Stories & reflections

Stories & reflections

"You think a trip, but it is the journey that makes you…" Nicolas Bouvier


The time, the ruler of all developments, the Enhancer of wrinkles, the pest of the youth, the polisher of rocks… The time that Heals wounds and mitigates the passions. It is the same late ally of truth. That brings things to a continually harassed harmony.

Time that without action, leads to boredom and without consistency of principles inevitably leads to decay and degeneration.

But be careful if it relies too much on principles, they yield! The balance being in the movement…

Time without the "mastery" of trajectories, so space and destiny, is synonymous with random with, at the end, uncertain and certainly fatal outcomes. But the man that masters ultimately? Nothing, or little things!

  • "Having the luxury it is well, not to be dependent on it is better!" AS

         Nomadic I stayed. I am simply a man of the desert. I there am born in a tent, I there grew up, kept goats and learned one essential thing: the desert belongs to no and belongs to everyone. As the sea or the mountain, it can be cruel to those who do not comply with it. And respect of this desert inculcated me respect for others. It is in this respect for nature that can flourish finally relations and reflections. I also learned through my studies in physics, that the known is finished and the unknown is infinite and that ultimately the science cannot claim, at best, observe the phenomena and describe them partially, but never explain. That reassures more than a conscience.

 Time again seems to stop to immortalize what memory deign to offer to the pen. This calm Finally, this serenity, this awareness of the ephemeral and this back to basics are only capable of violating, sometimes the secrets of memory. A memory from which flow images so distant, sometimes so unreal and that lead me to ask myself the question: have I crossed everything? What abyss? What chasm between this desert indescribable of the Hamada du Draa where I kept, more than 30 years ago, proudly goats, market kilometres to go to the school to me hamid, stayed under the tent, played, barefoot on the hot sand,…, and this office 10th floor Tower ITU (International Telecommunication Union) in Geneva where comes to mind this beautiful reflection of Malraux : "A life is worth nothing, but nothing beats a life!". I would add that a life is first meetings; meetings with events and spaces, involving sublime and others which are less. All governed by guided chance, certainly, by a necessity! At the end of any adventure, any evasion, is the time of the reflections that lead eventually all evidence as no more a human that an elementary particle of matter is master of his fate. What admission! Equivalent to a particle without memory man, undergoing random assaults and meetings. "After all there is death", said, quite rightly, an old proverb nomadic prompting us to live more calmly our little life, this wonderful moment in eternity…

            I think my friends from childhood, Yahya El Wali, Mansour, Mneicir, Brahim Ould Ahmed Baba, Mohammed Ould El Mustapha, El Mahjoub Ould M'Barek, and others, to my brother Abbas of course… And the primary school to me hamid: those moments stolen from the company of goats with which I learned the essential during these years. Goats are very mobile and undisciplined, I learned with them freedom and indiscipline.

            I think these beings that I more than Crusaders and who have disappeared since. Moulay little, this sublime face releasing the nobility, father of the ingenious system of distribution of parcels and mail between the inhabitants of the Draa and their relatives in Casablanca, and that tipped over with his truck in a ravine of the Lord Atlas in 1976. His system naturally has not survived it. Mokhtar Ould Abderrahmane, reminded, in full glory, by destiny in an another ravine of the inhospitable Atlas a certain month of September 1972. My cousin Mohammed Larbi, this big fellow with a black beard and eternal smile, only gallantry and generosity have pushed, one day in fall 1964, to climb a Palm Diane smooth to snatch a few dried fins at the top to offer to a young Bedouin, Faitem, in fire for leather short bread. Under his gaze, wonderful body rocking and crashed on the ground clay and dry. He continued to smile a few hours before going off in the middle of the shrill cries of women who mourned the disappearance of an Angel. To comfort his sister Tamouna collapsed, he even managed to utter the famous phrase from his father Sidi Mohammed, murdered 35 years rather: "Let life be short if it was beautiful!". Tamouna, what fate! What woman to the single first name, continued to live with detachment, perpetuating in dignity, the memory of these two exceptional men, his father, the Lord of the desert and his brother Angel from me hamid, a friend of everyone: nomads, Berbers, Drawa and Jews of the Ksar me Hall where he spent most of his time. Khalti Fatma and Ma Lalla saintes, holding that there are beautiful, pure and simple in this civilization of the South of Morocco ignored but still remaining. Until when?

