A medina quarter (Arabic: المدينة القديمة al-madīnah al-qadīmah "the old city") is a distinct city section found in many North African cities. The medina is typically walled, contains many narrow and maze-like streets. The word "medina" (Arabic: مدينة madīnah) itself simply means "city" or "town" in modern day Arabic.
Because of the very narrow streets, medinas are free from car traffic, and in some cases even motorcycle and bicycle traffic. The streets can be less than a metre wide. This makes them unique among highly populated urban centres. Some medinas were also used to confuse and slow down invaders because of how narrow and winding they are.
Jamaa el Fna (Arabic: ساحة جامع الفناء jâmiʻ al-fanâʼ) is a square and market place in Marrakesh's medina quarter (old city). The origin of its name is unclear: Jemaa means "congregational mosque" in Arabic, probably referring to a destroyed Almoravid mosque. "Fanâʼ" or "finâ'" can mean "death" or "a courtyard, space in front of a building." Thus, one meaning could be "The mosque or assembly of death," or "The Mosque at the End of the World". A more likely explanation is that it refers to a mosque with a distinctive courtyard or square in front of it.