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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oualata, Ancient Town and Trading Center

Located in the southern and western fringes of the Sahara Desert in southeastern MAURITANIA, the ancient oasis town and trading center of Oualâta (Oualata, or Walatah) is still considered a center of Islamic academic and intellectual enlightenment. Some stone buildings with red loam-covered walls feature ornate, symbolic designs and painted symbols. Oualata is part of the Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata UNESCO World Heritage Site, designating the ksars (ksours) of the Chinguetti, Ouadane, Oualata, and Tichitt communities as important cultural sites. As mentioned in my Aït Ben Haddou (Morocco) post, ksars or ksours are fortified medieval towns featuring castle-like buildings. The current population of Oualata is about 12,700. Residents live about 200 kilometers northwest of Mali and southeast of the Dhar Oualâta (Oualâta Escarpment).

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