This article was written in commemoration of the foundation of the city of Marrakesh, and published under the title "Three days in Marrakesh" in Almaghrib Aljadid (New Morocco) - 2nd year - Issue 3 - June 1936.

Without two cities would the history of Morocco not have known such a glorious past, and if the historic monuments were not an everlasting reminder of their perennial subject of interest, we would have been unable either to imagine the prestige of this elapsed period or to seize all the magnificense of its glory, that the centuries dissimulate in the mysts of time. Thanks to these monuments, we assist to a revival of these walls and sinuous and overcrowded lanes with their numerous shops and markets. All in these two cities transports you from the present time towards a close or remote past and leads you to review these captivating images reflected by the glorious pages of the Moroccan History.

The human being who saw the daylight only through his eyes can never appreciate their real dimensions, especially if he never felt the light of the past penetrating the bottom of his heart, and capturing his visceral feelings, as any heart of stock which was refreshed with the source of moroccan life, appreciating its beauty and breathing the fresh scent of its perfume.

Such an individual is nowadays a load for the civilized world. He can neither appreciate its value on the aesthetic point of view nor on the emotional and sensitive level. On the contrary, this value will be more appreciated by those who put all their hearts in gathering together the remains of the moroccan life, from the most ancient times and the remotest scenes until the present time and the scenes which reflect our life in our current existence. It is only on the bases of these elements that one can have a right idea of the distinctive sign of the moroccan heart and its characteristics, and realize its brilliant radiance which exerts an irresistible attraction to get in love with.

Two cities of a captivating beauty, which emerge in front of your eyes each time you throw a glance on the past: Fez on one side, Marrakesh on the other.

Two cities which everything swivels and that one cannot perceive from far away without being immediately confirmed in one's conviction that they accurately represent Morocco since it has been created in their image.

With its flowing rivers, its spounting springs, narrow lanes, and dark deadends, joined to the courtesy of its inhabitants, with all that it has to offer, Fez reflects centuries of history and clarifies the significant features of this landlocked country between the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean.

It incites to let oneself being rocked by its charms and to discover its secrets in order to appreciate its beauty and to breathe its vivifying air. All this brings to share the conviction of its inhabitants that God fulfilled the wishes of its founder.

Marrakesh is a city which you cannot visit without it penetrating your heart, and occupying a place in its most intimate depths. After a few hours I spent there, I was literally fascinated. It seized my spirit in such a way that I would leave it only against my will and, if I had to, it would be with the feeling of an irresistible desire to come back to this marvellous city as soon as possible. I spent there three days only, but they were enough to let me note that I could not pretend knowing Morocco if I didn't know Marrakesh. I came to the conclusion that it was impossible for me to grand any value to the cultural heritage of this country, as long as this splendid city continues to vegetate in the sphere of forgetfulness.

While reviewing the moroccan cities, one realizes that all in Marrakesh reminds of the prestigious past of the country, with the various dynasties which followed one another and the role they successively played, sometimes reaching the height of glory, some other times being degraded to the lowest degree of decline, until the time wrapped these demontrations of greatness and decline up, and bequeathed us these admirable monuments which inform us about the preceding generations with their positive and negative aspects.

One cannot mention the City of Marrakesh without thinking at once of the Koutoubia, which remains everyday standing just as a bride during the night of her wedding. Around it, the buildings grow simultaneously with the palm trees. But with its imposing presence, the charm it deploys on the four corners of the horizon and its high elevation such as a skyscraper, the Koutoubia kept intact on the register of time, the artistic splendour of Marrakesh.

The years passed by. The dynasties followed one another. The events were constantly renewed. But the Koutoubia remained unchanged, testifying to the generations which crossed their lives like the passage of the clouds in the sky, and made us become aware that the art is requested to last as long as needed to achieve the generations' steps towards their aspirations for the ideals of moral values.

Several tens of kilometers before arriving at Marrakesh, we see the Koutoubia overhanging the palm plantation, controlling your steady march, supervising your itinerary, holding you company in your loneliness, and accompanying you in each one of your steps. It imposes itself on your glance, and obliges you to admire its beauty, its great stature, and gives you the feeling that only a few hours seperate you from it. But you keep walking without reaching it, and you feel moved in your heart without knowing where this feeling comes to you from. And here you are in full symbiosis with the past century, while the Koutoubia stands in front of you, silhouetted against the bright blue color of the sky, extending its control in all directions, declaiming the supreme words of God five times per day and spreading everywhere the light of truth and majesty.

The Koutoubia invites the believers to face the direction of Mecca with devotion and a sincere feeling of piety in front of their Creator, in order to spend a moment in praying and opening themselves up to the devine light, forgetting the worries of this world and the bitter struggle for life. Koutoubia is a headlight which guides the people of Marrakesh - natives and visitors as well - to adore God, whose unicity is symbolized by the extraordinary size of this creative work.

