The Marabout of Sidi Chamharouch

If you watch the comings and goings carefully you will notice a steady stream of pilgrims from as far as Casablanca arriving, often on muleback, with animals in side baskets to sacrifice on the flat terrace immediately behind the marabout. Their faith brings them in the belief that Sidi Chamharouch may cure them or their loved ones of any mental health problem or emotional burden.

Once the animal has been sacrificed, the meat is shared with the poor, some of whom wait in hope close by. The tomb of the saint is enshrined by a huge white-painted boulder with colorful flags flying from the top. The building extending from the Marabout is in fact a mosque. Close by, tow water sources, concealed by a single small stone building, divided internally with separate entrances, provide the opportunity for men and women to bathe privately before undertaking their prayers. Non-Muslim visitors should note that the whole site, which is clearly visible across a small bridge, is reserved for those of the Muslim faith.

Sadly the annual moussem, which used to be held here in September, has been abandoned due to difficulties following celebrations in 2000. People from outside the region took it upon themselves to indulge in the wanton destruction of trees in and around Imlil, scenes which the local authorities felt they could not risk re-occurring