Ed Mujahideen, « an anthill aspiring towards internationalism »

The project, which aims to promote “Argan”, is an initiative of “Le Petit Olivier” and “Intermarché” in partnership with “Essaouira Mogador”.
20 kilometers from Essaouira, there is the village of “Ed Moudjahidine”, known as the “Solar Village”, after having equipped it with an energy station. The solar panel contributed to the electrification of its homes and the establishment of numerous parallel activities as part of a development project undertaken by two French brands, « Le Petit Olivier » and « Intermarché », in partnership with numerous actors, led by the “Essaouira Mogador” association, led by royal advisor André Azoulay.
The project was launched in 2017, and the years of pandemic did not make it possible to follow it as it should, so today it has transformed into a small nursery on which many development projects have sprouted, which They are linked to the valorization and development of “Argan” or encourage ecotourism. “Al-Sabah” visited the project which started with 17 families, and today 300 families in the region benefit from it, in just a few years.

“We want to develop this project so that it becomes global and our local products are sold in various parts of the world”, this is how the women of the cooperative of the solar village “Ed Moudjahidine”, around Essaouira , unanimously expressed their hope. For a prosperous future for themselves and their children after them, in front of visitors to the village from foreign officials. French cosmetics brand “Le Petit Olivier” and French retail group “Intermarché” were credited with supplying the Solar Village with solar energy and many of the basic services needed by residents and children, including primary education and literacy.

Women’s cooperatives:

The women of the village « Ed Mujahideen », affiliated with the Onaga community, are happy with their daily work within the cooperatives, which started in 2017 with an argan oil cooperative, before other cooperatives began. ‘add to it. The Solar Village specializes in ecotourism and traditional artisanal products. Every day, women work hard to sort, peel and crush the argan seeds, before pressing them and transforming them into oil, some of which is intended for consumption and food, and others are transformed into natural cosmetics. Among them are those who work diligently to distill rose water according to its ancient traditional methods, to extract pure solutions free of any chemical substances, one of them confirmed, in a statement in “Al-Sabah”, during a visit to the project that was launched in 2017, and the years of pandemic prevented its resumption, as it was necessary, so that today’s pace of work returns, in a more active and developed.
The inhabitants of this small village function like ants, with diligence, order and activity. Some are interested in planting and maintaining small fields, others take care of the argan bead-breaking hive, embroidery and sewing, and still others take care of the Beekeeping farm located in the heart of the roundabout, which produces quality honey. While the women work, the children benefit from drawing, modeling and elementary education classes in neighboring departments, and have fun in special play areas, equipped with numerous children’s toys, « trobots » and of bicycles, which the children of the small village ride in turns with the desire of young people who are discovering another world, for the first time in their lives.

In addition, local products that are marketed, including soap, honey, argan and amlou oils, henna, carob, rose water, lotion, local soap, olive oil, etc. the village « Ed Moudjahidine » opened a restaurant inside the roundabout, to attract tourists, whether foreign or otherwise, coming from different Moroccan cities, in order to discover delicious Moroccan dishes, particularly those known in Essaouira, such as “Zumaita”, “Berkouksh”, couscous, “Tajine Al-Moazi”, and local bread, in addition to the delicious sweets that can be enjoyed with cups of authentic Moroccan tea, all made by the women of the roundabout, in the style of mothers. and grandmothers, who we miss today in the era of “hamburgers”, in a unique experience that is part of the encouragement of ecotourism.
Sophie Dartois, one of the leaders of the Solar Village project, created in partnership with the Essaouira Mogador association, the Mohammed VI Foundation for research and protection of the argan tree and other partners, and which today benefits around 300 families, says: “The project aims to empower rural women in this region.” Give it economic independence, encourage local and regional development and attract tourists to this beautiful natural space, far from the hustle and bustle of daily life in big cities, in addition to promoting « The Argan tree », a tree classified as human heritage by UNESCO, particularly in view of poor exploitation, random grazing and current climate changes which threaten the existence and continuity of this tree.

Jazz under the argan tree:

Sophie added, in a statement to « Al-Sabah », that environmental concern is also strongly present in the project, encouraging the use of renewable solar energy, especially since the region benefits from a climate sunny throughout the day. This allows the roundabout to be supplied with a small electricity network. Thanks to solar panels, which is part of the energy strategy that Morocco is moving towards developing by 2030, she added, the project aims, in 2024, to create tourist trails and offers eco-tourist accommodation within the village, in addition to the organization of cultural events, including the “Jazz sous l’arganier” festival, which will be organized in partnership with the “Essaouira Mogador” association, led by the royal advisor André Azoulay, and has supported the project since its beginnings.
According to Sophie, the project aims, in addition to supporting the revaluation of argan trees in the region and preserving the survival and continuity of village heritage, to encourage the empowerment of women through education and literacy programs between them, and to provide them with income. generate activities that allow them to achieve the kind of economic independence that protects them from the pitfalls of life and helps them rely on their own skills and abilities.
The project, which began with the construction of a solar power plant and the supply of electricity to the roundabout, was able, in just a few years, to achieve many of its desired objectives, thanks to the cooperation of the women and men of the village and the initiatives of numerous collective activities, including « We Speak Citizen », where many varieties of argan and olive trees and others, and the creation of numerous nurseries of flowers and aromatic plants, and the creation of paths of ecotourism by investing in a leisure area at the former Ida Ouguard sugar factory, and the establishment of a small restaurant under a tent to serve traditional Moroccan dishes prepared by the women of the village, and sell the processed products. And other activities which brought new life to the inhabitants and made them aspire to develop their projects and ensure them international visibility, beyond the borders of the roundabout.


Not far from “Ed Mujahideen”, young people from the “Ida Ogord” region, known for its juniper, carob, olive and “argan” trees, have developed a simple tourist project, with their available capacities, in order to attract visitors towards what remains of the old existing sugar factory, considered in the region to be the oldest sugar factory built by Morocco during the Saadian era, but which today exists in a neglected state and is in need of restoration and evaluation by the tutelary authorities. , because it is an important historical monument.
Next to the old factory, which belongs to an ancient archaeological city called “Old Es-Suwayra”, and was built on the banks of Wadi Al-Qasab, young people active within the framework of an association created a “ traditional festival. » in an open space, shaded by « argan trees », and furnished with carpets and traditional tables, where tea is served to passing tourists accompanied by dates, almonds, dried fruits and some products known to the area, where they can enjoy the peace and quiet and the tunes of a local band of musicians.
One of the young men active in collective work in the region said in a statement to Al-Sabah: “We carry out many small tourism activities with the simple means available. Over time, we have been able to attract a significant number of tourists, whether foreign or from certain Moroccan cities, but we need more support, whether from the authorities or the tutelary authorities, to develop this project and provide some of the equipment necessary for the comfort of tourists, such as toilets, the absence of which leads to a drop in demand for this space and the lack of tourists who stay there as long as possible », in addition to repair the road and establish a tourist center. A path leading to the area, which would remove unemployment from the youth of the neighboring village of the Haha tribes, and would provide them with work and numerous activities, generating income and contributing to the economic development of the region.


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