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El Jebha is a little port town in the northern part of Morocco. This Mediterranean coastal place is situated in the Rif Mountains, and across the route that takes traffic from the Northwestern part to the Northeastern part of Morocco. El Jebha, is the capital of the district (cercle) Mtiwa and is part of the province Chefchaouen in the region of Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima.
The name of the town is based on its location at the foot of a set of mountains. El Jebha is the Arabic equivalent of ‘forehead’; the mountains that surround El Jebha stand out as if the town is the forehead of a chain of mountains. Hence, the name El Jebha. During the Spanish occupation of Northern Morocco between 1911 and 1956, the town was called Puerto Capaz, the latter word the Spanish translation of El Jebha.
The two main sources of income are fishery and trade. As one of the most important coastal towns in the near surroundings El Jebha has an own harbour where many fisher boats, large and small, are anchored. Furthermore, the harbour is welcome and useful for many Europeans who are passing through the area in a tour around the Mediterranean sea. Next to the fishery there is also a booming culture of commerce and trade. The administrative function and the harbour of El Jebha are the two main reasons for most people to consider a visit, which in turn makes residents decide to engage in trade and commerce. Also, the location of El Jebha across the coastal route adds to its popularity as a centre of the district Mtiwa.
The most important day in the week is without a doubt Tuesday, which is also the known as the ‘Tlatha’. On this day people from the whole district travel to El Jebha to do their weekly shopping. All the stores are overcrowded, the market brings many new products, the hairdressers are dealing with long waiting lines, and the streets are filled with vans and trucks.
Because the roads that take to El Jebha are difficult to travel by, the coastline has remained relatively unaffected by man throughout time. The environment of El Jebha is known for its clean and natural beaches, which all seem to have a different appearance. The bays behind the eastern mountain are ideal to enjoy the sun and the beach in absolute solitude. On the other hand, the beaches on the west side of El Jebha are more accessible and characterised by a somewhat rough surface and grey sand. The beaches of the west are more crowded than the bays of the east.
Besides the harbor and the beaches, there is another distinguishing feature of El Jebha: The Mosque. During the last decade El Jebha experienced an increasing population with a similar increase in size. This resulted in an overcrowded mosque, which could not hold this increasing number of people. For this reason a big new mosque was built in the tradition of Moroccan coastal places. This means that the color white prevails in both the exterior as the interior designs of the building structure.