Moraima

   Alí al-Attar, merchant in spices and a famous general, whose heroic feats won him the highest honours among the nazaris. He was appointed  Alcaide of  Loja, Lord of   Xagra, Mayor of the Alhambra and Sheriff of the Kingdom of  Granada, and, fulfilling his ambitions, he became the King's father-in-law. Indeed, his 15-year-old daughter, Moraima, married Boabdil, heir to the throne.Being very rich, he lived poorly, since he invested all his rents in defending the Kingdom. "To prove the sacrifices and patriotism of this rich alcaide , writes the historian Lafuente Alcántara, we may comment that his daughter Moraima, had to borrow dress and jewels for her wedding ceremony". A chronicler, who was invited to the reception, tells us that the bride wore a skirt, a black woollen shawl,and a white wimple that almost covered her face, "a pity, he says, as she has beautiful seducing features". A Muslim poet assures that Moraima had big expressive eyes and an admirable countenance and he surmises "through the thick garments one could guess the classical and opulent forms of her shoulders, arms, hips, and waist ".

   Later, historians refer to her as the sweet Moraima and the patient wife of the Rey Chico (Kid King), as his husband was known. "She was, surely, a very unhappy woman", comments Fidel Fernández. A few days  after the wedding, Muley Hacen imprisons his son  Boabdil and "the young wife is brutally separated", being confined in a carmen ( a residential house) next to Cuesta del Chapiz. After the battle of Lucena, in which Alí al-Attar is killed and Boabdil is taken as a prisoner , Moraima, with her one-year-old son Ahmed, once again retire to the carmen, where she endures "the long months of her husband's imprisonment in Porcuna".Finally, the Castilians set the Rey Chico free after an agreement which, among other things, convenes the he has to deliver his first-born child as a hostage. Ahmed, who was just two years old, will not be with his mother again until the conquer of Granada, when he is already nine and does not speak Arabic. He has been educated a Christian and is called "infantico", a nickname given to him by Queen Isabella. Moraima will be confined twice in the carmen at the Albayzín and, lastly, with her husband, while they are waiting to leave for the exile in  Andarax, a estate in the Alpujarras assigned to him by the Castilians. "Now that you have lost a Kingdom, take shelter in your wife´s heart" told Aixa Fátima to her son, Boabdil, but Moraima, " dethroned without enjoying the delights of being queen" points out a historian, only could offer Boabdil "her surrender as a last garden", the remembrance of that forsaken  carmen where she had been so unhappy.

   From that place in the Albayzín, known as Mirador de la Esperanza, Moraima watched long hours the palaces of the la Alhambra, where she hardly was a Queen.

   They were exiled to Andarax, and there they stayed until the Castilians, in a new act of treason, decided to banish them from Spain, which happened  "within the last hot days in the summer of 1493". So, in October, Boabdil, his mother   Fátima, his sister, his sons Ahmed and Yusef, and some friends and servants, left the port of Adra for the coasts of  Africa. Moraima, "the only human being who could have made the pain of exile bearable for him", died some days before leaving the Alpujarras.

   And she was buried in the mosque of  Mondújar, a place where they had already moved the mortal remains of the sultans Mohammad II, Yusef I, Yusef III and Abú Saad, brought from the Alhambra, according to a registry book kept in that place and which has been preserved to our days. Moraima's corpse was brought to Mondújar so that she could rest among the kings of the nazaríes. Boabdil gave some properties and benefits to the ulemas of Mondújar so that they would pray twice a week at her tomb and daily in the mosque (these facts are known because of a lawsuit in 1500 regarding those properties between the local church and  Guiomar de Acuńa, heiress to don Pedro de Zafra, alcalde of Mondújar,   recorded in a manuscript kept in the general archives of the Archbishopry in Granada).

   "Just after Boabdil's departure for his exile in Morocco, states Fidel Fernández, the Christians seized the properties designed for the prayers in favour of Moraima  and built a church with them upon the premises of a mosque, which they had previously demolished". A last bitterness in Moraima's memory, whose corpse had to be taken secretly from Andarax to Mondújar.

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