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The Great Oasis Valleys Travel Guide


Tamegroute (literally "the last town before the border," an accurate toponym when the Algerian border was closer than it is now) is the home of the Zaouia of Sidi Mohammed Ben Naceur, a sanctuary devoted to this extraordinary marabout (sage). Closed to non-Muslims, the sanctuary itself can be admired from the outside—the door bears an intricately decorated archway of carved cedar

and stucco. The surrounding courtyard is perennially filled with dozens of psychiatric patients hoping for miraculous cures or just for charity from the Naciri brotherhood. Outside to the left, the old subterranean slave quarters of the "underground kasbah" are still inhabited by descendants of Sudanese slaves.

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