It is the chief town of the province of the same name. Its population is 35 709 inhabitants.
The name of the town comes from the Berber Achawen, « the horns », because of the mountain tops that dominate and surround the city. It was founded in the year 876 of the Hegira, 1471 of the Christian era, by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami.
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