It was 45 degrees Celsius when we entered the Ben Youssef Madrasa. Like many other tourist we sat on the cool tiles beneath the enormous arches in a vain attempt to escape the oppressive humidity. The vastness of the pool centred patio seemed to absorb all noise. Silence prevailed. Slowly the height of the walls, the intricate designs and infinite blue sky overhead replaced our exhaustion and we wondered how we came to be sitting on the floor of a Marrakechi religious college originally built over 900 years ago.