            This light spouting regularly from the darkness of my memory of child 3 years, with my mother – God bless her soul – giving me a second time life after a scorpion bite. This maternal love, with the help of the Almighty, had the last word allowing me, since, to support or to avoid other stings, to discover so many things, to enjoy the life with a sense of detachment telling me that, anyway, since that day everything that happens to me is one more unexpected, including these lines. A few months after this second birth suddenly disappeared Lehjeila, my mother, at the age of 34. And puzzles supplied legends in your regard, my small Partridge, Lehjeila. More than 30 years after your death, the memory of the brief existence of a female light, Uncategorized, scored an entire region extending north from Mauritania to the South of Morocco in the Hamada du Draa. Still, the stories of old nomads, between two glasses of tea in the shade of an acacia tree render details sublime of the life of this young Bedouin, born somewhere in the South of the Oued Draa at the end of the 1920s, who has lived his childhood in the region of Smara, stronghold of the great nomadic tribe of the R families ' guibat , and acquired knowledge, until there reserved to men, in the wake of the great scholars of the time such as Sidi Mohamed and Konti, Sid Ahmed Elbakkai, Sheikh Malaanaine,…  These scholars drove famous nomadic universities, pole know and knowledge in the Sahara. By tolerating the presence of "small Partridge with big eyes" in the ranks of their male disciples, they allowed, unwittingly, the sudden emergence of this young woman in their closed circle. Having mastered the basic knowledge of Quranic education provided to all nomadic children, girls and boys between 5 and 10 years, Lehjeila, with the endorsement and the complicity of his father Sheikh Hammadi Ouled Abdulai, continued to expand his knowledge from other disciplines such as Arabic poetry and medicine. At the age of about 16 years, "Small Partridge" separated from his male comrades in control of religious knowledge "AL Fiqh" and received from Smara scholars permission to teach the Koran to small and to explain it to the great. It is his first victory. When Sidi Mohamed El Konti spoke to her: "Lehjeila, this area is too narrow for the knowledge that you have acquired. 'Ll distribute it elsewhere", he does not measured the impact of this phenomenon on the Hamada du Draa and the peaceful Palm of me hamid during, alas, a brief existence… It was also called "Chaira", the poet, because of its ability to respond spontaneously in poems. His knowledge of Arabic medicine, thanks to a personal effort of reading and research on the plants of the desert, allowed him to treat many people and even practicing surgical operations, without anesthesia of course, on the eyes. It is difficult to speak of that which at the time was Fqiha, Chaira and t. At the end of the year 1959, never me hamid had seen as many world, coming from the southern part of the Draa, converge on the mausoleum of Sidi Khalil, to accompany that founded the first Koranic school to me hamid, outclassed the men and illuminated by his knowledge and beauty, an entire region.  It is part but it is everywhere.  His connection, the teologue Si Ahmed El Asmi summarized his impression, the tears in his eyes: your mother is a sign of the signs of God, Ayatoun Min Aimen Allahi.

            And what about my father's sublime face, the piercing and healthy look, incisive and always well placed replica… Mohamed Sheikh is part of this race of Lords of the desert endangered. Please open another chapter to pay him tribute.

"Grab these moments that offers life, thats all that belongs to you!" AS 20.11.99

            What harmony, what peace and happiness when you set its verticality, i.e. dealing with God, the creator. Our horizontal relationship with our fellow then settle them even, conflicts and agitation fade in an unchangeable order. Why man, finally, is so important on this earth, while mastery, in reality, few things?

  My window on the 10th floor of the ITU Tower, in this month of November, I see the place of Nations obviously with the massive Palace of the Nations (UN), before which stands a huge Chair disability foot, symbol of the fight against anti-personnel mines. My left the blue building sky of WIPO, Geneva architectural pride, barely hides the Intercontinental hotel. Opposite Lake Geneva, today greenish and slightly agitated, harmoniously cutting colors fall, yellow – pale, both banks Swiss and French. Two flags are buzzing on the new building of the WMO, elliptical-shaped, while the Monbrillant building, freshly opened, cut this beautiful harmony of shapes and colors. What a mess! While my gaze caresses the discrete waves from Geneva, my thought through another path, that of memory, a memory from which flow images, sublime faces, sounds, scents,…, and especially this timelessness of the desert. Yes the desert which was passed on to me that I can't describe, I'm can be in any case which helps me take the ephemeral to project themselves into the Lord. As the wind from erasing our footsteps and sand burning the image of the desert in our memories. Those who spent more than two nights, walked to the harmonious rhythm of a camel, listened the magic whistle of the tamarisk trees between two glasses of tea, well seize the meaning of these words.

