The Miaara (Jewish Cemetery), Marrakech

by tiresomemoi

The guardian and his dogThe Miaara, Gaurdian

Upon entering the cemetery I was asked if I was Jewish and where I was from. Satisfied with my responses the guardian told me a bit about the cemetery. Most interestingly, that there are separate sections for men, women, and children. Many more interesting tidbit can be found here*.

“People visiting loved ones’ graves show remembrance and respect for the deceased according to their Ashkenazic or Sephardic customs. Ashkenazim place pebbles or small stones on top of the grave. Sephardim light candles, often placing a candle in a recessed portion of the grave or in a small adobe tunnel adjacent to the grave.”

– From a report by the International Jewish Cemetery Project

The modern version (votive niche)The Miaara A

Joseph, age 10The Miaara F

“The original cemetery on this site, several centuries old, is now below ground-level, completely covered, and hidden by a second “generation” (level) of graves. The current cemetery, at ground level, dates back about 200 to 300 years.”

– From a report by the International Jewish Cemetery Project 

Many (most?) of the graves are unmarked.

The children’s sectionThe Miaara H

UnmarkedThe Miaara G

TiledThe Miaara C

5707The Miaara D

As I was leaving, I asked the guardian if there was a restroom and if I might use it. Yes, he said, then asked if I would I be paying to use the facilities.  Of course, I said. In that case, he said, I’ll get you some toilette paper. The entrance to the women’s restroom is just over 27” wide, the men’s is less than 26” wide, neither is terribly clean.

The Miaara B

Access

There is a small threshold at the entrance. Once inside the gate there is a brick terrace and a wide brick path leading about 1/4 of the way around the cemetery. There are hard packed dirt paths winding between the tombstones. Some of the paths are wide enough for a wheelchair, some or not.

*The link takes you to a report written by someone from the International Jewish Cemetery Project. It’s pretty cool if you like that kind of thing.

The Miaara E

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