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Destination Morocco podcast, next YouTube live Q&A:
New Time and Date! FRIDAY May 3rd, 1 pm PDT / 4 pm EDT
Episode 52: Exploring Telouet's Berber Legacy with Local Historian Ali Ahdadi
Aired On : February 1, 2024

We continue our exploration of Berber/Amazigh culture with a visit to Telouet, a small village deep in the High Atlas Mountains, known for its kasbah, trekking and beautiful scenery. Azdean met with local guide and historian Ali Ahdadi to delve into Berber influence in the area and activities for travellers passing through.

Telouet is a bit off the beaten path, hence why it was largely a secret until recently. But in reality it's only a 2.5 hour drive from Marrakech, an hour south to Aït Benhaddou, and another half hour from there down to Ouarzazate. The roads are largely saled and well maintained, and to compensate for the twisty switchbacks there are stunning views of valleys and snow-capped mountains along the way.

Ali guides us through his personal experiences growing up in Telouet, from his family's ancestral craft of blacksmithing to the evolution of Berber communities, highlighting the unique blend of Jewish and Berber cultures steeped in the region's history. Having left to go to university in Marrakech and working around Morocco, he appreciates even more being able to come back home and make a living in this quiet area with fresh air and a peaceful pace of life.

At the same time, Azdean and Ali talk about some of the major events that are starting to put Telouet on the map, including the Atlas Mountain Cycling Race that passes through town, bringing around 200 riders on a traverse from Marrakech to Essaouira. Ali's anecdotes about mountain climbing and the importance of development and visibility of Telouet's history and culture paint a vivid image of a place poised on the cusp of tourism transformation.

Moreover, you'll learn about Telouet's historical importance as a rich salt source, the health benefits of this mineral in both the culinary and medicinal spheres, the profound connection to esteemed painters like Jacques Majorelle, and the significance of the area as a link between Africa and Europe.

It's an episode filled with warmth, a delightful conversation with a local guide well-known to the trekking community. Don't forget to pack your sense of wonder for this captivating instalment of Destination Morocco – your gateway to the traditions and innovations of the Amazigh heartland.

Guide Ali Ahdadi

Music credits:
Edward Karl Hanson / Moroccan Marketplace / courtesy of

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With Appreciation, 
 Your Host 
Azdean Elmoustaquim
 Your friendly local Destination Morocco expert.

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