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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) and its deep vibration being induced merily from the fibres of the gentlemen on the right. In full traditional attire (or Djelleba as theyRead 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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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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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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Madinat Shamal Series: Stories from the Ocean l Pahalwan – The Old Pearl Diver shares stories about his ventures out at sea near Madinat Al Shamal in the north of Qatar. Among the items he carries with him are nets, oyster shells and old pearling relics which he has collected over the years. He has set up tent near an old village and archaeological site dating back to the 18th century called Al Zubarah – a place which witnessed much diaspora.Read more