I grew up in The Netherlands in a house furnished with Persian carpets, Indian woodcrafts and all sorts of curious antiquities that my mother searched for at markets far and closer to home. In my room I treasured the exotic gifts that my father brought back from his business trips to countries like Japan and the Emirates. Little things I had never seen before and which seemed to tell fascinating stories of other worlds which I wanted to see with my own eyes. One of the first birthday presents I can recall was an illuminated globe that glowed softly in the dark next to my bed. The world at reach before I fell asleep.
I first came to Morocco with a friend, trotting the soil of the South with a backpack and fell head over heels and incurably in love with the desert. I returned to the enchanted kingdom frequently and soon I befriended a generous Moroccan family who invited me for several trips throughout the country. After a short while I realised that I really wanted to stay.
And sometimes life gives you what you ask for. I met my partner in Essaouira, a small fishing town on the Atlantic coast west of Marrakech. A Dutch man equally and incurably infatuated with Morocco but already living in Morocco and learning to speak Arabic. Destiny provided us with an opportunity to buy a beautifully located house in the Ourika Valley and together we plunged into the adventure of building boutique guesthouse Dar Zohra, designed and built by my husband with his amazing perseverance and profound love for the environment.
While the wall’s of Dar Zohra were built, the floors tiled and screaming machines were cutting large chunks of wood into window panes and doors, I was out twirling the souks of Marrakech and visiting cramped workshops in search of beautiful handmade objects of desire that would decorate our home and guesthouse. Some of the furniture has been designed by us and custom made locally by skilful craft men and some of the furniture has come from as far as India.
With whatever time is left I really love to understand more about the Berber culture which inevitably has opened the doors to the world of Moroccan Berber carpets. I thoroughly enjoy finding and selling vintage Moroccan carpets or vintage Handiras (Moroccan wedding blankets) and shipping them to new owners all over the world.
Last but not least, my greatest joy in life is Zohra our seven year old daughter. She is a courageous, loving and an incredibly patient little girl growing up surrounded by beautiful exotic things and flying carpets.
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