Tempête de sable - M'hamid El Ghizlane
M'Hamid El Ghizlane (in Berber : ⵜⴰⵔⴰⴳⴰⵍⵜ Taragalt, in Arabic: محاميد الغزلان for 'plain of gazelles') is a small oasis town in southern Morocco (Zagora Province in the Drâa-Tafilalet Region) with about 7500 inhabitants.
M'Hamid lies at an altitude of about 500 meters above sea level and about 24 kilometers from the Algerian border at the edge of the Sahara. M'Hamid can be reached at the end of National Route 9 from Ouarzazate (260 km) via Zagora (approx. 97 km). Mhamid lies on the Wadi Draa, which rarely contains water.
About the early history of the place is little is known because of the lack of written records. The spacious palm oases, however, make an early settlement support (about 3000 BC) likely. Due to the growth of the desert, the settlement is threatened since the 2nd half of the 20th century by siltation, and the population is declining steadily. Until the end of the 1980s a special permit was required to enter the area because it is close to the strategically important border with Algeria. Even today, many soldiers stationed in the area of Mhamid.