Sidi Ifni is the capital of the Ait-Baamarani people located in the province of Tiznit in the Souss Region of Agadir in the South of Morocco. It is placed beside the Atlantic Ocean and the Anti-Atlas in the zone of transition to the Sahara.
Ifni was a former province of Spain and was transferred by Spain to Morocco in 30 June 1969.
The city is small with its 15,000 inhabitants. Many old Spanish Art Deco buildings form its ambiance and it is almost white.
The sea arrives to it in seven waves that strongly break in front of the “marabou of Sidi-Aali-Ifni” from which the city received its name.
Its climate is smooth, temperate, and similar to the Canary Islands but with special climatic conditions due to its proximity to the Anti-Atlas mountains and the sea and the winds that mix from the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean. In January, one feels occasionally the benign heat of the Sahara, the impetuous and hot “Irifis” (Sirocos) that devastate the crops. It is nice to see the locust’s plagues that pass by every four years for about two weeks.
The dagmus, the Talalt, the cactus, the Chumbera, the Tebaiba, the enequem and the pita provide the green colour to Ifni’s mountains. The most prominent and original trees of Ifni are the argan and the palmera.
According to the Legend, the argan is an almost sacred tree. It grows out as a shrub by intercession of “Sidi-Uaggag”. He is very sorry for the misery of the country’s natives and prayed and prophesied: “A shrub will grow carrying fruit to extract oil for your meal and provide your home with light; it will nourish your cattle, which feed on its leaves, and you will nourish the tree to build your home”. Once this shrub matures with fruit, it changes into a leafy tree by intercession of saint woman “Lal-La-Rahma”.
The Arabian Legend tells about the palmera:”It has its head in the fire and its feet in the water”. It arises beside the wells and embellishes the “morabos” (Morabo=dervish’s grave).
The Baamarani or natives of Ifni share their peaceful life with the field, the family, the prayer and their animals. They are a good and noble people. Spain respected its traditions and contributed to their well being by cultural exchange.
By 1969, Spain has built sanitary centres, schools. Technical know-how was exchanged. Improvements in agricultural techniques and cattle-raising were achieved. Commerce, industry and communications became a reality.
Two people of different race and religion shared their happy and sad moments in this remote location. Sidi-Ifni celebrates six important events during the year. Two are Christian: Christmas and Easter and four are Arabic: El Mulud, Aid el Kebir, Aid el Seguer (which forms the end of the month of Ramadan) and Aacher.
In the markets, the guitar, the timplillo, and the Lotar that are playing the rais (or Baamaranis jugglers) resounds in the air. At the hour of twilight the believers look to Mecca. From the minaret of the mosque, you hear the sound of prayer with calm winds and the sky full of fire shing onto the cliff.
So is Sidi-Ifni. Of the primitive village “Amezdag” only stays the legend.