Golden Sand Association
M’hamid El Ghizlane would mean “the plain of gazelles”. They roamed the place there is, unfortunately, for a long time.
The climate is dry with a high temperature. The environment is desert because of the opening of the palm grove on the Sahara and chains of the Atlas which constitute a rampart against the disturbances. The temperature is high in summer, 42 ° in the warmest month and low in winter, 4 ° in the coldest month. At certain times, the wind blows very hard and causes swirls of sand.
In a not so distant time, M’hamid El Ghizlane was an oasis , a haven for the Nomads . There is a resilient earthen architecture, providing shelter adapted to the weather, such as sandstorms. Aridity, drought, and borders have been the reason for the itinerant lives of most nomads.
A large palm grove extends from the Kasbah to the edge of the Oued du Draa . Mixed gardens, cereals and horticulture have been planted in the shade of palm trees, over an area of 2700 km2 and at a height of 500 m above sea level, over a length of 16 km. The kasbah, “tighermt” in Berber, strong house, originally designed to guard against the cold and permanent insecurity, is home to animals, crops and wells. The family home, can count up to 50 people, is the residence of the local Caids M’hamid. The traditional houses, built in raw clay bricks, offer a nice perspective.
The Kasbahhas the simple and austere appearance of a fortified castle flanked by four corner towers, with slightly curved walls inwards. Architecture in height, it is, in mountain, composed of modest houses. It dominates the fertile valleys, we can see oases. On the ground floor are the stables for livestock, the first floor the attic and stocks of fodder. Above the common kitchen and living rooms, furnished with a few chests, benches, cushions and carpets. The men’s reception room is the closest to the entrance, providing privacy to the rest of the house. Sometimes the kasbah was a real palace with innumerable rooms, luxuriously decorated, with multiple patios, well-kept gardens refreshed with pools.
We can also see the little Mausoleum of Sidi Allal ben Jbira. According to local tradition, it would have arrived one day during a flood of the Draa, floating on its waters.
In the oasis is a ruined ksar, known as Kasbah el Allouj . The fort of the European legion still bears witness to the activity of this region of the Middle Draa at the end of the 16th century, at the time of the Saadians: trade with Sudan was then very important.
This border post, a real desert gate, also shows you its souk, on Monday, in the heart of the village. It is the rendezvous of sedentary and “blue men” of the desert. You will find the products of the region at interesting prices within addition all the colors and the scents that can offer the goods. You will be approached friendly, just to start the conversation by men and women.