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Open map of MoroccoFlag of MoroccoMorocco / Cities and Towns /
Figuig
Arabic: fikīk





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Figuig

The palm groves of Figuig, Morocco. In the distant, the border passage into Algeria, if it is open.
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The palm groves of Figuig, Morocco. In the distant, the border passage into Algeria, if it is open.

Figuig, Morocco.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Figuig, Morocco.
Figuig, Morocco.

Figuig, Morocco.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Figuig, Morocco.
Marabout shrine in Figuig, Morocco.

Travel information from
LookLex / Morocco
World of its own
Inside the alleys
An ocean of palms

Oasis in northeastern Morocco with 30,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), at an elevation of 900 metres, in a basin of the Zousfana seasonal river, right on the border with Algeria.
Figuig's economy is poor, and its fruits and dates are not sold out of the oasis because of its secondary quality. Figuig is reported to have about 200,000 date palms. Wheat is produced and exported. Its main export products are pottery, goatskins, leather goods and fabrics.
Though being isolated from the rest of the country, road connections are of good standard. The nearest town is Bouarfa, 120 km northwest. Oujda is 385 km north, Er-Rachidia 400 km west, Fez 760 km northwest. The border point to Algeria remains closed, where Bechar is 115 km southwest.
Figuig consisted originally of 7 aghrams or ksours, each a walled village. Today 6 are still identifiable: Zenega, Al-Oudaghir, Al-Maiz, Ouled Slimane, Al-Hammam and the tiny El-Abid. Zenega is the largest and richest. The traditional quarters of the aghram are roofed streets between window-less houses. Some of these have gates which are closed at night. Traditionally, each village was an independent entity, and in times of hardship, villages would fight each other.
The population is mixed between Berbers and Arab-speaking peoples. Berbers represent the majority, speaking Tamazight. Until the 1950's and 60's, Figuig was the home of a large Jewish population, before their emigration to Israel.
Figuig struggles with its young inhabitants moving out to other urban centres around Morocco.

History
1845: As France takes control over Algeria, Figuig, still out of their reach, is defined to become part of Morocco.
1904: Conquered by France.
1912: Becomes part of the French Protectorate of Morocco.
1960's and 1970's: The Bayud disease kills a large part of Figuig's date palms.
1963 October Fighting between Moroccan and Algerian troops, see Sand War.
1975: New fighting between Moroccan and Algerian troops.
1995: The border to Algeria is closed, causing much economic hardship.




By Tore Kjeilen