The work of time in the Akakus desert

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On Libyan southwest border with Niger and Algeria, there is a place where the human being never settles. We are in the Sahara desert, at the beginning of the elusive landscape of the Akakus plateau. In a silent ballet, needles of stone of the primary ages mingle with stripped sand dunes. In this stark scenery composed of wadis and ergs, human being is nothing but an insignificant point. Cavernous walls of the Akakus Plateau display some rock paintings of animals from the African Savannah. They call to mind a pastoral civilization that had flourished from the earliest time when water was abundant and desert had not started yet its irresistible advance. Nomads of the Akakus desert, the Tuareg People, are careful not to pollute this mineral sanctuary. As they move forward, they always clean any trace of their human presence. Finely crafted by centuries of erosion, the human shaped sandstone peaks provide a tenuous bulwark against the advance of the dunes. Carpets of colocynths hardly come out of the ground before the whims of the wind cover them by a layer of sand. The time will work for the next thousand years in the Akakus Desert.

A story created in January 2006.