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GHADAMES and the DESERT
Images (Dec. 1999 - Jan. 2000)
The city of Ghadames, that has a population of 9.000 inhabitants, is situated in an oasis placed 650 kms to southwest of Tripoli next to the frontiers with the Tunisia and with Algeria. With the revolution a new city has been built around the old and its inhabitants have moved to the new houses.
Famous for its typical architecture, the city has been nicknamed "The pearl of the desert". With its bricks boundaries of mud, the old city constitutes a fresh and calm shelter from the sun of the desert and its dark and covered alleys still attract the people of the place. The old city is a labyrinth and the obscurity of the little roads has interrupted from the light that filters. The city is all built with mud's bricks bleached of mortar and its style it is characteristic of this part of the Sahara.
The population is of Arabic origin, African, berbere and tuareg, and the city was once placed along an important trans-saharian commercial rout that went from Tripoli to the lake Ciad and more to south, for which passed gold, ivory, wild animals and the commerce of the slaves. Today the city lives of agriculture thanks to the plantations of date palms.