Yemma Gouraya (Mother Gouraya); an Awesome Place in Bejaia City
Bejaia is an Algerian state which is situated on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. It is very rich with natural landscapes; mountains which are beside the sea that gives the land a terrific view. Yemma Gouraya is an outstanding direction for many visitors either locals or foreigners.
The legend of Yemma Gouraya involves around a good woman named Gouraya who lived in the second half of the sixteen century. She is a daughter of Sidi Iyad his tomb is in the village of Sidi Aich.She has three sisters ;Lala Timzrit her grave is near Ilmaten ,Lala Zeghtane in Jijel and Yamena who is buried next to her sister Gouraya .
Gouraya embraced Islam then she taught mysticism to little girls in a mosque next to Ain Boukhelil. In 1555, with the Spanish entrance to Algeria, she did not accept its conquest to Bejaia, thus she resisted against them. When she freed the city in 1555, she climbed the peak of a mountain where she built a small cottage from wood and advocated herself to worshiping Allah (God) away from people. Since she is a good person, the people of the region still visited her and ask for help and advice. When she died, she is buried in the peak of that mountain and they built dome on her grave so that people of Bejaia visit her.
With the access of the French colonialism in 12 October 1833, they built a fort and demolished the dome, neverthless; the inhabitants of the region call Gouraya for both the mountain and the fort.
Nowadays, Gouraya is a preferred place for many visitors .It has a touristic view which is overlooking on the Mediterranean Sea. To reach the Gouraya’s tomb, you have to walk for a long distance by feet, but you won’t feel tired at all since the nature surrounds you from all sides .In addition to monkeys which live there, certainly you will enjoy giving them food and take photos with them .At the peak, there is some ruin of the Gouraya’ house and from it you can see all the Bejaia city beneath you and breath a pure air that comes from the Mediterranean sea. It is really fantastic!
Written by ARAB Sabrina