  Frankfurt January 5, 2001 at 21:40 on the Lufthansa plane:

 What happiness, what peace and what serenity again, allowing the memory of spring and mind to express both emotions more or less contained until now…

 I take this stopover of a few hours, to Frankfurt, coming from Casa and going to Geneva, to immortalize feelings that traverse me the spirit for several weeks. Intersection of reflections on life, of course, but also specific memories gushing from my memory, with filigree this research, still paltry, review or establish benchmarks by also virtual, giving a meaning to a life whose most escapes us, and cause. That is to say the difficulty of the task, when well even the detachment which seems to win me sometimes gives more clarity to my ideas and can be more objectivity. Regardless, it seems to me that this is the moment to lend themselves to this confrontation without detour, no fear of confusion and even fewer cultural dependence in the narrow sense of the term. Once again it is in the desert that my mind draws an inspiration that makes it tender to this universality, if inconspicuous elsewhere, where the man is bare facing himself, facing this environment both hostile and friendly – as it takes we complicate or cheating – luxury and the universe, cosmic unpretentious course. I feel that my body turns into camel for the market, while my mind is crossed by sublime images in connection with people who crossed him before me, chansonnant often: "La Ilaha Illa Allah", "there is no God but God", confining the man in his ephemeral passage on this earth and conjunction of the creator, the Lord. "The desert mark us, but we do not mark", résumais I my thinking, in the shade of a tamarisk and taking a delicious tea nomadic, referring to our traces that fade as soon as the first came wind then that something indescribable brand who asked her perspective on this desert.

  Not I am not talking about the exotic desert or elsewhere to describe, and even less to attract people in search of sensational to sublime spaces I want to be protected from the devastating tourism. Not my approach is elsewhere, it is this indescribable happiness, to project myself into a timelessness in the company of beings sublime who are the emanation of this nomadic lifestyle, endangered. I am thinking, of course, Lehjeila Ment Hammadi Ould Abdulai, Aisha Ment El Wali, Hammadi Ould Abdulai, Hmaidana, Ba Alla and others that this sand has buried peacefully several years ago and who have joined their creator leaving us memories and bright stories on the eternal ephemeral…

  •   GENEVA MARCH 28, 2000, 3:45 PM

My thoughts go now to the sublime Iraq. The book of Jean-Marie Benjamin, "The Iraq, the Apocalypse", which I'm currently reading upset me. We learn how it has organized the loosest of genocide of humanity. How, indeed, under the pretext of international law it watered this country by thousands of tons of Depleted Uranium – equivalent, according to experts, 6 bombs of Hiroshima – during the war of the Gulf of course, but more serious, this operation of destruction continues, with impunity today. What martyr country this Iraq. But this Iraq is indomitable while plotting his enemies. This country gave human civilization three pillars: agriculture, Scripture and law were all invented by the homos Mesopotamian. Sublime country, country cursed. How sad to see private Iraqis for nearly more than ten years, minimum conditions so that a society can function. The health system, which was one of the most developed of the Middle East, has collapsed, causing one of the highest rates of child mortality on the planet. Iraqi hospitals, jewels of the civil development of Iraq in the 1980s, it turned into real jails, with sinister decor, a suffocating odor, without any comfort where Iraqi women very worthy, accompany their children to their last breath. Often without tears, without shouting, without wailing, with this accusatory look towards an international community complicit by its silence and its cowardice. What sacrilege to see indeed the country which offered to human civilization, in its dawn, under Hammou Rabi, the first Treaty of law governing a human society, see dictate the arbitrariness of the resolutions of a Board's security completely manipulated by the single superpower to perpetuate the most cowardly of crimes: destroy a whole country under the embargo.

  • TVG LAUSANNE – PARIS: 27.8.2000 at 7:20 pm: 

