THE ORIGINAL OASIS?
Most people are familiar with the word OASIS, but generally we imagine something out of a French Foreign Legion film; a grove of palms perhaps the size of a city block centered around a well or spring. Some of those probably exist. But the oasis that are most obvious in Morocco are long, wide ribbons of emerald green, following a river’s course.
While on a tour of Morocco, my group’s guide (Ali) showed us one following the River Ziz (pronounced ‘zeez’). This river stretched for miles and made it possible for villages and their gardens to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable environment. Ali reminded us that the word for river was Ouad (pronounced ‘wad’). Then he told us that it is thought that this incredibly long and fertile oasis is the origin of that very word.
Take Ouad Ziz (wad-zeez) and it easily becomes oasis. An interesting thought.