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In Pictures
Mali refugees' 'Most Important Things'
Documenting refugees and their most-cherished items taken with them when they fled their homes.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013 12:17
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Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - The Most Important Thing is a photo documentary that reveals, through words and pictures, the heart-wrenching decisions a family has to make when they decide to flee their home.

In the run-up to the UNHCR's World Refugee Day on June 20, photographer Brian Sokol visited Malians who had fled fighting in the north of their country to take refuge in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

The project, now in its third installment, asks refugees from different geographic and cultural settings what they brought with them when they were forced to leave. The idea is simple: ask people to pose for a portrait with the single most valuable object that they carried, and ask them why they chose that one thing. While the photographs may reveal a fair amount about the subjects, it is their words - their stories - that share far more.

The project began with Sudanese refugees, for whom the most important things were primarily objects to keep them alive during their long, difficult journey: a pot, an axe, a water jug, a basket. In the second chapter, Syrian refugees carried objects that were largely sentimental: an old ring, a torn photograph, the key to a door that may no longer exist.

Among refugees from Mali, the objects most prized were largely to do with cultural identity. Having left their homes behind, they spoke of how these objects helped them to still feel part of their people, despite having been forced to flee. 


Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Aboubacar Ag Ahmadou, 45, right, with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Aboubacar fled Mali with his wife and two children on a donkey cart, taking with them a single goat. He says that apart from the clothes he was wearing and a little money, the goat was the one thing he could not leave behind. "The goat brings me hope, joy and a sense that things can change for the better," he said.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Agade Ag Mohammed, 71, inside his shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agade and his family fled, trekking through the desert for four days to Burkina Faso after some of their relatives were kidnapped and later killed. His family rode on camels and donkeys and he walked. The most important thing he brought with him was his walking stick he made himself, which supported him during the treacherous journey.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Mamma Wallet Bona, 40, centre, and her children, inside their shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agadea's wife Mamma brought the family tea set, which she uses throughout the day. "The life of the Tuareg is tea," she says. She says tea gives her family energy, and is an important tradition of her ancestors.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Lalazaina Sherifa Haidara, 80, with her family inside their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Lalazaina and her family quickly fled when the military began searching nearby neighbourhood homes for rebels. The most important thing for Lalazaina was the hijab she received as a gift from her best friend. It gives her hope that peaceful and normal days will return to her land.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Omar al-Bashir, 65, with his children in a partially constructed shelter near the one in which they live in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. After the Malian Army lost the war in Gao in early 2012, there were rumours the retreating army was ransacking Touareg villages to take revenge. Omar and his family decided to flee. The most important thing he brought is his digital watch. "The respect for time," he says, "makes me good at what I do, and therefore a respected leader."



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Waribidad Wallet Ayuba with her three granddaughters outside their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Waribidad and her family fled after an attack on her village. The most important thing that Waribidad brought with her is a metal chest. She would not reveal its exact contents, but said it contains the essentials for ceremonies - especially weddings. She keeps the box locked, and wears the key tied to her bandana.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Homaia Ag Bara, 60, front-centre, with his family near their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Homaia and his family fled after two of his brothers were killed. "In Mali, I saw too many innocent people being killed," he says.†The most important things he brought are the two donkeys that carried his seven children to safety on their 10-day trip across the desert.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Abdou Ag Moussa, 34, poses with his family outside of their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Abdou's family fled after his mother and four other women were kidnapped and shot. He returned to bury his mother a few days later. The most important object that Abdou brought was this motorcycle. After burying his mother, Abdou put his wife and children into a car and he and his father followed on the motorcycle, which he says saved their lives.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Matata Wallet Ali, 37, and her child in their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Matata and her family fled Mali before a massive anti-Tuareg demonstration in 2012 where two of her cousins were killed. Her departure was so sudden that, apart from water to drink, she says the most important thing she brought was her family.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Habib Ag Mohamed, 48, and three-year-old son Hama outside their family's shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. The most important thing Habib brought with him is his traditional Touareg turban. "The turban is my 'guardian' - it protects my identity and my faith. Without it, I would feel vulnerable." The turban also protected him from the wind and sand during his escape from Mali.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Mariam Diallo, 55, centre, poses with her daughter and granddaughter outside of their family's shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Mariam and her family were nomadic shepherds of Peul ethnicity. Mariam loves the traditional jewellery worn by women who belong to her ethnic group, and feared wearing jewellery in Mali. The most important thing she brought with her is a pair of earrings. After living in fear and unable to wear traditional dress, jewellery symbolises her freedom.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Doud Ag Ahmidou, 45, left, poses for a portrait with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Doud left Mali after he heard bombings in a nearby village, followed by militia who came to kill the survivors. The most important thing Doud took on his trip was a Tuareg pillow, made from traditional Tuareg fabric, that he says gives a direct connection with his ancestors, his traditions - and a sense of comfort.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Dula Ag Anaglif, 36, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Dula says when his brother was nearly shot and killed by rebels, they decided to leave. Their plastic carpets were the most important items they brought. During their three-day journey they slept on them and used them for protection from the intense sun. Today the carpets cover the floor of their shelter where they spend time thinking of home.



