Watermelons, Dates, and Living with Water Scarcity in Zagora

  EPISODE 163 

Watermelons, Dates, and Living with Water Scarcity in Zagora

Southeast Morocco is known for its oases, dates, and diverse linguistic and cultural landscape shaped by Amazigh, Arab, African, Jewish, nomadic and agrarian exchanges. Today, this landscape is also frequently colored by watermelons and water shortages. Small-scale farmers are at the center of the changes—navigating water scarcity and market fluctuations as the region orients towards global commodity production. This research examines the perspectives of farmers and local residents in Zagora to understand how water and agriculture are changing in the rural, pre-Saharan oases of Morocco, and the impact this is having on local lives.

Jamie Fico is a U.S. Fulbright researcher studying agricultural, social, and environmental change in the southeastern oases of Morocco. Her work stems from her time as a U.S Peace Corps Volunteer in the Province of Zagora from 2018 to 2020, and focuses on the lived experience of water shortages and agricultural transitions in the region. She holds a Master of Arts from Syracuse University in Geography and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in Middle Eastern Studies and Global Studies.

This episode was recorded on September 27th, 2022 at the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM)

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Recorded and edited in Tangier, by: Abdelbaar Mounadi Idrissi, Outreach Coordinator, TALIM.

Posted by Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

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