STORY mfg – Is. Lunar (AW18)

Lunar Island ( جزيرة لون ) is a small crescent-shaped landmass found off the western coast of France which has been inhabited by the Al-Habibi family since the late 7th Century AD. The island was conquered in the early Arab expansion by the revered Bilal Al-Habibi who quickly named himself lord of the manor and erected the Island Fortress as the furthest outpost of the Arab empire.

Generations of Al-Habibis laboured to keep their kingdom a secret after the fall of the Arab empire in an effort to avoid being retaken by the French government. Methods were often rather unusual; there are reports of buildings camouflaged with elaborate botanic arrangements to hide them from passing boats. A more plausible explanation for the island’s concealment however is its location and minuscule size — too small to be recorded on early maps and far from shipping routes and popular fishing spots.

The present day lord and lady, Habibi Al-Habibi III and his wife Talah, are taking a different approach, inviting the outside world into their hidden (and, some say, derelict) residence. Rich in history but poor in everything else, the couple are now turning their home into a wellness retreat. The photos below are taken from a piece in TOSH magazine, entitled “Meet the Young Lord and Lady of an Ancient Arab Island off the Coast of France”.

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