In the picturesque Moroccan surf town of Imsouane, a crisis is unfolding that has caught the attention of both local residents and the international community. A series of shock demolitions, purportedly paving the way for a megaresort development, has sparked widespread outcry and urgent calls for action.

Also read our follow-up article: what are the plans for Imsouane?

The Onset of Demolition and Its Impact.

Only 24 hours to vacate.

Reportedly backed by the Moroccan government, the demolition works began with little warning to the residents, giving them a mere 24 hours to vacate.

Imsouane, known for its exceptional surfing waves and vibrant local culture, is witnessing the forced evacuation of dozens of families and the dismantling of numerous surf businesses.

The local community, which has thrived on tourism and the unique charm of Imsouane’s old town, is now facing the erasure of their homes and livelihoods. The demolition, which began on January 17th, has targeted buildings deemed unlicensed by the government, including those that have been part of the town’s fabric for generations.

Local and International Reactions

The abrupt nature of these demolitions has sparked a wave of reactions. Residents, some of whom have lived in their homes for over three generations, were seen transporting belongings as bulldozers razed parts of the town. The local surfer community, including notable figures like Lahcen Aguerd and Hbekka Rais, has expressed deep sorrow and anger over the loss of their town’s authenticity and history.

Internationally, the surf community and social media users are vocalizing their dismay, sharing images and videos of the demolition and its aftermath. A poignant sentiment echoes through these shares: “Goodbye Imsouane, Goodbye paradise of surfers.”

Mobilizing Support Through Petitions and Fundraising

In response to this crisis, an online petition was initiated on January 17, calling for the halt of the demolition. This petition, supported by local businesses and concerned citizens, highlights the potential loss of the town’s characteristic charm and the livelihoods dependent on its tourism appeal.

Parallelly, a GoFundMe account has been set up to assist affected residents with legal aid, rebuilding, and relocation costs. This initiative reflects a community’s determination to fight for their homes and heritage.

Check de GoFundMe page.

The Larger Picture and Uncertainties

The demolition in Imsouane is not an isolated incident along the coast of Morroco. Similar occurrences in nearby towns like Tifnit reveal a pattern of development that prioritizes new constructions over existing communities and ecosystems.

The lack of transparency and sudden execution of these plans raises serious questions about sustainable development and the preservation of local cultures.

Tifnit a few weeks ago:

As this story continues to develop, the fate of Imsouane hangs in a delicate balance. The international outcry and local resistance may yet influence the course of events, offering a glimmer of hope for the preservation of this beloved surfers’ paradise.


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