Whilst strolling through the fashionable Kasbah district in the Marrakech Medina, we stumbled across a small shop front covered with vibrant tablets depicting satirical renditions of Moroccan life. The bright colours and intriguing content of the tablets drew us into the shop where we met by Nour-Eddine Boukheir, the shop’s owner and artist responsible for these wonderful pieces of art. The humour displayed in Nour-Eddine was certainly reflected in his personality; we spent the next half an hour chatting with him about his art, his inspiration and his favourite pieces of work.
Made from cedar, pine, and walnut wood sourced from the nearby Atlas Mountains, the majority of tablets depicted a humorous reflection on moments of Moroccan life – a trip to the dentist, a marriage, the Hamam, the butcher, a schoolroom, the police officer and so on. The pieces of art seem to blend the traditional Arabic tablets, known locally as the Lawh, often used for learning the Quran, with the satirical cartoon from the newspaper. They are undeniably unique, quite unlike anything else we have seen in Marrakech.
Nour-Eddine explained that he learnt his trade making traditional Arabic tablets, the Lawh, using traditional techniques and calligraphic writing. He originally began to his tablets depicting satirical scenes of Marrakech for fun in his past time, but soon began selling them in his shop.
Nour-Eddine’s shop can be found on Rue de La Kasbah and we highly recommend a visit. A small tablet costs around 100 dirham – which is, in our opinion, a bargain for such a unique and special item – and larger tablets cost more.