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Al Hoceima
Pirate Coast


Pirate notes

Cristel notes

Here are Leo's words:

"Tetteguin is a small town built by the ancient Africans [pre-Islam] 18 miles from the Straight [of Gibraltar] and 6 miles from the Ocean. The Muslims conquered it when they defeated the Goths in Ceuta. When they took over the city, they chose a one-eyed countess to govern it- she would come once a week to collect her dues. As she only had one eye, the locals named their city Tetteguin, which in African dialect [Berber] means eye.

Some time ago, the Portuguese attacked this city and conquered it. For 80 years it remained abandoned, until a Granadan captain decided to restore the city. He had come to Fes with the Sultan of Granada, at the time of the city's fall- he had made a great impression during the combat. The Portuguese called him Al Mandari. He was given the authority to restore the city and collect taxes. He rebuilt the city walls, erected a fort (Kasbah, see picture) and dug trenches around the city. He waged many a war with the Portuguese, often attacking Ceuta, Ksar and Tangiers.

He had a permanent army of 300 horsemen, all from Grenada, and the best of their class. With their help, he roamed the country, capturing Christians and enslaving them. When I visited this city I saw three hundred Christian slaves who slept at the bottom of trenches.

This man was extremely generous, giving shelter to whomever visits his town. He died not so long ago, after having completely lost his eyesight. His first eye had been stabbed a few years ago. His second faded away in old age.

The town is now in the hands of his grandson, a courageous man." (Leo, 268)

There is many a legend in Tetouan surrounding this famous "eye". For "Titt" does mean "eye" in Berber. For some, it has to do with the one-eyed countess. For others it has to do with the town's ugliness, an an outcry from the mountain people who seeing the Grenadines ruin their landscape cried out: "open your eyes"... "can't you see how horrendous this is!"(or so the Rough Guide says). And then there's Al Mandari's eye injury and loss- three myths of eyes and cities...