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Hadeisha, 19, with her niece near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp. Hadeisha fled with her extended family when a strict version of Sharia law was imposed. Her husband stayed behind to tend their livestock. She still worries about him, as "he is in a very dangerous zone". The most important object Hadeisha brought was a Tuareg necklace that belonged to her grandmother. She sometimes holds it, hoping it will bring a sort of spiritual protection to her husband.†



Brian Sokol/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Omar Ag Chakude, 41, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. When they heard the Malian army was killing Tuareg people, one Saturday, they took one of the biggest decisions of their lives: they decided to flee. They chose to take their Tuareg tent made from animal skins with them. The tent is a link to their ancestors and to their nomadic lifestyle. Omar couldn't bear to leave it: "I would have felt as if I left my entire life behind."




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captions:

Aboubacar Ag Ahmadou, 45, right, with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Aboubacar fled Mali with his wife and two children on a donkey cart, taking with them a single goat. He says that apart from the clothes he was wearing and a little money, the goat was the one thing he could not leave behind. "The goat brings me hope, joy and a sense that things can change for the better," he said.

;*;

Agade Ag Mohammed, 71, inside his shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agade and his family fled, trekking through the desert for four days to Burkina Faso after some of their relatives were kidnapped and later killed. His family rode on camels and donkeys and he walked. The most important thing he brought with him was his walking stick he made himself, which supported him during the treacherous journey.

;*;

Mamma Wallet Bona, 40, centre, and her children, inside their shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agadea(***)s wife Mamma brought the family tea set, which she uses throughout the day. "The life of the Tuareg is tea," she says. She says tea gives her family energy, and is an important tradition of her ancestors.

;*;

Lalazaina Sherifa Haidara, 80, with her family inside their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Lalazaina and her family quickly fled when the military began searching nearby neighbourhood homes for rebels. The most important thing for Lalazaina was the hijab she received as a gift from her best friend. It gives her hope that peaceful and normal days will return to her land.

;*;

Omar al-Bashir, 65, with his children in a partially constructed shelter near the one in which they live in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. After the Malian Army lost the war in Gao in early 2012, there were rumours the retreating army was ransacking Touareg villages to take revenge. Omar and his family decided to flee. The most important thing he brought is his digital watch. "The respect for time," he says, "makes me good at what I do, and therefore a respected leader."

;*;

Waribidad Wallet Ayuba with her three granddaughters outside their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Waribidad and her family fled after an attack on her village. The most important thing that Waribidad brought with her is a metal chest. She would not reveal its exact contents, but said it contains the essentials for ceremonies - especially weddings. She keeps the box locked, and wears the key tied to her bandana.

;*;

Homaia Ag Bara, 60, front-centre, with his family near their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Homaia and his family fled after two of his brothers were killed. "In Mali, I saw too many innocent people being killed," he says.†The most important things he brought are the two donkeys that carried his seven children to safety on their 10-day trip across the desert.

