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Photographer's Note

This is one of the many half ruined ghorfas of Ksar El Ferch.

Ghorfa means 'room' in Arabic and it can be just that - one can ask for a ghorfa at a guest house or hotel, but it can mean also a small house like this used to store mainly grain, but sometimes other things like straw, olives, or even animals.

In South Tunisia, ksars refer to groups of ghorfas that look like old fortified villages, although they weren't habited by people. Instead, they were granaries of nomad or semi-nomad people that camped near them part of the year. They were fortified to be more easily protected from robbery. Some of them are near or even inside villages or little towns, but others, like this one, are in the middle of nowhere.

With the end of nomadism, much of them are ruined, although in recent years some of them have been partially restored to serve as tourist attractions.

Ksar El Ferch is some Kms North of Tataouine, a relatively important town of Southern Tunisia, whose name can sound familiar to any fan of the Star Wars movie saga, in which there is a planet called Tatooine. Many scenes of those movies were shot in Southern Tunisia and many sceneries are reminiscent of the landscapes and traditional architecture of the region.

More recently I posted another photo of this place (B&W, colour [ws]).

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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