It seems like a vault from the top and it seems like a cave from below. It’s “Iminifri”,an Amazigh idiom which means the cave mouth, that is considered a unique touring shrine in Morocco. It’s located 6 km away from the city of “Demnate”,which is famous for it’s historical fences. It’s also located 100 km away from Marrakech.
“Iminifri” is a big cave that a small valley called “Teslet”(the bride), is getting out from it to form a natural vault which is sculpted by a water flow in the cave for thousands of years. Talking to the area residents leads u to stories and legends such as , a monster had seven heads was living in the cave , and at the beginning of every year, the people of the town had to offer a pretty girl to it. Once upon a time , a knight wanted to save the girl who the role came to her. He fighted the monster and killed it.
The area is famous for remnant of dinosaurs which tell us that “Iminifri” and it’s suburbs were a home to these huge animals before it’s extinction since thousands of years , according to the scientific researches that were done by a lot of Archaeologists.
Until recently, this touring place was betting on the internal tourist more than the foreign one, but making a road from Marrakech to the town of “Worthzat” revived the foreign tourism before falling back again as a result of the damage of the new road because of the floods and the weak repair.
“ It’s a breath taking area, very wonderful, calm and a natural beauty.” described “Jack Lorois”, a tourist coming from the french town “Bordu”.The tourist himself showed the biggest problem suffered by the mountain tourism in this area. Especially “Iminifri”, seeing that the nearby waterfalls “Ozud” could exceed it partly. It’s the weak publicity. The french tourist added:” I’m visiting Morocco for the second time , but I didn’t know before that there is a natural area with this beauty in this mountain area”.
Tourists also can discover some stories and legends that made by the people of the area about “ Iminifri” and the water of it’s springs. One of these legends that tourists admired it. It tell us that one of these springs was a tomb of a good man called “ sedi Nasser or Mahasser”.
The legend says that it’s unknown if he is human or demons but people there are sure that swimming in this spring can make the marriage of girls easy. This legend had the effect of magic in raising the demand for this region and definitely for this spring. Not from Muslims only, but from the Jewish who were living in thousands in the town of “Demnate” before the decision of the immigration to the Occupied Palestine during the other half of the last century , where only one of them is now left and she insists to die at her hometown.
In addition to that , this area gives tourists the chance to know about a lot of kinds of birds.
Tourists, Moroccans and foreigners, are very surprised to see the birds sitting in their nests or just returning from a hunting trip to feed their young. Where these birds are making this progress as if they are alone in the cave and that’s explained by the area’s people that birds are used to tourist visits. A Member of the Association of Life and Earth Sciences Teachers ,Ahmed Quabo, said that : “ the ups and downs that Make a piece of art and history and a home for many kinds of birds need water outlets to remain strong and hard.”. Also, the unique tourist place is suffering from that there are not plans for developing it, As well as marketing it as a mountain tourist place. In this context , “Quabo” affirmed that “ the wrong human Interventions and the continued passage of means of transport at a great pace above the natural arch are factors to think about and try to treat it to keep a special natural place.”
A Member of the Environmental Centre to “Iminifri” “Mohammed Al Sofy” said : “ Building cafes above the arch directly make a weight on it and it leads to waterproofing into the cave and that will cause cracks in the arch that will be the beginning of it’s fall in the future”. ”Al Sofy” affirmed that human interventions are wrong and aren’t built on scientific foundations, that take into consideration the nature of the place and it’s advantages.”
In this context , the Environmental centre to “Iminifri” is making efforts to enforce respect scientific and environmental standards through intervention to do repairs in this tourist place ,especially ,making roads for tourists to go into the cave.
Aicha Ait hajjaj / Translated by Amira GadAllah