Tag Archives: Algeria

Two in progress; one under consideration

My residency is winding down, the Walls book is simmering in the proverbial bottom-drawer, and I am devoting most of my writing time to magazine projects. I have two pieces in progress now. I will be writing s feature about becoming a first-time father last Fall. The month before my son was was born, I […]

Easter with the White Fathers

It was a scene out of a Graham Greene novel: Africans, Catholics, priests and whisky. I’d been looking forward to meeting the White Fathers in Ghardaia for some time. The Peres Blancs have been ministering to African communities for a long time now, and maintain a library of books about the cultural, religious and natural […]

The Mozabites

There are only a few communities ofIbadi Muslims in the world. There are Ibadis in Oman, a few in Libya and Tunisia, and a large community here in the M’zab Valley around the town of Ghardaia where I have been staying for the past few days. Ibadis are very conservative and do their best to […]

The Occidental Tourist

Since my last post I finished a circuit of the Grand Erg Occidental which took me from Taghit to the oasis towns of Beni Abbés, Timimoun and, now, Ghardaia. It occurred to me I’ve written mostly about the landscape here and not about the people. That has been an omission. My favourite moment with the […]

March 15

Taghit Oasis and the Search for New Superlatives

There are places in the world that can defy a travel writer’s art. There are scenes that are so breathtaking that they completely defeat him. I feel that dunes of Taghit have defeated me.Taghit is an oasis village on the edge of the Grand Erg Occidental, Algeria’s western sea of sand. It is a small […]

At the beginning and the end of things

I am in Ain Sefra now. Here is where the Atlas Mountains end and the Grand Erg Occidental, the Sahara’s great western sea of sand, begins. Or it is where the mountains begin and the sand sea ends. A traveler decides his parameters based on the place he most wants to be. That is his […]

In Tlemcen

I am still in Tlemcen, in northwestern Algeria, paying for my laziness. I didn’t feel like doing my desert-dirty laundry so I brought it to a cleaners. It will take two days to wash, which is actually three because I straddled the Friday holiday. And they won’t be done until tomorrow in the late morning […]