Tarfaya

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Tarfaya

طرفاية
ⵟⴰⵔⴼⴰⵢⴰ
Tarfaya skyline
Tarfaya skyline
Tarfaya is located in Morocco
Tarfaya
Tarfaya
Location in Morocco, as shown at bottom left.
Coordinates: 27°56′22″N 12°55′34″W / 27.93944°N 12.92611°W / 27.93944; -12.92611
Country Morocco
RegionLaâyoune-Sakia El Hamra
ProvinceTarfaya Province
Population
(2014)
 • Total8,027
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (WEST)
Websitehttp://tarfaya.info
The town of Tarfaya
The fortress Casa del Mar, built by the British in the 1880s

Tarfaya (Arabic: طرفاية‎ - Ṭarfāya; Berber languages: ⵟⴰⵔⴼⴰⵢⴰ) is a coastal Moroccan town, located at the level of Cape Juby, in southwestern Morocco, on the Atlantic coast. It is located about 890 km southwest of the capital Rabat, and around 100 km from Laayoune and Lanzarote, in the far east of the Canary Islands[1]. During the colonial era, Tarfaya was a Spanish colony known as Villa Bens. It was unified with Morocco in 1958 after the Ifni War, called the Forgotten War in Spain, which started one year after the independence of other regions of Morocco[2].

Tarfaya is the capital and main town in the Tarfaya Province, and counts a population of 8,027 inhabitants according to the 2014 census[3]. Although founded in the twentieth century, the city has a big historical symbolic in the Moroccan history, dating back to the era of the Green March in November 1975[4].

The region of Tarfaya has been linked with relations with foreign powers, following several incursions conducted at its coasts (Spanish, Portuguese, British and French). This blending gave the city a special cultural dimension in its history. The famous French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) lived two years (1927-1928) in Tarfaya before writing his masterpiece The Little Prince that was later translated to more than 300 languages and dialects[5][6]. He served as station manager here during his career as an airmail pilot[7]. In 2004, the Antoine de Saint-Exupery Museum was opened in Tarfaya.

Tarfaya is home to a number of economic projects, including the largest wind farm in Africa, called Tarfaya Wind Farm[8], and the Casa Del Mar, named as the historical Victoria Harbor, that was founded by the Scottish trader and traveler Donald McKenzie in 1882[9]. It is the meeting area of Atlantic coast with stretching sand dunes.

Sebkha Tah, the lowest altitude point in Morocco (55 meters below sea level[10]) is located in Tarfaya province. Tarfaya is also the closest city to the Khenifiss National Park, added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list[11], an ecological site home to hundreds of different kinds of migratory birds each year. It is estimated that more than 20,000 birds from 211 different species breed, nest and feed regularly in the park[12].

History[edit]

Tarfaya was occupied by the British in 1882, when they built a trading post called Casa del Mar.[13] The building is currently in a state of complete disrepair. The Sahrawi tribes[which?] then solicited the intervention of Sultan Hassan I who negotiated the withdrawal of the British in 1895 by Treaty of Cape Juby.[14] In 1912 the territory of Tarfaya, then named Cape Juby, was occupied by Spain as part of the Spanish Sahara. The greater Cape Juby region plus Tarfaya were unified with Morocco in 1958, at the end of the Ifni War. In December 2014 the Tarfaya Wind Farm, largest wind farm in Africa, was commissioned.[15]

Aéropostale[edit]

Tarfaya's association with Aéropostale began in 1927. The airmail carrier, based in Toulouse, France, was founded by French industrialist Pierre-Georges Latécoère, who envisioned an air route connecting France to its French colonies in Africa. Latécoère firmly believed in the future of aviation as a means of commercial transportation and communication between people.

The nearby Cape Juby airfield was an important refueling and stopover station for Aéropostale. Author-aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was named its station manager in 1927. There he remained for 18 months, on occasion negotiating with the rebellious Moorish tribes to release his imprisoned pilots, as he wrote in his first novel, Southern Mail.

On 28 September 2004 a museum opened in honour of the memory of Aéropostale, Saint-Exupéry and its pilots, supported notably by the city of Toulouse and French aircraft maker Airbus. The museum was inaugurated by renowned aviation journalist Bernard Chabbert, whose father was also part of Aéropostale's history.

Saint Exupéry Museum in Tarfaya opened in honour of the memory of Aéropostale

Air services[edit]

The town maintains the Tarfaya Airport with the IATA code TFY.

Monument dedicated to Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the author and the airport manager of L'Aéropostale at Cap Juby, just by Tarfaya

Climate[edit]

Tarfaya has a desert climate (BWh/BWk).

Climate data for Tarfaya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19
(66)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(70)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(72)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
20
(68)
21
(70)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16
(61)
16
(61)
17
(63)
18
(64)
18
(64)
19
(66)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
19
(66)
16
(61)
18
(64)
Average low °C (°F) 13
(55)
13
(55)
14
(57)
15
(59)
16
(61)
17
(63)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
17
(63)
16
(61)
13
(55)
16
(61)
Average precipitation cm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
0
(0)
4
(1.6)
Source: Weatherbase[16]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ "World Gazetteer website". Archived from the original on 2012-05-13.
  2. ^ http://www.sahara-online.net/Western-Sahara/Decolonisation-713.aspx
  3. ^ https://www.hcp.ma/downloads/RGPH-2014_t17441.html
  4. ^ https://www.historychannel.com.au/articles/moroccan-green-march-converges-in-tarfaya/
  5. ^ https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/the-little-prince-becomes-world-s-most-translated-book-excluding-religious-works-1.3358885
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/arts/television/cover-story-a-prince-eternal.html?pagewanted=all
  7. ^ https://www.antoinedesaintexupery.com/personne/laeropostale-1927-1932/
  8. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/morocco-saharan-windfarms-tarfaya-fan-accusations-of-green-plunder
  9. ^ http://sharinghistory.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;AWE;ma;21;en
  10. ^ https://books.google.se/books?id=EQqQBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT31&lpg=PT31&dq=tah+55+meters&source=bl&ots=dvsFfc0O7H&sig=tEeT8zcS_o6CAO--Wa7c53JxnsI&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjF_pzXg9HeAhWKFCwKHcVSDCQQ6AEwAHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=tah%2055%20meters&f=false
  11. ^ http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1182/
  12. ^ http://www.eauxetforets.gov.ma/fr/text.aspx?id=1076&uid=87
  13. ^ (in French), acquiring their trading office.[citation needed] Petite histoire de Tarfaya Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Hertslet, E. (2013). The Map of Africa by Treaty. Routledge. p. 970. ISBN 978-1-136-01918-0.
  15. ^ Staff, Utilities ME. "GDF SUEZ launches $560mn Moroccan wind farm - utilities-me.com". www.utilities-me.com.
  16. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Tarfaya".
Bibliography

Coordinates: 27°56′22″N 12°55′34″W / 27.93944°N 12.92611°W / 27.93944; -12.92611