Once upon a time, there was a Persian king called Shahryar. After his wife had cheated on him, he decided that women could not be trusted and he began to marry a series of virgins, whom he executed the morning after. Until one day, he marries the smart and beautiful Scheherazade. She is the daughter of the vizier, and basically the only virgin left in the entire kingdom. On their wedding night, she starts telling the sultan a story, but she doesn’t finish. So he spares her, in order to hear the ending.

One Thousand and One Nights in Marrakech

The next night, she starts a new tale as soon as the first one ends, again without finishing it. She found a way to keep the interest of the Sultan, and thus continues like this for 1001 nights. By the time she told every single story she knows, the Sultan is already so in love with her that he spares her, and decides she is his truthful queen.
This is how the ‘Tales of 1001 night’ begin. The oldest manuscript, written in Arabic and discovered in Syria, dates back to the 800’s. There is still some discussion going on about the origin of the stories, it is generally assumed that they are Persian, although some of the stories seem to have their roots in Indian folklore. The best known stories are without doubt ‘Ali Baba and the forty thieves’ ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Sinbad the Sailor’. These are also the most controversial, because they are not found in the original manuscript. Probably it were European translators who incorporated these stories into the 1001 nights.
Some of the tales are slightly erotic, and the British translator Richard Burton was even accused of pornography when he first published them. But also science-fiction and horror elements are included. Take for example the story of the ‘Murdered young woman’, where a fisherman discovers a chest with the corpse of a young girl inside…cut into pieces. Or the story “The Adventures of Bulukiya”, where the protagonist travels through the galaxy, and explore stars and planets on his search for the herb of immortality.

But this is not what we think about when we imagine the stories of 1001 night. We like to think about the more romantic and captivating tales. Palaces in the desert, where beautiful women in colourful dresses dance under the light of the moon. Bustling cities surrounded by sand and palm trees, mysterious dark princes and busy market places.

Are you looking for some magic from the east? The sun, the lovely chants from the mosques and the noise of the souks are awaiting you in Morocco, a modern country that still managed to guard its old charm. Rent the best apartments in Marrakech, and fly away into the desert on a flying carpet.