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1. The famous great mosque

2. World's oldest minaret

3. Minaret details

4. Prayer hall

5. Mosque details

6. Gates and exterior

7. Cemetary of Ouled Farhane

8. Zaouia Sidi el Ghariani

9. Bi'r Barouta

10. Mosque of the three doors

11. City wall and gates

12. Zaouia of Sidi Sahab

13. Zaouia of Sidi Amor Abbada

14. Aghlabid pools

15. Around town

16. Shopping streets

17. At night


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Zaouia of Sidi Amor Abbada

Kairouan, Tunisia

Amor Abbada was a strange kind of blacksmith philosopher, creating oversized objects full of inscriptions explaining their purpose. Like swords that should protect but not kill and candles of wisdom, keys that only God can turn (photo left).
The whole museum-like presentation is very attractive, all set in his (now desanctified) zawiyya beneath two of its domes. The caretaker, Khammeri, is very enthusiastic and helpful.
The lower photo shows his burial place. A wooden cage protects the spot where he was placed to rest in the ground. Not uncommon, but the tablet with Koranic and non-Koranic inscriptions is different from what I have usually seen.
Amor Abbada was not always philosophical in a way that can appeal to modern people. He also claimed that two anchors which he gave his home town had come from Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, anchors which were said to fasten Kairouan to the earth. They can be seen half way down the eastern walls.
Kairouan, Tunisia

By Tore Kjeilen