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Atar

Birth of the city of Atar

Atar was founded by the Smacid tribe, so it is useful to take a look at the history of the arrival of this tribe in Adrar and the adventures that led to the birth of their Ksar (Atar) in the "Baten" of the Adrar. Their ancestor, Yahya El Kebir Alghalghamy would have left Morocco after the war between Idrissides and Alawites. He settled first in Algeria, before being attracted by the cultural influence of Chinguetti. His arrival is located in the seventh century.

Chems Eddine, the eponymous ancestor of Smacid tribe, is one of the sons of Sharif Yahya, whose origin goes back to the fourth Caliph of Islam, Ali Ibn Abu Taleb (according to a genealogy advanced by N'Tahah). One of the sons of Chems Eddine had been appointed as an Imam of the Chinguetti Mosque, which was a great honor, but after a conflict between Laghlal and Idawali tribes, the founders of the new Chinguetti, the smacid imamat was questioned and either paradoxically or after a compromise, a Ghallaoui (from laghlal) was appointed to direct  the mosque of the city.

The Smacid decided then to explore the Baten and Dhar region, and finally left Chinguetti. The sons of Ahmed Ould Chems Eddine settled in Atar, while those of his brother Mohamed Fadel settled in Aoujeft (80 km, southeast of Atar).

The newcomers settled on the plateau located on the road to Azougui before choosing a terrain elevation - in order to avoid the floods - to build their new Ksar. (In 1984, during the catastrophic floods that struck the city of Atar, only the old Ksar remained intact and all around its mosque). Good relations united the tribes of  Ideichilly the former inhabitants of the region and Smacid.

* According to the researcher Abdel Weddoud Ould Cheikh, the word "atar" means road in Azer language or new city in Berber.

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