Reader comment on Moussa Ag Assarid's passage ...

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    On Dec 21, 2015 Miki wrote:

     As beautiful as MAA's description is, and as much as I am troubled by the very things about Western Civilization and modernity that he describes, I cannot sidestep two challenging aspects of this.

    One is that he actually made the choice to leave the desert and move to France. Without any transparency about what led to that choice, I am challenged to understand it and it leaves a veil of discomfort for me.

    The other is that while I don't anything specific about the culture he comes from, many cultures of the desert are very brutal towards women. I cannot gloss over that in reading his description. 

    I do, personally, love the desert and have a deep personal understanding about the silence and the amazing sky and the sense of such profound and nourishing starkness.

    Both are true. It's complex for me.


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    On Dec 25, 2015 Tricia wrote:

     The Toureg women are actually very empowered. They do not veil themselves; the men do. They have a very complex culture, which I have studied after my several visits to the Sahara. As far as moving to France, this is pretty common. The desert life is very simple and beautiful, but, like people anywhere, some want a greater complexity-- to study, to engage the world. Also it is a very hard life with frequent famines. Some who can afford it go back and forth-- live in two worlds. His country undoubtably was once under French rule, and thus French is his second language. 


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