"Mother passed away 7 years ago. It was a Friday, she had a dream. She said she wanted to take a bath. 'I will be happy up in the sky' she used to say. She passed away on Sunday. We buried her in the mountains" says Ahmed, pointing to the Atlas Mountains.
 

He has been a tour guide at the skirts of the Atlas Mountains since he was 7. He was born here, he grew up here. He calls himself the "desert fox". He knows the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara like the palm of his hand. Ahmed does not have a steady income. He receives a call whenever tourist groups arrive. So he goes, showing the group around and receiving his income per trip plus the tips.


Ahmed is a member of Amazigh (Berber) people. Part of them continue living as nomads in tents and caves up in the mountains, resisting the Arab invasion. Though some of them try and protect their languages and cultures, most moved to the cities, leaving behind their languages and cultures.


"We bury our dead up in the mountains. Most people think as if they wouldn't die. We came from the soil; we'll return to it. We should respect the nature. Capitalism destroys the nature without mercy. Whereas we are not its owners".
Ahmed lives with his three sisters, his brother and their elderly father. Though they do not live as nomads, they carry on with their language and their culture.


"Family is everything. The absence of my mother is especially hard. Mothers leave a hole whenever they depart. No matter your age, it's very hard to get used to. Though I still feel my mother. She is always with us, right here".


"Seems the only thinks most of the people think is 'money, money, money'. Being rich has nothing to do with money. One needs a rich mind, a rich heart. We die a little more each passing day. I clean my heart before sleeping every night. You never know what the next day will bring and he adds:


"Never eat alone. It has no meaning as long as you don't share it with those who don't have. It is Karma. You share it with those who don't have, and you will always receive in return".

© 2018 by Sinem Taş