Agadir and the Anti-Atlas




Tombstone of a Jewish child 
killed in the Agadir
earthquake of 1960. 


   Muslim and Jewish women collecting money for the victims of the Agadir Earthquake
  Agadir is the entrance point to Southern Morocco and the desert. It has a small Jewish community, and a small group of Berber Jews lives in the neighboring town of Inezgane. Agadir Jews were active in trade with Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe before the 1760's, when the Sultan moved 2,000 of them to Essaouira. The community gradually rebuilt itself. However, an earthquake hit the city on February 29, 1960 killing more than half the population, including 1,200 Jews. Jewish, Muslim and Christian cemeteries were set up side by side to bury the victims. Two-thirds of the tombs in the Jewish cemetery are from earthquake victims.

Near-by the city of Agadir is the walled city of Taroudant, with its mellah and Jewish cemetery. The most important Taroudant saint is David Ben Baruk Cohen Azog. South of Agadir is Ifrane Anti-Atlas, where the tombs of the 50 Nesrafimes or Jewish martyrs are located. In 1790 during the tyrannical reign of Moulay Yazid, these Jews chose to jump into a fire rather than convert to Islam. Ifrane is also believed to contain Jewish tombs over 2,000 years old.  Further east is the desert port of Akka, one of the major transit points for the caravan trade, where the Jewish cemetery contains tombs marked only by piles of large stones.

Tombs in the Jewish cemetery of Akka.


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