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  1. El Borj means Fortress/Tower and the remains of the building which gives the village it’s name can still be seen.
  2. El Borj is a village in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the population is around 6,000
  3. The famous river Oued Oum Rabia runs through the village and ends at the coast at El Jadida
  4. El Borj is 11km from the Berber capital town of Khenifra
  5. It is very hot in summer. Temperatures can rise to almost 48 degrees. In winter it gets very cold and even snows!
  6. Basic food is Moroccan flat round bread “agroum”, Mint tea (very sweet), Olive oil, sometimes some chicken or lamb tagine. Cous cous (a meat/vegetable stew usually made with carrots and pumpkins on a bed of cous cous) is made on Fridays after visiting the mosque for prayers. On special occasions an elaborate flaky pastry pie called “Bisteeya” is made which can be filled with various meats, nuts and spices.
  7. Most men in El Borj are unemployed. They usually find work in the fields only during planting or harvest time. They sometimes work in the forests felling the cedars. The only other alternative is to find work in the bigger cities like Casablanca or to try and get overseas (many try illegally and drown in the Straits of Gibralter).
  8. The scenery is stunning with the mountains surrounding the village, which is situated in a valley.
  9. If your husband dies there are no pensions or government funds to help. You feed your family with the 10% that a farmer is required to leave from his harvest to feed the poor. If the harvest is good it is still hard but if the harvest is bad that year you and your family starve.
  10. Many of the children suffer from Anaemia, conjunctivitis and parasites.
  11. There are no toilets or running water in the village and electricity was only connected to some homes earlier this year.