From the rooftop of our Moroccan home…The Islamic Call to Prayer…A video…

 Our video of the Islamic Call to Prayer from the rooftop of our home in Marrakech.
 Within the first few hours of our arrival in Marrakech on March 1, 2014, we couldn’t help but hear the melodic sound of the Islamic Call to Pray which is broadcast from loudspeakers throughout the city of Marrakech and also in other Islamic cities as we’ve observed in our travels.
This photo was taken from a third floor rooftop of a restaurant where we dined in the past week.
A closer version of the above photo.

Never before were the sounds as evident as they are here at Dar Aicha where one of the loudspeakers is close to the rooftop of the house. On the second day of our arrival, sunny and warm, I climbed the steep steps to the third floor rooftop to make a video with the sounds as the focal point and the sights secondary.

Although the architecture of many mosques are similar, they each posses their own unique design.
While walking around the rooftop, it was necessary to go up and down various steps as I worked my way around the rooftop for the best vantage points. Thus, the jittery camera. Plus, with one eye on the camera, my other eye was set to watch my step to ensure I didn’t fall. (The walls of the rooftop are high so there was no risk of falling off of the roof).
The below schedule illustrates the various prayer times throughout the day. It all begins with a preliminary early morning prayer as shown, that is relatively quiet at this early hour but tends to awaken me each morning, although I can usually fall back to sleep until the second louder chant at sunrise, time to get up anyway. Tom, hard of hearing, rarely awakens from the earliest call to prayer.
Marrakech, Morocco Prayer Times (State: Marrakech)
Prayer Schedule March / 2014
Date Day Fajr Sunrise Dhuhr Asr Maghrib Isha
11 Tue 5:26 6:47 12:43 4:05 6:38 7:54
12 Wed 5:25 6:46 12:42 4:06 6:38 7:55
13 Thu 5:24 6:44 12:42 4:06 6:39 7:55
14 Fri 5:22 6:43 12:42 4:06 6:40 7:56
15 Sat 5:21 6:42 12:41 4:06 6:40 7:57
16 Sun 5:21 6:42 12:41 4:06 6:40 7:57
17 Mon 5:19 6:39 12:41 4:07 6:42 7:58
Monthly/Annual Schedule 

As we’ve read online, some tourists find the call to prayer annoying and interrupting of their holiday time. For us, the sounds are pleasant and soothing, reminding us of the devoted faith of 1.6 billion (23% of the world’s population) followers of this ancient religion beginning at approximately 600 A.D.

When we’re in the souks or the Big Square during the call to prayer, we see congregations of men, separated from the women, on the street or in mosques in a state of prayer. 

We posted this photo of Tom last week with a mosque in the background.

As one may expect, the roles of men and women are separate in the older population. However, as typical in many parts of the world, women of the younger generation have taken on many new roles. 

As visitors, we respect, accept and appreciate the differences as we have been given the opportunity to live among the local citizens of this amazing cultural city. Non Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosques, some of which are shown here in the walled city.  Last May, while in Dubai, UAE, we had the opportunity to visit the interior of the Sheikh Zayed White Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE (please click this link to see our story and photos of our visit to this mosque). 

Unfortunately, I was very ill during our entire two week period in Dubai having contracted a respiratory virus during the cruise to Dubai. Unfortunately, it evolved into a raging sinus infection. On the day we visited the mosque, the temperature was over 100F, over 42C, while I had a fever. Thus, wearing the black abaya, required to enter the mosque, was exceedingly difficult. Tom wore the cooler white thobe. (Click this link to see us in our required attire for entering the mosque).

Also this photo was previously posted, taken from the petit taxi when we headed to the grocery store.

As difficult as the day of sightseeing proved to be, I am grateful that I bit the bullet for the experience. Many of our friends and family, not knowing how sick I really was, chuckled over my appearance in the abaya. Little did they know, how I struggled to keep it in place in an attempt to honor the required state of dress. In looking back now, I certainly understand their humorous perspective!

The memory of visiting the exquisite mosque in Dubai will have to suffice for now. We can only imagine the beauty and dignity of the many mosques in Marrakech and other parts of Morocco.

Why did we wait so long to post this video? The Internet was too slow for it to upload to, where we post all of our videos. On several occasions I attempted to upload this video only to tie up my computer for hours without success. Last night, I left my computer on allowing it to upload during the night. Alas, this morning, the video was available. Why didn’t I think of this earlier? I suppose my best excuse is that my brain is otherwise occuped.

If you’d like to see more of our videos please click here. (Please bear with me as I continue to work on developing better video taking skills. The bad shoulder prohibits holding the camera steady for more than a few seconds. I’m attempting to learn other ways in which to handle the camera. Hopefully, soon we’ll purchase a new camera to once and for all be rid of the smudge on the lens that appears in many of our photos. Sony has a new model coming out at the end of this month, we may purchase.

On the agenda for today? More time on tax stuff. And later today, we’ll head out to find a restaurant for tonight’s dinner and, hopefully attempt to find a shop in the souks where we can each purchase a warm jogging suit. A popular attire for many of the locals who don’t wear the traditional Muslim attire, these sets are available at many of the shops.

Last night, it rained almost all night, again soaking the floor in the courtyard.

My problem will be finding a set with long enough arms and legs to fit me. Tom has the opposite problem. We’ll see how we do on finding what we need and if we do, negotiating a good price.

We’ll return tomorrow with the results of our shopping expedition, our outng and with many more photos, as we continue to experience life in Marrakech.