From Peace Corps Wiki
Description of Town
- Languages Spoken
- Moroccan Arabic, (Derija) and Tashelheit (aka: Berber, Tamazight, or Shulha) are the native languages. Many people speak at least some French, and those who work with tourists, as well as some school children can speak English.<ref>[Weiner, R. (6/9/2011) Personal Observations]</ref>
Tinzouline (aka: Rabat Du Tinzouline) is located about 120 km south of Ouarzazate, and 35 km north of the city of Zagora in the Zagora Province. The town is a desert oasis where the landscape is vast and dramatic. On one side of the road is the Draâ River, which irrigates the three-kilometer wide berth of date trees and underlying seasonal crops.<ref>citation needed</ref> The other side of the road displays an impressive and seemingly unending desert of rocks, pausing at the distant mountains in a spot called Foum Chenna. The mountains there are adorned with prehistoric rock carvings, including gazelles, snakes, hunters and ostriches.<ref>citation needed</ref> Tinzouline is small, but still equipped with many modern conveniences. There are approximately 8,000 people in the center of town, and 15,000 total people in the administrative district of Tinzouline.<ref>citation needed</ref> There is one main road in town, which runs along the only main road in Zagora Province.
- 30° 30' 36" N
- 6° 04' 48" W
Ammenities in Tinzouline include:
- a birthing clinic and center
- a general health clinic
- a red crescent office
- the administrative offices of Tinzouline
- a souk bus stop
- a CTM bus stop
- a post office
- three cyber cafés
- an office for the Moroccan Ministry of Water and Forestry
- a weekly Monday souk (market)
- a guest house (see below)
Tinzouline Guest House
The guest house consists of a main house and two rooms in the garden. In the main house, there are two bedrooms, a kitchen, a shower, 2 lavatories and a salon. The bedrooms have double-sized beds with toilets. There is a separate shower. The kitchen has a butane stove, and there is hot water in both the kitchen and shower. There is a salon with four chairs and a table, as well as carpets and pillows for relaxing on the floor.
Contact: [email protected] (English, French and Arabic spoken)
History and Culture
History of Peace Corps Volunteers
- Juliet Sorenson, Health Volunteer, 1995-1997
- Rachel Weiner, Youth and Community Development Volunteer, 2008-2010
- Nicole Yan, Health Volunteer, 2009-2010
- Rachel Rubinski, Youth and Community Development Volunteer, 2010 -
Meaning of the name "Tinzouline"
"Tin" means "place" in Tashelheit, and "Zouli" is the name of a Jewish family who used to live in (and possibly established) the town. The "n" on the end of the word serves to make the name plural.
History of Zagora Province as an Extension of Tinzouline
Relatively modern in its appearance, Zagora may seem more important as a regional administrative centre than interesting as a place to visit. Although you will not find the historical architectural wonders of Fez and Meknès, or the richly laden atmosphere of Marrakesh, Zagora remains an interesting point from which to explore this south-eastern corner of Morocco. Surrounding the town are the endless palm groves of the Drâa Valley, framed by the Jbel Rhart and the peaks of the Jbel Sarhro to the North and the Jbel Bani to the south. In between the greenery of the palm groves lay the Ksour, or fortified villages, whose colour and texture reflect the colour of the stone from which they built. The age of this type of settlement is reflected in the name, which is an Arabised version of the word 'Caesar'. Although its origins date back to the 13th century, Zagora cannot claim to be a city of major architectural monuments, yet just south of the town, situated on the slopes of the strange, black sugar loaf hill called Jbel Zagora, the remains of an earlier Almoravid settlement still reveal their strict, rectangular grid. From here, the views across the surrounding countryside are stunning.
Like the expansive succession of oases they are, the palm groves of the Drâa valley form an abundant canopy of green waving palm leaves that shelters the valley floor from the scorching sun-making this one of the most important date-producing regions in the world. Under this canopy, other produce, such as barley and vegetables, is grown. Zagora was an important stop on the trade route from Iberian Europe and Morocco to the Malian town of Timbuktu. In fact, the phrase "from here to Timbuktu" refers to Zagora.