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Arabisc: A Pictorial Tour of North Africa

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Arts & Culture, Development, Education, Film, Humanitarian Response, Ideas, Indigenous, Photography, Religion, Travel, Youth

Moroccan Village

There is one word to describe this picture [1] taken by American blogger Cory Driver, who is based in Morocco, and it is wow! Not being a photography critic, however, I am reserving my exclamation for the amazing work Driver is involved with in Moroccan villages, including that of Tattiwin, located near the mountain range you see in the photograph above. To read more about his efforts, see what he does to collect books for a literacy programme in another village here [2].

fellow American R Andy (I don't know if they are connected), also keeps a blog, which highlights his adventures in North Africa. He is, for instance, seen here [3], dressed up as Santa Claus, and practising his headstand in the Sahara [4] desert. Like Driver's blog, Andy's posts offer us a fabulous photo album and a wonderful insight to life in Morocco as well as the customs and traditions of its people.

Moroccan blogger and writer Laila Lalami also has made it a custom to dot her posts with photographs and today posts a picture of a cinema [5], which has just opened in Tangier [6].

“Regular readers of this blog may be familiar with photographer Yto Barrada's work, which I have mentioned on several occasions. I finally had the chance to meet her in person this past weekend, when I traveled to Tangier to attend the opening of the Cinémathèque de Tanger, a project that Barrada has been working on for several years. Barrada bought the old Cinéma Rif, which is located on the historic Gran Socco plaza, in 2001 and, after years of planning and fund-raising, closed it down in 2004 for renovations. The Cinéma Rif has now reopened, and has been completely modernized, with new seats, new screen, new projection equipment, but all the charm of the original metalwork on the box office window, the original lamps in the café area, the movie posters–and the same staff,” she writes.

While still in Morocco, we will stop by A View from Fez [7], which although may not have posted a photograph this week, has some photography related news here [8]:

“The View from Fez team have invested in some brand new, top of the line, photographic equipment so that we can increase the number and quality of the pictures with our stories.
Coming up will be a new series on day trips from Fez, interviews with the house renovators and restoration experts and hopefully a series on the various bloggers active around Morocco,” writes Samir.

Still in North Africa, we move to Libya, where Tripoli [9] teacher and social worker Hibo Abu takes us on a visit to Fashloum Mosque [10], which is still under construction.

The photographs she posts shows us some of the work going on inside the mosque as well as some of the art and relief work on the outside. Muslims pay a lot of attention to the details and art work in their mosques [11], which they consider as houses of Allah [12].

Away from serious issues, Tunisian blogger Leilouta posts a number of photographs of well-known personalities, [13] making us wonder how will they look if they all decided to copy Britney Spears [14] latest craze [15]!