Photographer's Note

The previous version was after decreasing so unsharp unlike the original. New crop, brightnes, contrast, color balance adjustment and re-sharpened.

The first Sun rays touch the ruins of Ait Ben Haddou and leave behind the dreams of illumination by torches, armed worriors, shiny armors, horses and camels, slaves, gold, beautiful women,... That was Aid Ben Haddou at least during the time when the famous movie Gladiator was in making here. Today all the shine disappeared, the old fortified city fell asleep again, trees, palms and other vegetaion keeps silently dismantling the years ago proud towers and gates made out of clay and mud. Although it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the erosion is uncompromising and obviously only insufficient funding is available to save this wonderful historical site. And the local keepers ? They lack on fantasy and do not organize any events, which would attract more and more turists to spend more and more money in order to save this fantastic monument. The personal interests and pockets are to be seen here. Guides cash for taking turists to the top of the hill, local travel agencies keep bringing thousands of turists just to see the monument, take their pictures and continue in hurry for another site. The main gates are blocked by ugly brick walls and behind them ? Behind them, inside the walls, local people do care about their tiny fields, perhaps bringing them some small crop, however damaging much more the historical monument. Even inside of the castle lives a local family, breeds there goats and cashes 10 Dirham into their pockets from each turist, who is brought by the guide to see the way they live. If there would not be any other "Gladiator" or the mankind would not find funding for restorations, not even talking about the local government, the next generations would find here just a heap of rubbish. And that would be a big loss.

© 2009 - All rights reserved. The photos taken by Michael Trezzi are registered and copyrighted. Use in any form (web, paper publication, public exposure, etc.) is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the photographer. To contact the Author please use the „Contact Me“ link on his TrekEarth Intro page.

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Additional Photos by Michael Trezzi (MichaelTrezzi) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 332 W: 10 N: 534] (3374)
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