Facts about Marrakech: The epicenter of islamic renaissance amid Morocco earthquake.

Rescue efforts are underway in remote mountain villages in Morocco, where powerful earthquakes have claimed the lives of over 1,000 people, leaving many without homes. The earthquake, which struck late on a Friday night in the High Atlas mountains, not only devastated these villages but also caused significant damage to historic buildings in the nearby city of Marrakech, also known as Marakech.

Most of the casualties were reported in the mountainous areas to the south, where rescuers are working diligently to search for survivors amidst the rubble. According to the interior ministry, the death toll has risen to 1,037, with an additional 672 individuals sustaining injuries.

The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 and was centered approximately 72 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech. This devastating earthquake is the deadliest Morocco has experienced since 1960 when a quake claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people.

As the tragic events surrounding the earthquake come to the forefront, it’s worth noting that Marakech has a rich and storied history. During the Islamic Golden Age, it served as a vibrant center of learning and culture.

Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravid dynasty, Marakech quickly became a significant trading hub and a renowned center for Islamic scholarship. The city was home to renowned scholars, such as Ibn Khaldun, a distinguished historian and sociologist, and Abu al-Hasan al-Marrakushi, a notable geographer and astronomer.

Marakech, often referred to as “the red city” in Berber, also became an epicenter of art and architecture, boasting numerous mosques, palaces, and gardens that showcased the city’s cultural richness.

While the Islamic Golden Age eventually waned in the 13th century, Marakech continued to be a hub of culture and learning under the patronage of the Almohad dynasty, the Merinid dynasty, and the Saadian dynasty. These rulers furthered the arts and sciences, contributing to the city’s enduring legacy.

Even during the colonial period, Marakech retained its significance and remains a major tourist destination today. The city continues to be a treasure trove of historical landmarks and a vibrant center of Moroccan culture.

Additional Facts:

  • Academic Excellence: Marakech was a hub of learning and scholarship in the 12th century, home to several universities, including the University of al-Qarawiyyin, one of the world’s oldest universities.
  • Trade and Exchange: The city served as a major center of trade between Africa and Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries, facilitating the exchange of goods and ideas.
  • Cultural and Spiritual Center: Marakech was a nucleus of Islamic culture, hosting numerous Sufi shrines and mosques, attracting pilgrims from across the Islamic world.
  • Resistance Against Colonialism: In the 19th century, Marakech was a significant center of resistance to European colonialism, witnessing battles between Moroccans and the French before being captured by the French in 1912.
  • Modern Cultural Hub: Today, Marakech remains a major center of Moroccan culture, preserving traditional crafts, industries, and culinary delights. It is a prominent destination for travelers seeking to explore Morocco’s rich heritage