25 November 2010

Takrouna - in the Sahel region

Takrouna is a small hill top village in the Sahel region which occupied a strategic position in World War II.  Today, it is a quieter albeit a windswept, picturesque place which is made up of a couple of houses, a mosque and a zaouia with a green dome.  "A zaouia (Arabic زاوية "corner"), is a Maghrebi and West African term for an Islamic religious school or monastery.  In precolonial times, these were the primary sources for education in the area, and taught basic literacy to a large proportion of children even in quiet remote mountainous areas."  It is said that zaouias also often function as centres for distribution of funds to the needy. 

An extract from the Tunisia handbook by Justin McGuinness gives a far better and more detailed description of Takrouna and goes on to explain how the people of the village of Takrouna make a living despite the apparent isolation of the village. 

Here are a couple of photographs from this beautiful, windswept village.

 Figure 1:  This photograph of the mosque at Takrouna gives an idea of the elevated position of this village and the flat plains and fields which can be seen in the distance merging with the horizon.

 Figure 2:  Another photograph of the mosque from a different angle.

Figure 3:  The zaouia of Sidi Abdel Kader.  

Figure 4:

Figure 5:
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