Koutoubia revives in the heart of the muslims the notion of the good, and reminds them of their rights and duties in their current life and in the life which awaits them in a near future. I greet you, headlight, for lighting the right way to be followed and indicating the obscure path to be avoided. I greet the soul of the founder of this city who set you up and so well succeeded in your erection, who made of you the guardian of the fate's precepts which spread during centuries their perfume on the four corners of the city, reinforcing the resolution of its inhabitants to keep working in the road of the good and to move away from that of darkness.

Such are the feelings which seized me and filled my heart with the charm of Marrakesh. I reviewed the history of this peaceful city, reviving the memory of its great men who contributed in building its prestige and making of it the capital of this country for a rather long period.

At my arrival in Marrakesh "the red," I went at once to collect myself on the tomb of the city's founder. A sudden feeling of great fear mixed of a volouptuous enjoyment seized me. I imagined myself in front of a man by whom all the attributes of the good were embedded and who joined them alltogether within a same ideal in order to draw from his acts and facts an extraordinary force to surmount the difficulties he could meet in the accomplishment of his mission.

He is thus in a position to cross plains and mountains in order to propagate the teachings of Islam and defend them with all his strength. I imagined myself in front of a man who combined simplicity with the nobility of soul, the penetrating vision with a faultless judgment, a men who didn't seek to establish the royalty to his favour. It was the responsibility of power which called upon him to feel the monarchical function which was intended to him. He was a man who didn't care to impose his authority, but the exercise of the authority was considered by him as a duty he had to fulfill.

Both power and sovereignty were at his disposal. However, he never used them in a manner of a tyrant, who thinks only of himself and acts according to his inclinations, but as a man devoted for a noble cause with a greatness of soul and a spirit of equity and justice. He was considered as an example for all posterity. Indeed, when you study his behaviour, you see that you are dealing with a personality out of the common run, with a sovereign who aspired to perfection and was animated by an ardour which gave him the insurance that he was going to reach that goal.

He worked to satisfy his conscience by believing in the good and moral principles. He dominated a vast empire without ever being infected by the virus of the evil. He didn't want to proclaim himself Calif for regard of the Calif of Baghdad, who was however not more powerful than him, nor was he at the head of a more significant empire than his. But Ibn Tashfine, who was a man of strategic decisions combined with a political spirit of great smoothness, sent an emissary to the Calif of Baghdad to obtain the recognition in his favor of the full sovereignty on Morocco, which was extended from Algeria to Tangiers and included Andalusia as well.

On this point the author of "Al Istiqsa" reported that:

"'The Emir of the Believers' wished to imply the Calif of Baghdad by leading him to admit the existence of a new independant State of the Empire on which he exerted his sovereignty from far away, and wanted to inform him, that he needed from back then not to appeal any more on his agreement to make his decisions in accordance with the regulations of the Muslim Law. He acted thus by sagacity, may God have him in His mercy."

Nothing makes greater than such an attitude which testifies to a realistic vision on behalf of a man to whom life smiled, who ruled his empire without keeping out of sight the quircks of fate, or letting himself deceive by the appearences even if they were hugely tremendous. On the countrary, he led an ascetic existence and didn't allow himself to be attracted by the tempations of this world like other monarchs. He needed by no means to exhibit his power or to resort to the use of force in order to impose his will. Calm reigned serene in his deepest inside. He was grateful to God for having put in his hands the bridle of power, and kneels down in front of the supreme power of the eternal and unique Creator who is the last recourse against the injustice of the fate.

Such is the last residence of Ibn Tashfine, great by its simplicity. It is simple because it is stripped of any pageantry and deployment of ostentation; it is great in the sense that when one collects oneself in front of it, one has the impression to be in front of a human being of a rare merit; one feels invaded by an immense devotion in his presence and one can only dedicate one's endless admiration by facing a prince of such a sovereign majesty. One can only express one's gratitude to God in recognition of the gifts He grants us.

But a few moments only after one collected oneself in front of the tomb of Ibn Tashfine, one feels penetrated with sadness and wonders why this great man who rests here is at this point ignored by the Moroccan society and why,contrary to other tombs, no interest is carried to his eternal resting place. Is that the wish of Ibn Tashfine himself? Shall we continue to neglect his tomb and let him rest in peace as an ascetic in the same way he lived as an ascetic? Such a wish - if we admit that it was a wishful thinking on the part of Ibn Tachfine - should not however be carried out to the letter; if we take better care of his burial ground to emphasize his greatness, we would have only accomplished our duty towards a man who did not live for himself, but was devoted during all his life to his great principles.