Category Archives: trees

Baobabs in the contemporary Senegalese landscape

Baobabs do not only mark Senegal’s historic sites (see previous post). They are a living part of its contemporary urban spaces as well. As cities across the country have expanded into farmland, mature baobabs have often been spared destruction and … Continue reading

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Historic baobab trees of Senegal

Following on my post about çinar trees at Turkish mosques and shrines, one reader, none other than my brother-in-law Ryan, suggested I post about Senegal’s baobab trees, and I am delighted to oblige. Baobabs (Adansonia digitata, guy in Wolof, boki … Continue reading

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Some architectural delights in Bursa, Turkey

Bursa is an industrial center of about two million inhabitants, one of whom is a former student of mine who now works for a cookie and candy manufacturer. It is famed for its hot springs, glazed chestnuts, and karagöz shadow … Continue reading

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Çinar trees at Turkish mosques

While visiting mosque and shrine complexes in and around Istanbul I became aware of the importance of çinar trees to urban architecture in Turkey. The çinar (chinar in Farsi, Platanus orientalis) thrives from the Balkans to the Himalayas and has … Continue reading

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Shrines of Ouezzane

Sufism imbibes the Moroccan landscape. Few Moroccan cities however are as closely associated to a Sufi tarîqah as Ouezzane (Wazan), pop. 58 000 in 2004, home to the Wazzâniyyah order. While the settlement may be much older, it owes its … Continue reading

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The shrine of Rabbi Amram ben Diwane in Azjèn, Morocco

September 21 is Moroccan Jewish Day on campus. This annual event is organized by the Mimouna Club, a student club devoted to raising awareness of Morocco’s Jewish heritage. The main event this year, co-sponsored by KIVUNIM, is an international seminar … Continue reading

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The zâwiya of Sheikh al-‘Alawi Bentounès in Mostaghanem

The spiritual path of Algerian Sheikh Ahmad al-‘Alawi Bentounès (1869-1934), like that of his contemporary Sheikh Ahmadu Bamba in Senegal, ran through the territory of French colonial rule. Born into a family of magistrates in the port city of Mostaghanem, … Continue reading

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