Twenty years ago, British author Tahir Shah purchased DAR KHALIFA, AKA ‘THE CALIPH’S HOUSE’, an enormous mansion, in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
Moving to the house with his young family, Shah began the process of making renovations, and exorcising the Jinns, (genies), said to infest every nook and cranny of the place.
Shah’s first year in Casablanca is detailed in his bestselling book, The Caliph’s House, which has appeared in more than 40 languages, and has been optioned for a movie in Hollywood.
The house is widely believed to be the original landmark relied upon by Spanish sailors venturing on trading missions down the west coast of Morocco – a landmark they knew simply as ‘La Casa Blanca’, The White House… an epithet that in time was taken as the name of the city where it lies: Casablanca.
Over the last twelve months, Dar Khalifa has undergone a second renovation, restoring the palace to its original magnificence. Original carved plaster friezes have been repaired, new mosaic fountains have been installed, and all manner of intricate details have been lovingly refurbished.
Now that The Caliph’s House is in a pristine state once again, it will become a retreat for The Scheherazade Foundation.
We have a great many plans in the pipeline, including cultural events and expositions based on storytelling and the arts, residences for writers and artists, projects to empower young women, and high-level retreats for the bridging of cultures.
Two galleries of pictures are presented here: snapshots of the recent renovation process, as well as photographs of Dar Khalifa now, in its gloriously restored state.