Arts, Culture & Media

Nomads Of The Sahara

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Tuareg rebels encounter one of their nomadic kinsmen. (Photo: © Brent Stirton/National Geographic)

The Geo Quiz takes us to North Africa. Usually, we ask you to name a place but this time our focus is a people. They are nomads who roam the deserts of North Africa.

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In fact, some call them the Blue Men of the Sahara Desert: The description comes from, they traditionally wear turbans that cover their faces, the blue comes from the indigo used to dye the cloth and that rubs off on their skin, and that is something that's carried down for centuries.

These nomadic desert people aren't confined by international boundaries. They're spread out over parts of several countries, such as Algeria, Niger, Mali and Libya. Up to 10,000 of them fought in support of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. Now, many are fleeing the country.

Do you know what these nomadic people of the Sahara are called?

They are the Tuareg.

Thousands of Tuareg are now fleeing Libya — or have fled already — following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime. Many are heading back to home areas in countries like Niger and Mali.

Peter Gwin visited Tuareg areas this summer and writes about the Sahara's Tuareg in this month's National Geographic.