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Photographer's Note

Back to Algeria in September 1975. This is from the probably most important of all the desert cities in the country, Ghardaïa. It's a relatively large city and the "capital" of the M'Zab Valley, roughly 600 km south of Algiers, which in its entirety has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

I can't say anything in particular about this photo. I spent quite a lot of time in the central market square of Ghardaïa and the surrounding streets, taking as many photos as my expensive and limited stock of Kodachrome films allowed. I am quite sure this man wasn't really posing, but obviously he was watching me with a certain interest.

A majority of the population in the M'Zab Valley, called Mozabites, are followers of the possibly oldest islamic school, founded soon after the death of the prophet Muhammad, when neither the Sunni nor Shia denominations had yet been established.

The city of Ghardaïa is surrounded by a number of small towns, most of them within walking distance (under the scorching sun) and all with their own character. They have in common a unique style of architecture, which is one of the criteria for the world heritage classification.

Through the years I have been active on TE I have off and on posted a number of photos from the M'Zab Valley, including views of the architecture, but also portraits, like this nice girl (one of my personal favourites) and this angry girl.

Here is a larger version of today's photo. As I already hinted, it was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9857 W: 514 N: 19074] (84271)
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