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So as legend goes, Valletta’s balconies take their influence from the North African tradition of the Arabic “muxrabija” (meaning “look-out place”), where Muslim women of the house could get a view out over the street life without being seen by men. This same custom of shielding delicate ladies from being viewed by riffraff was continued by Europeans. Funny how warring cultures can end up resembling each other in their customs. By the way, over Matthew’s left shoulder you can see a typical Maltese “gallarija” balcony that wraps around a street corner to provide a more commanding view.

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