Through the Lens: Sahel

Good morning (or evening)! I hope everyone had a great weekend! To get this week rolling, come along with me on a photographic during through the Sahel. Sahel means "shore" in Arabic, but unlike the images of crashing waves, the "shore" in reference is the coastline where the desert sands of the Sahara come to lick the green vegetation that welcomes one to "tropical" Africa! This stretch of land spans from the Atlantic in Senegal straight across the continent to the Red Sea in Eritrea and hits a whole bunch of countries, peoples, cultures, and more in between.

In a brilliant piece by Paul Salopek with photos by Pascal Maitre for National Geographic, Salopek mixing a bit of history of the region with current day joys and challenges. What these pictures really bring out to me is the amazing role topography plays in the history. In the past, Arab crusaders could handle all this sand, but when it hit upon the green tropicals, one bug could stop their flow. In the present, communities have to struggle to stop the desert sand from further encroaching on the green land or that in some areas, the greenery is claiming land from the desert! That people are able to "see" borders where the ignorant only see sand is also another fascinating aspect to Salopek's story....

Definitely check out this piece to learn more about this fascinating region and to see even more stunning photos!

{Photos: Pascal Maitre for National Geographic}

No comments: