Feeding Desire

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Maggie Cummings

FEEDING DESIRE CHAPTER 1: ENTERING THE FIELD Mostly empty spot in the center of the map of West Africa lies the Azawagh region of Niger, a sparsely populated stretch of savannah where the gently undulating grasslands of the West African Sahel meet the drier harsher desert Roughly the size of Austria but is home to only 85,000 people, predominantly from four ethnic groups THE AZAWAGH The landscape against which Azawash Arab women pack their bodies until overflowing with plentiful, moist fat and veiled folds of allure exhibits anything but those bountiful traits to the outsider. Desolate, flat semi-desert under a giant dome of blasting sky Niger appears to one from greener climes to Azawagh Arabs the terrain that they consider earths basic form is rich and diverse Women could list dozens of local plants that were used to treat human illnesses explaining in detail how the leaves or bark could be cooked, group. Or combined with other ingredients to soothe all manner of complaints from constipation or scorpion bites From December to march, the winds carry so much sand that the world turns into an endemic yellowish-grey haze for weeks on end. Wind is also the bearer of heat and coldness forces that reside in bodies and the world that must always be kept in balance Niger is today home to a patch work of distinct ethnic groups, comprising a metropolitan desert world of different languages and customs, though all the groups share a faith in Islam Historically, the dominant ethnic group in the region has been the tuareg a better known Saharan nomadic group whose indigo-turbaned men and silver-bejewelled women have appeared in movies like the sheltering sky and beau gets The Wodaabe, a group that became Muslim only recently, have been much photographed by outsiders and have been featured in picture books and calendars of www.notesolution.com Africa, highlighting the way men bedeck themselves in jewellery, paint their faces, and dance before young women to attract lovers The Azawagh has known fighting in several periods of the culture. The violent French colonization of the Tuareg at the start of the twentieth century. Tuargeg has waged an off and on guerrilla war or more power and independence within Niger th Although Arabs and Turaeg were at peace for much of the 20 century, violence between the groups intensified again in the early 90s in the context of Tuareg revolts against the government since Arabs own vehicles, guns and other resources that the Tuareg needs Tchin Tabaraden was established by the French in the middle of the century, and Tassara by the Nigerian government in the 70s WHO ARE THE AZAWAGH ARABS Dialect of Arabic From the middle east, however would not consider them pure Arabs The people from Niger consider themselves pure Arabs. They belong to a group of Arabic speakers across the Western parts of the Sahara desert known as Moors Moor society coalesced between the 15 and 17 century in the North-western part of the Sahara Today their population make up one million and are the predominate population Their increases are due to the droughts in the early 70s and 80s that forced people into villages to get water and food, where they then stayed enjoying the goods around them Yemeni Arabs or Saudi Arabs are from the roots of Yemen and Saudi Arabia as companions of the Prophet Muhammad Among Azawagh Arabs there are three main castes o 1. The white or free Arabs o 2. The former slave caste called haratin o 3. The small artisan caste, also called blacksmiths in Western language www.notesolution.com
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