Another 2 hours drive from the peak of Atlas Mountains is Ouarzazate – its name comes from a Berber phrase meaning “without noise” or “without confusion” and it is often nicknamed ‘the door of the desert’ as it is the last outpost before the Sahara desert which is just south of the town.
The town is chiefly inhabited by Berber-speakers, who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs and buildings for which the area is known. It is home to the kasbah of Taourirt, which was the casbah of the former caïd and later owned by T’hami El Glaoui or the Lord of the Atlas. Thami was the pasha of Marrakech from 1912-1956 and was the chief of the Berber Glaoua tribe of the southern Atlas. He is most notorious for conspiring with the French rulers of Morocco to overthrow Sultan Mohammed V.