Framing the Dialogue

Sahara Unveiled

“In its scale and complexity, it is difficult place to know.  Consider just the external dimensions – a desert the size of the United States, filling the northern third of Africa, extending south nearly to the edge of the tropical forests.  Only a fifth of this vastness is the sand of popular imagination, formed into the great dune seas called ergs in Arabic; the rest is rock and gravel plain, and high rugged mountain.”

In Sahara Unveiled author William Langewiesche takes us on a journey through the Sahara desert.  Although published a while ago it is hard to believe that the desert has changed all that much.  I’d like to say he went off the beaten path, but the Sahara doesn’t seem to have any paths though it is a beaten world as experienced by Mr. Langewiesche;

“After all the warnings this desert had given me, after all I had written, I had allowed it to trap me.  Worse still, I had gone out of my way to get here.  The Sahara is not a natural destination, and it never will be.”

The Sahara is not a romantic place like in the movies.  It is a brutal place.  It is an unforgiving place.  Its people survive and for many that’s the best that they can hope for.  I’d like to say that Sahara Unveiled is haunting, but the author shows that it is not.  He travels through the misery that is life there.  Read the book and you’ll never wonder what is like to be in the Sahara…you’ll probably never want to go there eithere

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