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A ZOOM ONLINE TALK: The Remote Saharan Town Where Mackenzie is a Household Name presented by Cat Rainsford

April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

On 26 July 1875, a young Scotsman named Donald Mackenzie stood before the London Chamber of Commerce with an unlikely vision: to flood the Sahara and open a maritime route to Timbuktu. Mackenzie’s plan hinged on the remote Saharan outpost of Tarfaya, where he struck a deal with a nomadic sheikh to open a trading post on the Atlantic coast. Mackenzie never imagined that this deal would spark a diplomatic crisis between Britain and the Sultan of Morocco, who feared it would empower the autonomous tribes on the periphery of his kingdom. The conspiracies, murders and betrayals that followed sparked a war for the sovereignty of Western Sahara that continues to this day.
Nearly 150 years later, Mackenzie has been forgotten by history. Even his birth and death dates are shrouded in mystery. But in Tarfaya – where a crumbling castle in the sea is his last visible legacy – Mackenzie remains a household name. A hero to some, a villain to others, he has become the last hope to save their town’s beloved landmark.
Please contact events@clanmackenziesociety.co.uk for the Zoom link. Limited places.


April 20
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm