Jamaa el Fna Square, is a square in Marrakech, around which the Medina develops and could be considered the vital and characteristic center of the city. It borders to the north with the souq district and to the east with the Qasba, while from the south-west it is dominated by the Koutoubia mosque. It is not known the origin of this square nor, with certainty, the origin of the name Jàmi 'el-Fnà that could mean the assembly of the deceased as well as the mosque of nothing (jàmi' means both "mosque" and "assembly" , while the word fanà' indicates "annihilation"). In reality both these different etymologies are plausible: if on the one hand the square was part of a project of the Sadiana dynasty, related to the building of a mosque, on the other hand in the past centuries the square was the site of capital executions. The aspect of the square changes during the day: in the mornings and afternoons it is home to a vast open-air market, with stalls selling the most varied goods (from fabrics to dates, to orange squashes, to ostrich eggs) and from "professionals" dedicated to the most varied activities: the decorations with henna, chiromantes, herbalists, cavadenti, players, snake charmers, instructors of chained Barbary monkeys. Later the square becomes more crowded and dancers arrive Chleuh, storyteller (whose stories are in Berber or Arabic for an audience of locals), musicians and magicians. Towards evening the stalls are withdrawn and banquets take place with tables and benches to eat freshly prepared food. Irregular in shape, the square is essentially divided into two parts: the first, more extensive, is facing the Koutubia mosque, the second is located on the north side and borders the souks (covered markets, always used by Moroccans more than for tourists). The square is also divided into specific areas: from the area of the plant vendors, to that of dry fruit vendors and again to that of snail sellers, etc. On some sides there are hotels and cafes with terraces, which offer a refuge from the noise and confusion of the square. The idea of the UNESCO project regarding the oral and intangible heritage of humanity derives from the people's concern for Jamaa el Fna. The square is in fact known for its active concentration of traditional activities of singers, musicians, dancers, fakirs and snake charmers, but was threatened by the pressures of economic development. Struggling to protect these traditions, local people sought international action to recognize the need to protect these places and other expressions of popular and traditional culture. UNESCO aims to raise awareness of the importance of this oral and intangible heritage as an essential component of cultural diversity.