The Ahaggaren Tuaregs- The Land Where Men Wear Veils

Somewhere in Algeria dwells the Ahaggaren Tuaregs, whose culture can be seen as strange when you see their men who wear veils almost all the time. The only time we find these men without their veils is when they are travelling or inside their family camps.  The Ahaggaren Tuaregs become popular after Muammar Gaddafi found out that their men were resourceful and determined fighters.

The Tuareg soldiers helped Gaddafi in  fighting his many battles and when he died, they left Libya for Mail, where they started a rebel group called the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (NMLA). Today, the group is fighting for the northern desert region’s independence from Mali.

The economy of the Tuareg revolves around trans-Saharan trade since they move goods to the north from some African cities close to the desert.  The people travel in caravans and deal with luxury items. The Tuaregs are also responsible for trafficking humans from West Africa to other parts of the world.

Despite the wildness of the men, there is a soft side in them. These men are mostly Muslims, who practice a different type of Islam-the Maliki sect of Islam. The sect takes its belief from the El Maghili, who lived in the early 16th century and taught these people.

 Strict adherence to religious requirements is not followed except the daily prayers many make.  Though, some of the religious feasts are celebrated but fasting during Ramadan is not important because the people travel so much. Most men are seen with protective amulets containing some verses from the Holy Koran.

At the age of 25, the Tuareg men are seen wearing veils. The veils are worn in such a way that the entire face is hidden except the eyes. The only time the veil can be removed is when they are with their families. The main reason for the veils is to help them stay safe from the Sahara sands.