I’ve written about Maryam Montague before here, and also her beautiful home and luxury guest house, Peacock Pavilions here. Fellow bloggers will know her as the author of the award winning blog My Marrakesh. What many people do not know about Maryam however is that when she started her blog she was running a prisoner rights programme as her ‘day’ job. She was travelling on assignments to Mali, Egypt, South Africa, Cambodia and Afghanistan; helping people, organizations, and movements because she believed in it. Her father also had been an international humanitarian aid worker and she had followed in his footsteps.
The readers of her blog were mostly unaware of this. All they saw was the other part of Maryam that loved design, culture and hospitality. There was her hotel Peacock Pavilions, there was her souk shop, there was her design book Marrakesh by Design. Had they known they would probably have thought ‘does this woman ever sleep?’
Well, no she doesn’t. Much. I’ve gotten to know Maryam and now count her as one of my oldest blog friends. She was the first to ever comment on this blog (which was a big,big thing for me!), I’ve stayed with her and had a wonderful time in Marrakesh, and caught up with her again in London last year. And I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when she launched Project Soar two years ago. A social experiment in doing good that invests its energy in underprivileged girls. Girls whose futures aren’t all that bright and would very likely involve becoming girl brides. They work with nearly 60 underprivileged girls and their mothers. They provide creative and sports activities weekly as well as health education. They also do work in the community where they live to make it a nicer place to be.
But Maryam is still the most stylish woman I know with an unerring eye for sourcing handmade ethnic goods, thoughtfully curated from tribal communities around the world . Everything pictured here is available from her online shop. And everything would make a beautiful and unusual Christmas gift.
You can buy me any one of them.
This holiday season, Maryam will be providing an increased donation to Project Soar from every product sold: $5 from bowls, $10 from hooks, $20 from cushions & $30 from blankets.