Friday, March 07, 2008
My friend Jake is doing research in North Africa, and has posted a fascinating summary and photos of his recent trip through the Sahara. Here's a snippet of his writing:
To get by, Tuaregs have had to adapt their traditional practices of trans-Saharan trading to the new globalized economy. Instead of salt, cigarettes now come across the open desert, often in small convoys carrying a million dollars of the contraband. Instead of gold, drugs are coming from South America to West Africa through the Sahara to Europe; a billion dollar trade, and every local official up to the highest generals has a finger in the pie. Instead of slaves, waves of desperate African youth try to reach the shores of Europe on their own, via long and perilous journeys through the Sahara. They work their way from desert town to desert town to make enough money to pay for the deadly passage to Europe, either the straight of Gibraltar from Morocco or Italy from Libya.
Click on the headline above for more.