M'Zab Valley (1982)

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A traditional human habitat, created in the 10th century by the Ibadites around their five ksour (fortified cities), has been preserved intact in the M'Zab valley. Simple, functional and perfectly adapted to the environment, the architecture of M'Zab was designed for community living, while respecting the structure of the family. It is a source of inspiration for today's urban planners. 

Algeria 1984. Map of M'Zab Valley. Algeria 1984. Town of M'Zab. Algeria 2003. Well at M'zab. Issued for the International Year of Water.

Out of 300,000 green date palms, in a 10 km long valley, peaks 5 small cities. And each of these cities house people belonging to the Mozabites, a group known for puritanism, for homes without chairs and tables, and for high skills in trading. The puritanism still holds on, and you will discover this from the dresses of the people here as well as the surroundings. This is due to more than traditions. The French left the Mozabites more or less to their own, because they didn't participate in the struggle against the colonialists. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Algeria (on this website). Eventually refer to the UNESCO-listing, Algeria-section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 20 jul 2006  
Copyright © 1999-2007 Ann Mette Heindorff 
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