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Mzab (in Arabic: مزاب) is a confederation of tribes in the Chawiya plain south of Casablanca in Morocco. The bulk of Mzab are arabized Berber tribes, while the rest are of Hilalian Arab origins. The Moroccan Mzab are not to be confused with the Algerian Berber tribe that has the same name (see M'zab).

Located in the historical breadbasket of Morocco (the Chawiya), Mzab's land is mostly used for wheat production, but is also famous for sheep husbandry (Sardy is the most common sheep race). Mzab's land is also nicknamed Al-alwa (in Arabic: العلوة) which means height in Arabic because it's a plateau, which is part of The Phosphate Plateau that produces most of Morocco's highly prized mineral phosphate ore. The capital of Mzab is Ben Hmad.

Mzab is divided into many smaller tribes, the most important of which are:

  • Ben Hmad (Capital)
  • Sidi Hajjaj
  • Hamdawa حمداوة
  • Oulad Mrah
  • Khzazra الخزازرة
  • Oulad Jabi
  • Oulad Fares اولاد فارس
  • Beni Brahim بني براهيم
  • Maarif المعاريف
  • Mkhalkhliya المخلخلية
  • Oulad Belbagi اولاد بلباجى Belbagi


There was also a Jewish presence in Mzab, but all Jews have left in the 1950s and 1960s mostly to Israel. The Mellah الملاح and the Hajraat الحجرات (Rocks in Arabic) still testify of this presence.


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mzab_Morocco — Please support Wikipedia.
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