“Ouarzazate has one main street, about fifty yards long, and two thousand people, of whom two hundred are French. The temperature can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. ” So says world-renowned journalist John Gunther in 1952, of his visit to Ouarzazate, during the reign of the Pasha Glaoui, whose honored guest he was.
Tag: Ancient Medinas in Morocco
For anyone interested in touring Morocco’s kasbahs or ksars, I highly recommend starting with Kasbah Taourirt, the Pasha Glaoui’s former palace in Ouarzazate. Kasbah Taorirt was built by the Pasha Glaoui. Its location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South was then considered one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Kasbah Taourirt was one of the places Glaoui kept his slaves. As a Moroccan traveler you can explore its nooks and crannies to discover its history and often local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.
Pasha T’hami Glaoui was the most powerful man in Morocco between 1953 and 1956, in addition to being one of the richest men in the world at that time. The title Pasha means Governor. Glaoui was the Pasha of Marrakesh (since 1912), Ouarzazate, and most of the Moroccan south during the time Morocco was under French rule. The most important Kasbahs’ in Morocco that were occupied by the Pacha Glaoui during his reign and are frequented by Moroccan travelers today are Kasbah Taouirt, located in the center of Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou, located 15 kilometers outside Ouarzazate and Kasbah Telouet which sits in the village of Telouet nestled outside the Onilla Valley.
Moroccan terjla (the Moroccan Arabic name) is frequently prepared as a side dish, and can be served either hot or cold. Terjla, a succulent plant, known as purslane in English and verdolaga in Spanish, is not only one of the most delicious Moroccan plants, but it is simple to prepare. Being a dark green plant, it is loaded with iron, vitamins, and minerals. It also has a mild lemony flavor. When traveling to Morocco make sure to ask your Moroccan Travel Agency to recommend restaurants or local places where you can taste Moroccan terjla in a traditional restaurant.