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Algiers Series | Timimoun Connections | A young boy orders some snacks from the tea hotspot in central Algiers. Customers are plenty at this favourite snack hut in the heart of the capital. Friendly chat is exchanged as people wait for their orders of fresh mint tea. The tea shop resembles a hole in the wall but one that is not easily missed. In a box-like store in the wall, a window allows passersby to peer in from the sidewalkRead more

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Marrakech Series | Musical Chairs | An impromptu tour of the Kasbah leads me back to questions around the nature of North African street socials. It has been a thing and continues to be a thing since the region’s pre and post colonial liberation periods. Men drag their wooden stools and ideas from corner to corner in pursuit of a conversation. They speak of politics and daily struggles, family woes and causes for celebration. Depending on cultural and religious etiquette,Read more

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Sti Fatma Series | The Very Real Side of Tourist Entertainment | My mother and I find ourselves serenaded bank side of a waterfall footpath as we tuck into lunch in the middle of a hiking excursion of the Sti Fatma mountains. The sound is upbeat and airy, with the thud of the bendir (frame drum) played by the gentlemen on the right. In full traditional attire (or Djelleba as they call it locally in most Moroccan regions) he nodsRead more

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Algiers Series | Unexpected Love Story | Didou swore by his love for his wife. So much so that he decorated every corner of his inner city apartment block in ceramic celebrations of her life. After all it was her dying wish. In the entrance hallway of a European build, he has plastered pictures of his beloved, family members and memories from his boxing days. Didou talks through every picture like a tribute, each attached to a story he insistsRead more

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Doha Series | Maghrib |The call to prayer echos throughout the older parts of the city and across the centralised Souq. Men rush to perform oblution before the call is over. It’s a magnetic force of good to remind them all that whatever happens from day to day, a collective prayer keeps them hopefully united, humble and giving.Read more

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Marrakech Series: Motorbikes in the Medina I These days the Medina is synonymous with the rumbling sound. Motorbikes whizzing through the narrow streets of the Kasbah, dodging traffic to get to the other side. Brown, blue, white djellabas blowing in the wind.  Apart from being the most conventional way to navigate through heavy traffic, most Marrakechis choose to commute on bikes because they are simply more affordable than cars and marginally cheaper to maintain. This medieval city with a Berber spirit dating back toRead more

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Atlas Mountains Series: Berber Woman make Argan Oil I Berber women in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains show me how to extract argan oil from the argania spinosa fruit using traditional methods. The argan nut is carefully cracked and the containing kernal grinded down to a thick paste using a stone quern. The paste is then squeezed by hand to produce the oil. For making argan cooking oil, kernels are often roasted before the grinding process. These women sit outdoors inRead more

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Madinat Shamal Series: Wooden Boats l Two wood carvers sit under a tent in the Al Zubarah desert land located on the north western coast of Qatar. They are making miniature model dhow boats – traditional and specific in style to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. These wooden vessels were often used for carrying goods around the Persian Gulf, South Asia and East Africa. Smaller dhows were used for pearling around the peninsula.Read more

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Sti Fatma Series: Flour Grinder l A local inhabitant of the Sti Fatma area in the Atlas Mountains shows me a traditional stone grinder used to make flour. Grains are tossed into the funnel shaped basket which ensures the right amount of grain falls onto the stone grinder. A handle is turned in a circular motion and grains are crushed to produce fresh flour.Read more

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Zahle Series: The Baklava Vendor l A baklava street vendor showcases his freshly baked Lebanese pastries, nougat bars and nuts on a promenade along the banks of the Berdawni River. We are surrounded by mountains, limestone cliffs and a pleasant breeze that flows through the valley. He invites us over for a tasting session and we wonder why we ever had lunch.Read more