Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bab al-Had, Rabat

The recently-restored Bab al-Had in Rabat.

I take issue with the finishes that they're using to restore all of the walls (making them look like pisé instead of leaving the masonry exposed.) The plaza in front was previously where all of the buses stopped and was a traffic nightmare. They've moved the bus stops. Given how lush the greenery in Rabat can be, I wish that they'd incorporating more shade trees and shrubberies into the landscaping. There are all too many shadeless plazas that are new and under construction. Apparently, the interior of the bab is going the way of other medina babs: they've made an art gallery of it. One of my favorite things about this bab (pre-restoration) was that in the interior was a cadre of men, most with Arabic-language typewriters but a couple with French, just sat there waiting at your (my) beck and call to type out a document. I don't know if they've re-located to another part of the medina.

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