Morocco Local Leader - Hamid Oumezdou
Hamid lives between his hometown Tighza (High Atlas village) and Marrakech. From a family of four brothers and four sisters, Hamid and his wife are looking to start their own family and are expecting their first child this year. Speaking four different languages, he decided to become a guide in 2008. Working with lots of our family groups, Hamid enjoys introducing these to local customs and villagers.
We interviewed each of our leaders and here is what Hamid had to say...
How old are you?
I am 26 years old.
Where were you born?
I was born in a small village in the High Atlas called Tighza in Talwat.
Where do you live now?
I still live in Tighza but also spend time in Marrakech.
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Four brothers and four sisters.
Can you give a brief outline of your education?
At university I studied history and civilisation (Marrakech), and in 2008 took training to become a guide.
Are you married and do you have any children?
I married in 2012 and we are expecting our first child later this year.
How did you come to be working in the tourism industry?
I'd always wanted to become a guide and had ambitions after working as a muleteer. I really see guiding as an oportunity to improve my village and the area.
Have you had any training specific to working with foreign tourists?
I've had the standard training in the Bougmez Valley in Tabant, along with Rock Climbing training.
What is your first language?
What languages do you speak?
Berber, Arabic, French and English.
How did you learn to speak English?
At high school and throughout university.
Which KE holiday do you most like to lead?
I like all of the KE holidays but my favourites are Exploring the Anti Atlas, and family adventure, Camels on the Beach.
What has been the most amusing moment you have experienced on a KE holiday?
There's not one specific moment - all of the trips are fun!
What has been the most challenging incident you have faced on a KE holiday?
Once, a customer couldn't find his wallet so this was quite challenging!
Do you think that foreign tourism is a good thing for your country?
Yes I think so.
What do you think is the future of foreign tourism in your country?
I believe the future of foreign tourism to be very promising, especially once the problems in surrounding countries are resolved.
What do you do with your free time?
I spend it in my village and help both my parents, and my brothers with their work.
What is your favourite sport?
Football and tennis.
When travelling with a group, what do the local people say about your clients?
Lots of different things but most importantly that they are happy with visitors.
Have you travelled abroad, and if so where?
Which countries would you like to visit?
England, France, and the USA.
What music do you listen to - who is your favourite performer?
All kinds of music, in particular Bob Marley.
Which person do you most admire in the world?
I admire Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Hassan Second.
What you have to say about Hamid...
"Hamid was excellent with our group, support crew and hotel staff etc. We all felt he was very experienced and made us all as comfortable and relaxed out of our comfort zones. We all learned a lot about the environment and culture and any questions we answered knowledgably." Sarah Reed
"Hamid was a great asset on this trek. Patient and constantly in a good mood, he made us laugh a lot. His passion about the culture of Morocco, his knowledge about the flora and fauna, his anecdotes about past journeys seemed infinite. He made me feel really welcome and a huge grin comes to my face whenever I think back to that awesome week spent under the moroccan sky. I already think about booking another trek in Morocco, and if so, I hope that Hamid will be the one guiding our trek " Francoise Seiwerath
"Hamid was a great guide! He took good care of us throughout the holiday. He not only answered our questions about Moroccan traditions and culture but he also entertained us with jokes, songs and games throughout the camping evenings. Could not have wished for a better guide! " Stephania Scerri
"Hamid was exceptional areal asset to KE, I would book another trip with him anytime." Jacqueline Seel
"Could not fault the support crew. Very friendly and helpful. Food was superb. The leader was excellent. Felt like trekking with friends.
" Tim Seel