Lahbieb Embarek Ahmed, 47, camel worker, in the desert near the Saharawi refugee camps, Algeria. ‘I have lived with camels and they have lived with me and that’s all I know. The peace process is a good thing. My land is very beautiful but I am like the others; what will happen to them will happen to me. I am with the majority, if they chose war I am with them.’
Azmah Laulad, 18, in Auserd refugee camp, Algeria, with the lights of Tindouf in the background. 'I’ve grown up in Auserd but I don’t like it. I’m making bricks and soon me and my brother will build a shop. We will sell mobile phones because there are not enough phone shops here. It’s a tragedy here, people need to go back [to Western Sahara].’
Ali Salem Salma, 41, statistician for the Saharawi government, watching TV at home with his wife, Nabba, and four year old son, Khadda, in Smara refugee camp, Algeria. 'In 1975 Morocco invaded our cities and the soldiers told us to leave our house. We spent six months traveling to Algeria to the refugee camps and we are still here.’
Chrifa Mohammed Salem, 6, pictured outside her home in Auserd refugee camp, Algeria. 'I go to school and then I come back and play with my sister. It is very hot, I want it to be cold. I want to be a teacher when I grow up. There is no water here.’
So I was tagged by buhguhz in one of those “six selfies” posts, which I wasn’t initially going to take part in until I received a message from someone asking about my Clarks Desert Mali boots, what I thought of them, how well they’ve held up, and so on. This person also asked me if I could post some pictures of them being worn, how they’re holding up with use, etc.
So here are six pictures (not exactly “selfies” since I didn’t take them, but) that show my Clarks in action, well-worn and broken in. I wouldn’t have a chosen a single other pair of shoes to take with me on several months crossing through hundreds of miles of desert and countless caravan towns through multiple countries across North and West Africa. The combination of their classic style (I wear the taupe suede, which is consistent with the original desert boots worn by the British in WWII North Africa), endless comfort, and incredible durability make them my all-time favorite pair of shoes and one of the most versatile, as well.
‘For Independence and Peace - FPolisario [Frente Polisario]’, Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Havana, Cuba, 1979. The Polisario are the main national liberation organization fighting for Western Sahara’s independence from Morocco.