In the midst of a destructive earthquake that rattled the region of Al-Houaz nestled in the Atlas Mountains, many stories of resilience, unity, and community spirit have emerged ever since; one of them is preparing the road up Toubkal for tourists to return.
Alice Morrison, a British journalist who resides in the small village of Imlil and unfortunately felt the powerful tremors of the earthquake, documented the dedication and community spirit of the locals, and took to Twitter to share the Atlas Mountain guides’ tremendous efforts in clearing the paths up Toubkal, paving the way for visitors to return.
“Our fantastic Atlas Mountain guides are already out and clearing the paths up Toubkal so visitors can return.” Morrison on her X’s account.
Our fantastic Atlas Mountain guides already out and clearing the paths up Toubkal so visitors can return. The Moroccan spirit. 🇲🇦👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/kpv0mHmBZ1
— alice morrison (@aliceoutthere1) September 19, 2023
Morrison, who has close connections with Imlil community members, especially the guides, became aware of the remarkable initiative of Atlas Mountain through a picture sent by her friend Rachid, the head of the guides in Imlil.
The picture depicted the hard-working guides diligently clearing the paths up Toubkal, which plays a vital role in supporting tourism in the region.
In a statement to MoroccoLatestNews, Alice Morrison expressed her admiration for the local response to the aftermath of the Al-Haouz earthquake, saying, “I think it’s so impressive how the Moroccans are coming to terms with the earthquake and trying to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
She also conveyed her appreciation for how the Moroccan community has been handling the catastrophic situation and working tirelessly to restore normalcy. She said, “I think it’s so impressive how the Moroccans are coming to terms with the earthquake and trying to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. It’s exactly what I always experienced in this country that people are very self-sufficient, very hard-working, and very active.”
Talking about the Moroccan spirit that she referred to in her tweet, Morisson went on to share with MoroccoLatestNews a remarkable story of solidarity and hospitality of the local community even amidst the devastating seismic event, describing that spirit as evident.
She recounted, “I am a foreigner and I live with an Amazigh family and they took care of me as if I was their aunty or their sister, and from the very beginning the Moroccan spirit of hospitality and community was evident.”
“That night when we were at the carpark was really cold, and I was only wearing a thin Djellaba, and Women made sure that I had enough blankets so we all share together, and we were all covered up and all together. And I think this solidarity is very representative,” She continued.
Going back to the commendable initiative by the guides in Imlil, Morrison applauded the guides’ efforts in seeking a return to normalcy by clearing the paths up Toubkal for tourists to come back. She strongly believed that the initiative was a lifeline for tourism in the region.
Morrison underscored that the absence of tourists and visitors during the peak season will deeply affect the local community, including different sectors. She said, “I think this is a high season for tourism and normally Imlil would be so busy with hikers, and visitors, but there is no foreigner here and that means no income for the guides for the little hotels and restaurants.”
As the region is still grappling with the earthquake’s repercussions, Morrison stressed the dire need for tourists to come back to Morocco, and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of the Atlas Mountains as well as the hiking adventures in the region.
Alice Morrison is an adventurer and author of “Adventures in Morocco”. She has resided in the Atlas Mountains in Imlil for 5 years now, and she is mindful of the impact of tourism on the nation’s economy in general and on the local communities in the Atlas Mountains in particular.
In a considerate gesture, she previously shared on Independent, a British media outlet, her on-the-ground advice for holiday-makers to honor their trips and assist local communities.
The article emphasizes the importance of not canceling travel plans and donating relief funds to help in recovery and repair efforts. She also shed light on tourists who chose to continue their travels even if they were in the area when the earthquake struck, expressing solidarity and support for the local community and culture.