Recommended reading on the Black, Arab & Berber people and diversity of the Sahara |
From the Atlas Mountains in the Sahara to the Hoggar plateau, there was a huge desert, where a traveller could see vast areas of land covered by sand: the sand alternated with rocks in many areas of the desert. The sand dunes were at times as high as two hundred metres: the powerful desert storms from the north east along the Gassis corridor contributed immensely to the formation of this geographical feature. It was a beautiful landscape, over four hundred kilometres long and two hundred kilometres wide. The Oued Saoura flowed around the outskirts of the desert; it was the longest river of the Sahara covering some two thousand five hundred kilometres. In the south there was the Oued Gourra, which formed a network of rivers with other rivers from the south which all converged towards Timimoun. In the past, the caravan of horsemen, who traded between Africa and the Maghreb, benefited immensely from this water resource to settle around Timimoun. People of the Berber tribe, the blacks and Arabs all came together to constitute what may be called the sand dwellers. Palm trees were brought from the Middle East, and once planted, they sprouted and gave rise to various oases, big and small. It was a characteristic feature of the area; Timimoun was just one of these oases. If today these horsemen had disappeared together with their caravans, the palms were still there to remind us of the once busy commercial centre, a melting pot of peoples and civilisations.
-Beyond the Sahara by Agbor Emmanuel, published in 2016.