I left Lausanne to Paris aboard the TGV to the romantic name, heart line. I'm going on mission to Paris for a few days for a SAP, my specialty to the ITU forum in Geneva. Travel by train always give me a sense of peace, barely disturbed by some travellers jostling. Seeking its place, who tries to put her suitcase in a corner or who continues to blow after the sprint for the last minutes. From my window I admire the sunset of August, razing the Jura and projecting a golden yellow on the beautiful Swiss countryside. The regular speed of TGV strangely stimulates a virtual journey through my memory and ignited the sublime moments, faces, landscapes, meetings and reflections. All bathing in indescribable serenity and detachment. It is 19 h 50, we are preparing to cross the border Switzerland-France at Vallorbe. 8:15 p.m., stop at Frasne, a small town of incredible sadness, three minutes to stop appeared me to be long. Regardless, the hostess comes to announce that the TGV leaving Frasne and the bar of the TGV is finally open. This bar where we serve sandwiches, without flavour or taste, moreover, at very expensive prices. Just this open bar, masos are scrambling in a compact and very polished tail also. It goes without saying that I preferred to sit comfortably on my chair and continue my virtual trip… Comes first this week stay in Cyprus where I discovered for the first time this island very rich past, the painful present, following the tearing of 1974, and the uncertain future as is that of the nearby Middle East.  As in all my travels I keep in my memory especially the kindness, the smile of the people, punctuated by a discreet pride Recalling the independence of the island from its neighbours. 20 h 45, stop at Mouchard, funny name (!) anyway, given to this town. Either. From cookie, our TVG line heart seems to roll, as its name suggests, finally at a brisk pace. Dole, Dijon, which always reminds me of the mustard sauce. 23 h 20, arrival at Paris Gare de Lyon. Night at the hotel Paris-Lyon-Bastille, rue Parrot.  My stay is planned here for 5 nights. I love this Lyon-Bastille neighborhood known for its good restaurants and a direct access to the other corners of Paris and suburbs. 8:30, breakfast at the hotel and departure, via the RER A towards Val de Fontenay to my forum. After a day, back in Paris at the hotel, shower and prayer. Fast reading of newspapers, Libe, including Le Monde. The event of the day or the weekend is of course the likely resignation of Jean-Pierre Chevènement, Minister of the Interior of the Jospin government. This atypical politician, champion of Republican virtue, always distinguished by his outspokenness and its independent positions reflecting a great intellectual probity and integrity rare among politicians. Interesting this case Chevènement who bother but never indifferent. "A Minister it closed its mouth or it resigns", let it go after a Council of Ministers chaired by Mitterrand, in 1991. This miracle of the Republic, who returned from a trip to the afterlife, after 8 days in a deep coma in September 98, following anesthesia for a benign operation. Its most courageous position it was about the shameful Gulf war that the Americans have led against the Iraq. Chevenement, then Minister of defence of François Mitterrand, refused to endorse this war…  The story is trying to prove him right.

  • September 2, 2000: TGV Paris-Lausanne

Sitting in the No. 11 car, place no. 25, I see again my small in Paris last week and I enjoyed two pleasures: do not live in Paris and undergo this permanent stress which reads on the faces of the people, and to return from time to time to make short stays as it is, all the same an interesting town. I was able to enjoy my free hours in roaming at the edge of the seine, the latin quarter and the District of the nearby my hotel Bastille. I enjoyed the rue de la Roquette and its lively pubs and especially the multitude of bookstores in theme with the latin quarter which more is, open late at night. Although his stay was not cultural, I could not help but visit the IMA (Arab World Institute), one of the best works of the era Mitterand. There's everything on the Arab world. Public access computers allow easy searching for books and references. So, I could see a list of 217 articles on Western Sahara.

  • The desert, Iriqui, December 2002

Sand bed and the sky starred as roof. What a privilege! But what cold also.

I rarely even admired cluster Amit (the Pleiades), pursued by El Mechbouh (East), until dawn. It does the overtake, it, seems that at the end of the world, according to a nomadic tale!

Reassuring, given the gap almost constant, on for thousands of years between the two constellations!

During this long night, the milky way warmed us the pupils, reminding us that our beautiful planet is only a speck of dust in the universe and that its brief history, is only a moment in the absolute. The big and little Dipper playing around the polar clock, fixed, invariably indicate North, in the middle of constellations operating harmoniously in a magic show, observed closely by Caciopee W-shaped.

Echentouf, a beautiful bouquet of dunes in the middle of the part of the Hamada du Draa, just before arriving at the dried Lake Iriqui. Echentouf, means "Mane", and refers to this place because of the resemblance, by far, branches of tamaris atop the dunes, with a beautiful "horse mane". The North, one can see an ocean of sand, the beautiful waves starting at the El Abeidlya dunes and ending at El Alem (dune witness!). El Hadj Ahmed, the last dune isolated before the plain of Iriqui, and tamaris Atlat Abainouche, on behalf of a nomadic, peacefully buried heroine at the foot of this magical tree, close to the West, this space of erg. A poem to the memory of Abainouche, is still flowing tears at the few nomadic knowing the history and geography of this region, entitled: "here was buried with Abainouche tenderness. Simply! To meditate when we see free rally ransacked in this region…

  • Journal_23_10_2004

This Saturday, 9th day of the Holy Ramadan, I finally open this log to is transcribe that inspire me true things, more or less contained emotions, is mix the sublime and the common, the anecdotal and the deep, futile and essentially… I hume life as a lightweight, elusive scent, where the unexpected supplants, often, the planned, to give a sense to an evolution which escapes us, ultimately, and for good reason!

