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Discovering Casablanca: A Melting Pot of Tradition and Modernity
Casablanca, the largest city of Morocco, may not be the first choice for tourists. Yet, it has a distinctive charm that resides in its stunning Art-Deco architecture, not to mention the splendid Hassan II Mosque - a true gem of Islam - that further enhances the city's architectural heritage.
While Casablanca's claim to fame is its status as the economic capital of Morocco, the city doesn't generally rank high in traditional craftsmanship. However, upon my journey, I noticed an emerging trend that beautifully blends art and handiwork, giving birth to small-scale crafts such as shoemaking, welding, and tinsmithing.
Médiouna - The Birthplace of an Intriguing Craft
Located near Casablanca, Médiouna is renowned for its exceptional carpets. Médiouna carpets bear a close resemblance to Rabat carpets, yet they carry their unique signature.
Typically, a Médiouna or Rabat city rug has a disproportionately long length compared to its width. It's a simple adaptation of the carpet format to fit the dimensions of Moroccan rooms built following Andalusian architecture.
The Artistic Signature of Médiouna Rugs
Médiouna rugs, with their oriental inspiration, distinguish themselves from Rabat rugs by placing greater emphasis on the central field. Their field is fuller and often carries several medallions, each telling a unique story. This design evolution is a testament to the craftsmen's creative spirit, who seamlessly blend tradition and modernity.
As I strolled through the streets of Casablanca, the city's understated charm and the slow but steady emergence of small-scale crafts fascinated me. Médiouna rugs, with their vivid colors and unique patterns, serve as a living testimony to the city's vibrant yet hidden world of craftsmanship. The journey through Casablanca was a discovery of a city evolving with time yet deeply rooted in its rich artisanal traditions.