;*;

Abdou Ag Moussa, 34, poses with his family outside of their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Abdou(***)s family fled after his mother and four other women were kidnapped and shot. He returned to bury his mother a few days later. The most important object that Abdou brought was this motorcycle. After burying his mother, Abdou put his wife and children into a car and he and his father followed on the motorcycle, which he says saved their lives.

;*;

Matata Wallet Ali, 37, and her child in their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Matata and her family fled Mali before a massive anti-Tuareg demonstration in 2012 where two of her cousins were killed. Her departure was so sudden that, apart from water to drink, she says the most important thing she brought was her family.

;*;

Habib Ag Mohamed, 48, and three-year-old son Hama outside their family(***)s shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. The most important thing Habib brought with him is his traditional Touareg turban. "The turban is my (***)guardian(***) - it protects my identity and my faith. Without it, I would feel vulnerable." The turban also protected him from the wind and sand during his escape from Mali.

;*;

Mariam Diallo, 55, centre, poses with her daughter and granddaughter outside of their family(***)s shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Mariam and her family were nomadic shepherds of Peul ethnicity. Mariam loves the traditional jewellery worn by women who belong to her ethnic group, and feared wearing jewellery in Mali. The most important thing she brought with her is a pair of earrings. After living in fear and unable to wear traditional dress, jewellery symbolises her freedom.

;*;

Doud Ag Ahmidou, 45, left, poses for a portrait with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Doud left Mali after he heard bombings in a nearby village, followed by militia who came to kill the survivors. The most important thing Doud took on his trip was a Tuareg pillow, made from traditional Tuareg fabric, that he says gives a direct connection with his ancestors, his traditions - and a sense of comfort.

;*;

Dula Ag Anaglif, 36, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Dula says when his brother was nearly shot and killed by rebels, they decided to leave. Their plastic carpets were the most important items they brought. During their three-day journey they slept on them and used them for protection from the intense sun. Today the carpets cover the floor of their shelter where they spend time thinking of home.

;*;

Hadeisha, 19, with her niece near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp. Hadeisha fled with her extended family when a strict version of Sharia law was imposed. Her husband stayed behind to tend their livestock. She still worries about him, as "he is in a very dangerous zone". The most important object Hadeisha brought was a Tuareg necklace that belonged to her grandmother. She sometimes holds it, hoping it will bring a sort of spiritual protection to her husband.†

;*;

Omar Ag Chakude, 41, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. When they heard the Malian army was killing Tuareg people, one Saturday, they took one of the biggest decisions of their lives: they decided to flee. They chose to take their Tuareg tent made from animal skins with them. The tent is a link to their ancestors and to their nomadic lifestyle. Omar couldn(***)t bear to leave it: "I would have felt as if I left my entire life behind."

