WHAT TO EXPECT IN M’HAMID MOROCCO
M’Hamid is a small village in Zagora region of Morocco. M’Hamid is next to the last major oasis one encounters on the way south into the greater Sahara. The area was historically important as the site (Sidi Khalil) where trade caravans gathered ( some as large as 5,000 camels) before setting off to Timbuktu and other destinations. Little of its interesting history is to be found on websites or in tourist guidebooks, but knowledgeable locals share the facts and stories with pride and a touch of melancholy.
M’Hamid is a traditional Islamic city and all visitors should be prepared for that. Expect to see men and womeni n Islamic attire, speaking French, Arabic and English. You will hear the call to prayer, also called “The Adhan” five times a day. It is important to remember that Islam, may be categorized as a religion worldwide, but to the people who subscribe to it, it is a way of life.
Keeping that in mind, expect to see more men than women. This is a country of men and often the men and women are kept separate. As a woman your presence will be recognized. As an American woman, expect to be noticed. Women are allowed on the street of course, but local w omen tend to not be involved in business affairs and are often seen in public as part of the entire family unit.
The time of year that we are traveling, Morocco will be hot. Expect temps to average around 85 degrees F., during the day and high 50’s at night. The night temperature is a stark difference than what most people are expecting. Please dress accordingly. Bring clothes that will keep you cool the day and warm through the night
as you sleep.
Expect to eat lots of Tajine style food. Tajine is the name of the pot that this Moroccan dish is prepared in. It’s an earthenware pot that houses the very popular Maghreb dish. Maghreb’s common ingredients are either wheat or couscous and can be vegetarian or filled with halal meat, such as beef, lamb, or seafood. It usually has some combination of dates, almonds, olives and dried fruits. This will be the staple type of food, please come prepared for that, there will be little substitutions along the way.
Sandstorms may happen, particularly between the months of May-July.
M’hamid has a limited clinic with medical professionals once per week. The closest medical center and hospital is 45 minutes away.
French and Arabic are the main languages spoken in M’Hamid.
The town market takes place on Mondays. Food is sold in the morning market and shopped primarily by men. A 4pm market is held in a different location for women with household items and clothing.