Naziha Arebi

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Dawn, Tripoli, Libya

Dawn, Tripoli, Libya

Night Dancing by moonlight. Marrfun. South West Libya

Night Dancing by moonlight. Marrfun. South West Libya

Toureg music in the desert accompanied by tea and politics

The night skies draw in as the cold envelopes the desert. So we pack up and move from the desert to a farm to take shelter, listen to music, drink tea and meet new and old friends.

The night skies draw in as the cold envelopes the desert. So we pack up and move from the desert to a farm to take shelter, listen to music, drink tea and meet new and old friends.

A Toureg boy mounts his Camel in the sand dunes of Ubari.

A Toureg boy mounts his Camel in the sand dunes of Ubari.

"Wellcome". An armed Tabou driver stands outside an old restaurant in the former tourist destination of the Ubari lakes in the Sahara of Libya, an area that is now a ghost town since the revolution. The borders and the Sahara security are mostly manned by the Tabou tribe who have a history of navigating the sand seas by the stars, although nowadays GPS is slightly more reliable. The Tabou are known warriors with a history that spans thousands of years.

"Wellcome". An armed Tabou driver stands outside an old restaurant in the former tourist destination of the Ubari lakes in the Sahara of Libya, an area that is now a ghost town since the revolution. The borders and the Sahara security are mostly manned by the Tabou tribe who have a history of navigating the sand seas by the stars, although nowadays GPS is slightly more reliable. The Tabou are known warriors with a history that spans thousands of years.

"Gibli" sandtorm in the desert, Ubari, Libya.

"This is not my home"
Camp for internally displaced Libyans

"This is not my home"

Camp for internally displaced Libyans

Children of Tewargha Camp for internally displaced Libyans. 

Voting day in three of Tripoli’s Tawergha camps for internally displaced refugees. For three years they have been living in the camps shelter, short of water, sanitation and food and often afraid to leave for fear of intimidation and violence. Due to the fighting during the war, the towns use by Gadaffi forces and the close proximity to Misrata they are unable to return home, a town that now resembles a ghost town.

One old man said that “we know some people committed crimes but should a whole community be punished for that?” He said he may not be supportive of the government, but that he is voting as he feels this blue piece of paper may be his ticket to returning home, that he wants the Tawerghans to be represented and have someone speaking on their behalf during the formation of the constitution, because after all they are still citizens of Libya.

The rest of Libya was equally quiet on voting day as a mere 497,663 turned out to cast their vote to chose the constitutional committee. Many boycotted the election, while others did not have secure polling stations, whilst others did not know enough information due to a media campaign that did not allow enough time for the public to now the candidates. Those stations that could not open on voting day will try to cast their vote again tomorrow.

Three years since the February 17th Uprising in Libya. With multiple coups being announced and then failing and with the majority of the public wanting the government to leave you would have thought that people felt they had nothing to celebrate, that it was more a time for mourning the lives lost, contemplating how far we’ve come and the mistakes made. However people still took to the streets to sit on the roofs of their cars screaming revolutionary songs as their children hung out of the windows. Although the tune was the same the atmosphere was somewhat darker.

In need of love and attention Ghadames sits in the dust of its former glory waiting for the tourist to come. The alley ways and homes are being renovated but without the touch of experts. There is also an old hotel that used to be graced with the likes of Sofia Loren and James Dean. It is undergoing renovations, but all know it will be sometime till the security situation allows for them to start receiving visitors.

The crown like Triangles in the Ghadames architecture are said to be inspired by an Amazigh Queen of the desert who requested the symbols of a crown that grace every alley way, roof top and interior. Pretty awesome women I’d say. I think comtemeporary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat may enjoy a wee trip to Ghadames.

A musical gathering inside one of the houses in Ghadames old city, the most intelligent housing I’ve seen in Libya. Canals weave around the city from the oasis spring providing water to each quater. Light comes in through sky lights and reflects off the mirrors strategically placed around the home. The walls are thick and keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And the kitchen on the roof connects to walkways above the city where women can walk over the roofs out of sight from one house to the next. Genius, I want to live there. Its no longer inhabited since the 1980’s, but clans and families often move back into their family homes in the summer months.