Tag Archives: Mashrabiyya

Mashrabiyya

Arabic: مشربية or شناشيل

/n./ : term given to a type of projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the second storey of a building or higher, often lined with stained glass.

(1) is derived from the triliteral root Š-R-B, which generally denotes drinking or absorbing. There are two theories for its name, the most common one is that the name was originally for a small wooden shelf were the drinking water pots will be stored, hence the name. The shelf was enclosed by wood and located at the window in order to keep the water cool. Later on, this shelf evolved until it became part of the room with a full enclosure and retained the name despite the radical change in use.

(2) is that the name was originally mashrafiya, derived from the verb Ashrafa, to overlook or to observe. During the centuries the name slowly changed due to changing accents and influence of non-Arabs speaking Arabic.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized