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   Deserts are part of a wide classification of regions that, on an average annual basis, have a moisture deficit (i.e. they can potentially lose more than is received). Deserts are located where vegetation cover is sparse to almost nonexistent.Deserts take up about one third (33%) of the Earth's land surface. Hot deserts usually have a large diurnal and seasonal temperature range, with high daytime temperatures, and low nighttime temperatures (due to extremely low humidity). In hot deserts the temperature in the daytime can reach 45 °C/113 °F or higher in the summer, and dip to 0 °C/32 °F or lower in the winter. Water acts to trap infrared radiation from both the sun and the ground, and dry desert air is incapable of blocking sunlight during the day or trapping heat during the night. Thus, during daylight most of the sun's heat reaches the ground, and as soon as the sun sets the desert cools quickly by radiating its heat into space. Urban areas in deserts lack large (more than 14 °C/25 °F) daily temperature variations, partially due to the urban heat island effect. Many deserts are formed by rain shadows; mountains blocking the path of precipitation to the desert (on the lee side of the mountain). Deserts are often composed of sand and rocky surfaces. Sand dunes called ergs and stony surfaces called hamada surfaces compose a minority of desert surfaces. Exposures of rocky terrain are typical, and reflect minimal soil development and sparseness of vegetation. The soil is rocky because of the low chemical weathering. Bottomlands may be salt-covered flats. Eolian processes are major factors in shaping desert landscapes.  The largest hot desert is the Sahara in northern Africa,

The Sahara Desert covers over 3.5 million square miles and has only 2.5 million inhabitants - roughly 1 person per square mile (0.4 sq km)- which is one of the lowest population densities on earth. Wherever abundant food and water sources occur, one will find relatively large masses of people and wildlife. On the whole, the Sahara is one of the harshest environments known to man.

Many researchers have gone into the Sahara looking for clues as to how long ago humans began inhabiting the desert. According to archeologists, the Sahara was much more densely populated thousands of years ago when the desert's climate was not as harsh as it is today. Fossils, rock art, stone artifacts, bone harpoons, shells and many other items have been found in areas which today are considered too hot and dry to inhabit. This suggests that these areas were quite habitable thousands of years ago, but that the climate of the Sahara has since changed drastically. The artifacts found were located near remains of giraffe, elephant, buffalo, antelopes, rhinoceros, and warthog, as well as the remains of fish, crocodiles, hippopotamuses and other aquatic animals which suggests that thousands of years ago water was quite abundant in the Sahara.

The majority of the people living in the Sahara Desert are nomads, which means that these people continuously move from region to region in search of better living conditions. It is believed that the first nomadic peoples came to this region after domestic animals were introduced to the Sahara 7,000 years ago. Researchers believe that sheep and goats were introduced to the Sahara region by the Caspain culture of northern Africa.

Evidence suggests that the Sahara accumulated diverse groups which quickly formed dense populations throughout the region. The majority of the groups lived separately, but depended on each other for trade. External trade developed gradually and the mobility of the nomads certainly contributed to the growing success of trade with other countries and continents. For example, Mauritania contained valuable copper resources and as a result, this copper was traded to the Bronze Age Civilizations of the Mediterranean .


the peopple of the desert :

1- Traditional Bedouin cultures :

A widely quoted Bedouin saying is "Me against my brother, My brothers and I against my cousins, then my cousins and I against strangers". This saying signifies a hierarchy of loyalties based on closeness of kinship that runs from the nuclear family through the lineage, the tribe, and even, in principle at least, to an entire ethnic or linguistic group (which is perceived to have a kinship basis). Disputes are settled, interests are pursued, and justice and order are maintained by means of this organizational framework, according to an ethic of self-help and collective responsibility (Andersen 14). The individual family unit (known as a tent or bayt) typically consisted of three or four adults (a married couple plus siblings or parents) and any number of children.

When resources were plentiful, several tents would travel together as a goum. These groups were sometimes linked by patriarchal lineage, but were just as likely linked by marriage (new wives were especially likely to have male relatives join them), acquaintance or even no clearly defined relation but a simple shared membership in the tribe.

The next scale of interactions inside tribal groups was the ibn 'amm (cousin) or descent group, commonly of three to five generations. These were often linked to goums, but where a goum would generally consist of people all with the same herd type, descent groups were frequently split up over several economic activities, thus allowing a degree of 'risk management'; should one group of members of a descent group suffer economically, the other members of the descent group would be able to support them. Whilst the phrase "descent group" suggests purely a lineage-based arrangement, in reality these groups were fluid and adapted their genealogies to take in new members.

The largest scale of tribal interactions is of course the tribe as a whole, led by a Sheikh (Arabic: شيخ, literally, "elder"). The tribe often claims descent from one common ancestor—as mentioned above. This appears patrimonial but in reality new groups could have genealogies invented to tie them in to this ancestor. The tribal level is the level that mediated between the Bedouin and the outside governments and organizations.

Bedouins traditionally had strong honor codes, and traditional systems of justice dispensation in Bedouin society typically revolved around such codes. The bisha'a, or ordeal by fire, is a well-known Bedouin practice of lie detection. See also: Honor codes of the Bedouin,

Bedouin systems of justice

Bedouins are well known for practicing
folk music, folk dance and folk poetry.

2- Berbere People :

Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are discontinuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke various Berber languages, which together form a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Today many of them speak Darija and also French in the Maghreb, due to the French colonization of the Maghreb, and especially Spanish in Morocco. Today most Berber-speaking people live in Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.

Many Berbers call themselves some variant of the word Imazighen (singular: Amazigh), possibly meaning "free people" or "free and noble men (the word has probably an ancient parallel in the Roman name for some of the Berbers, "Mazices").

The best known of the ancient Berbers were the Roman author Apuleius, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and the Roman general Lusius Quietus, who was instrumental in defeating the major Jewish revolt of 115–117. Famous Berbers of the Middle Ages included Tariq ibn Ziyad, a general who conquered Hispania; Abbas Ibn Firnas, a prolific inventor and early pioneer in aviation; Ibn Battuta, a medieval explorer who traveled the longest known distances in pre-modern times; and Estevanico, an early explorer of the Americas. Well-known modern Berbers include Zinedine Zidane, a French-born international football star .



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