If you forget to look up in Tunisian buildings you could be missing out on some spectacular craftsmanship and even the humble door often has as much, or of not more merit than what lies behind it. In these days of mass production and ruthless efficiency it’s easy to forget that once, people put love and pride into everyday things in a way that is often, now lost, even for many who can afford it. For Muslim craftsmen there is little doubt that they were inspired by the words of Mohamed, when he declared, “God is beautiful and He loves beauty”. Many passages in the Quran echo these sentiments and the creation of beauty is not simply inspired by a wage packet or the quest for personal glory but an expression of the love of God. As the owner, or merely the viewer of a work of beauty, to appreciate its creation is not just an appreciation of its maker but the love of God’s creation. While this may be readily apparent in the ornate ceilings of Tunisia I don’t see why we should not apply this philospohy to more mundane items such as the door.
Whether you think I am talking a load of old cobblers or not I will leave this gallery of examples with you and let you decide.
The following doors are all from the medina in Tunis