Founded by a wealthy Tunisian woman, Fatima Alfehri, daughter of a rich merchant, Al Karaouine University and its affiliated mosque are among the world’s oldest.
Dating back to 859, the university is said to be older than its European counterparts, University of Oxford and University of Bologna, two of the world’s oldest universities.
Situated in the heart of city of medina, the mosque and the seat of learning was created when Fatima and her sister Marian inherited a large sum of money from their father, they pooled in to create a seat of learning for their adopted city and its inhabitants.
Even the Guinness Book of Records, records it as the world’s oldest seat of higher learning.
The University during the years gained royal patronage of the powerful Sultans of Morocco, under whose interest and guidance, it become as a leading school in the then Muslim world.