After a sports morning, Askesis pool and football at Dorigny, sublime it is still the company's daughter Lehjeila late afternoon in the city. Passage in halal slaughter, for the purchase of meat for the Ramadan meal. My daughter Princess, offered me a dessert that she prepare herself for breaking the fast. I cracked, naturally.

Here I am on the couch, after breaking the fast and prayer of Maghrib… A glance at the news: CNN, Euro News, TSR… The US election on November 2 have pride in all newscasts. Each is in his analysis and his prognostications. Never a presidential election in the US was as important, so spending, so many passions both inside and outside USA. G. W. Bush, out, will face Democratic Senator John Kerry, with filigree in the quasi planetary direction of this unique superpower. G. W. Bush, the Republican, with two wars, two invasions, Afghanistan first in November 2001, following the September 11 attacks, and Iraq, in April 2003, to set an old quasi family account, and commit the biggest heist of all time: get their hands on Iraqi oil and subdue the country strategic in the chessboard of the Middle East. The Commander in Chief of this crusade against evil, as he likes to be, wants to eradicate terrorism at its source, the champion of preventive war: attack them before they attack us, found finally a simple arguments, not to say simplistic, for having membership of the majority of its citizens earned, since 11 September, by a quasi irresitible impetus to do battle with terrorism… Islamic.

It does not advance from the certainties, but through the dynamics of doubt, I could blow advisers to George w. Bush

  • January 2003: Sahara

I rarely felt as much desert and as many market (more than 200 kms). It is true that accompany the camel no listening to Brahim chansonner, this is not a pleasure, is a joy. What a trip in the past in fact… Through this desert, I often thought about these beings sublime which travelled it, there were chansonné, may be the same songs and poems from the desert, have enjoyed this same fire at the foot of a dune, felt this quiet lying on the sand soft after a long walk and admired the night sky so close there want to fondle the stars. By browsing these mythical places as Sidi Naji, Zmaila, Ez-Zahar, Lehreichat, Khbeitet El faa, Bou Twil, Lourein, Ma'amir, Oum Tobgane, El Alem, Lemdeibeh, Echentouf, and so on… These remains tell us, with an amazing clarity, one of the most beautiful pages of the nomadic activity in this region… How can you resist the memory of these nomadic families who lived in this desert, once prosperous until the end of the sixties, and which is today almost depopulated, except when a caravan of tourists spent, overwhelmed by the beauty and variety of landscapes while ignoring history and the richness of nomadic life.  Hammadi Ould Abdul Rahman, to him alone constituted a library of this civilization which, first, understood the limits of human control and conquer and that its ephemeral passage on this land allows him to just touch on a few mysteries and suffer, whatever it does and what it claims, the will of the creator. Yes this library has vanished peacefully, elongated shadow smooth a tamarisk in the arms of his daughter Fatma weeping and happy, at the bottom of itself, that his father had just accomplish the El Asr prayer. What beautiful epilogue and what loss about nomadic! In walking alone at night, I often thought about the stories and sublime legends that told me my grandmother El Kawriya, around a fire at Sidi Ahmed Er Rajput, the great saint venerated of the Reguibat on husband Hammadi Ould Addou the polyglot tribe since he mastered almost all dialects of the Sahara, from the Berber of Ait Atta in the South of the Morocco , to the Kawri of the black tribes of Sub-Saharan dialect, passing through Mauritania Hassaniya Arabic dialect. Of course that said masters said dialects mastery of traditions and subtle customs of these ethnic groups. El kawriya often spoke of his courage to the broad and Warrior of the term sense, her piety and rigour religious, a nomadic, desert plant life encyclopedic knowledge of medicine for emergency nursing the wounded, women or camels distressed birth, with a specialization in orthopedics on humans and camels with means to the image of the austerity of the desert. But in the desert I often found that the efficiency is inversely proportional to the means available. Knowledge is more important that might have it, say, and for good reason.


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