I posted recently about a modern day adventurer's website I had found at www.thisfabtrek.com and I've done some more reading on it. After getting into parts about some African music festivals in 2005 and 2006, I realized that I had read some of these posts before, although not with the familiarity of the author and his story that I have now.
I'm a big fan of this very unique group called Tinariwen, which is a band from the semi-autonimous central desert region of Africa. I won't call it the Sahara because it's much more than that. People cannot now agree on names for the entirity or the parts thereof, but that is the region from which this group hails.
Their fire is based upon the fact they are former revolutionaries for the Tuarag peoples who laid down arms and took up electric instruments and played a merger of their indiginous music and various parts of blues, rock, soul, afropop and a little bit of everything else.
These are not religious fanatics, but instead a people who have had a land and a culture for at least two thousand years, but upon whom civilization and the woes of the modern world are battling. Other nations claiming their land. The search and mining for uranium, which apparently is often found near an oasis or water and the corresponding geo structure, and water being that thing there is not a lot in the desert anyway, well, you can connect the dots.
Global warming, whatever the cause, is increasing the size of the deserts and drought has been near endemic since the 60's and 70's in many parts of this area. The nations that surround and/or claim ownership of the vast central African desert are all in sad shape themselves.
The Tuarag people have continued in their lifestyle under near constant attack for the past several hundred years, first via european colonization then through a multitude of wars, revolts, coups and other unpleasantries. But it is the mega-governments and their public and nationalized corporations that will likely win the battle with the Tuareg.
And yes, Volkswagon has a vehicle called the Tuareg.
Money is apparently rolling in several burgs in places like Liberia, the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone from the chinese and for telecom, but it's not enough to help even the limited area where it is spent much less the entire country.