Marika Barbie + Tunisia

Sidi Bou Said—If Walls Could Only Speak!

Sidi Bou Said is a little town set on a hill just 20 kilometers outside the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

The name comes from a religious figure, Abu Said (1156-1231), who once lived there and, since, has gained the reputation of being a town of artists.

Although dating back to the times of Carthage, the town was inhabited by Ottoman rulers, who gave the town its Turkish architectural flair.

The Ottomans occupied Tunisia from 1574-1871, greatly influencing the culture, customs, and clothing.

Such styles in Sidi Bou Said are evidenced by the wooden box frames of intricate latticework known as mashrabiya, which protrude from windows for protection.

The picturesque colors of light blue on white in Sidi Bou Said were applied by French painter and Arab musicologist, Rodolphe d’Erlanger (1872-1932).

Hence, this color is reminiscent of the French occupation of Tunisia, which lasted from 1881 to 1956. French language and culture still dominates the country today.

Now, t Rodolphe d’Erlanger’s palace now houses the Center of Arab and Mediterranean Music.

Rodolphe was instrumental in developing the genre of music known as Ma'luf (or Malouf), which is a form of North African music that was born in Andalucia, in the 9th century and revived in the 1920’s.

View the city.

Photos Copyright Men’s Fashion by Mark.

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