keane,  the Sharifa of Ouezzane,  an English woman who,  in a remarkable story,  married one of the most powerful and spiritual men in Morocco.  The post can be read here.

Her husband was the Sharif of Ouezzane,  Hadj Ahmed Ben Abdeslam, an exalted and powerful religious leader directly descended from the Prophet Mohammed.  His religious order formally resided in Ouezzane, a town in northern Morocco on the edge of the Rif mountains,  famous for olive and wool production.  The Sharif’s former 3 wives continued to live in Ouezzane,  and after their marriage in 1873 the Sharif and 23 year old Emily chose to spend most of their time living in Tangier with their 2 sons.

In Tangier the family lived across several homes,  including the Zaouia of Ouezzaniyya and the Dâr Damânah.  The Dâr Damânah,  however, is more than a house;  it is a divine agreement, confirmed in a visionary visit from the Prophet Mohammed himself, that ancestral baraka, or sanctity, should continue to pass down through the family of the Grand Sharif from generation to generation. The Prophet decreed that the family’s house should be designated for ever Dar-el-Demana (house of surety), a token of this agreement,  and a title the direct descendants bear to this day. It is held in the highest veneration throughout Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Tripoli, Egypt, Turkey and India.

The Dâr Damânah and family home of the Sharif and Emily is in the Marshan area in Tangier.

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A Tale of Harira in Meknes

A Tale of Harira in Meknes

Link to a full Gallery of images here.

The low concrete dwelling was as white as the line of old tombs to its right, sepulchres built into the tall medina wall which formed one boundary of the old cemetery. A young boy emerged from the dwelling and approached me, his  body appearing to lope rather than walk,  his eyes cast mostly downwards.  Another child emerged from the white dwelling and made her way towards us.  In contrast she walked straight up to me, looked me in the eye, and in a moment of young feminine purpose extended her arm palm open, smiled disarmingly and asked me without any shame whatsoever for ‘l’argent’.

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