Daylife ID:
1371482419402
Photographer:
Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol;*;Brian Sokol
Image Source:
UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;UNHCR/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Mali refugeeshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Mon, 17 Jun 2013 15:20:20 GMTMon, 17 Jun 2013 15:21:19 GMT01.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=01y08uB27Yg62Aboubacar Ag Ahmadou, 45, right, with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Aboubacar fled Mali with his wife and two children on a donkey cart, taking with them a single goat. He says that apart from the clothes he was wearing and a little money, the goat was the one thing he could not leave behind. ‚??The goat brings me hope, joy and a sense that things can change for the better‚?? he said. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=01y08uB27Yg62Brian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAboubacar Ag Ahmadou, 45, right, with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso. Aboubacar fled Mali with his wife and two children on a donkey cart, taking with them a single goat. He says that apart from the clothes he was wearing and a little money, the goat was the one thing he could not leave behind. ‚??The goat brings me hope, joy and a sense that things can change for the better‚?? he said. 01.jpg02.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=01iI9Yu1PC1P8Agade Ag Mohammed, 71, inside his shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agade and his family fled ‚?? trekking through the desert for four days to Burkina Faso - after some of their relatives were kidnapped and later killed. His family rode on camels and donkeys and he walked. The most important thing he brought with him was his walking stick he made himself, which supported him during the treacherous journey. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=01iI9Yu1PC1P8Brian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAgade Ag Mohammed, 71, inside his shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agade and his family fled ‚?? trekking through the desert for four days to Burkina Faso - after some of their relatives were kidnapped and later killed. His family rode on camels and donkeys and he walked. The most important thing he brought with him was his walking stick he made himself, which supported him during the treacherous journey. 02.jpg03.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=08iWgOR9Ah8j2Mamma Wallet Bona, 40, center, and her children, inside their shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agade‚??s wife Mamma brought the family tea set, which she uses throughout the day. ‚??The life of the Tuareg is tea,‚?? she says. She says tea gives her family energy, and is an important tradition of her ancestors. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=08iWgOR9Ah8j2Brian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesMamma Wallet Bona, 40, center, and her children, inside their shelter at Damba refugee camp in Burkina Faso. Agade‚??s wife Mamma brought the family tea set, which she uses throughout the day. ‚??The life of the Tuareg is tea,‚?? she says. She says tea gives her family energy, and is an important tradition of her ancestors. 03.jpg04.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=09Gy19x1H43nsLalazaina Sherifa Haidara, 80, with her family inside their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 13. Lalazaina and her family quickly fled when military began searching nearby neighborhood homes for rebels. The most important thing for Lalazaina was the hijab she received as a gift from her best friend. It gives her hope that peaceful and normal days will return to her land. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=09Gy19x1H43nsBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesLalazaina Sherifa Haidara, 80, with her family inside their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 13. Lalazaina and her family quickly fled when military began searching nearby neighborhood homes for rebels. The most important thing for Lalazaina was the hijab she received as a gift from her best friend. It gives her hope that peaceful and normal days will return to her land. 04.jpg05.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=09up8Fagwj5nPOmar Al Bashir, 65, with his children in a partially constructed shelter near the one in which they live in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 13. After the Malian Army lost the war in Gao in early 2012, there were rumors the retreating army was ransacking Touareg villages to take revenge. Omar and his family decided to flee. The most important thing he brought is his digital watch. ‚??The respect for time‚?? he says, ‚??makes me good at what I do, and therefore a respected leader.‚?? Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=09up8Fagwj5nPBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesOmar Al Bashir, 65, with his children in a partially constructed shelter near the one in which they live in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 13. After the Malian Army lost the war in Gao in early 2012, there were rumors the retreating army was ransacking Touareg villages to take revenge. Omar and his family decided to flee. The most important thing he brought is his digital watch. ‚??The respect for time‚?? he says, ‚??makes me good at what I do, and therefore a respected leader.‚?? 05.jpg06.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=08bocj9bWk8goWaribidad Wallet Ayuba approximately 80, with her three granddaughters outside of their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 14. Waribidad and her family fled after an attack on her village. The most important thing that Waribidad brought with her is a metal chest. She would not reveal its exact contents, but said it contains the essentials for ceremonies - especially weddings. She keeps the box locked, and wears the key tied to her bandana. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=08bocj9bWk8goBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesWaribidad Wallet Ayuba approximately 80, with her three granddaughters outside of their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 14. Waribidad and her family fled after an attack on her village. The most important thing that Waribidad brought with her is a metal chest. She would not reveal its exact contents, but said it contains the essentials for ceremonies - especially weddings. She keeps the box locked, and wears the key tied to her bandana. 06.jpg07.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0fJs81xaang4JHomaia Ag Bara, 60, front-center, poses with his family near their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on 14 March. Homaia and his family fled after two of his brothers were killed. ‚??In Mali, I saw too many innocent people being killed.‚?? The most important thing he brought are the two donkeys which carried his seven children to safety on their ten-day trip across the desert. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0fJs81xaang4JBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesHomaia Ag Bara, 60, front-center, poses with his family near their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on 14 March. Homaia and his family fled after two of his brothers were killed. ‚??In Mali, I saw too many innocent people being killed.‚?? The most important thing he brought are the two donkeys which carried his seven children to safety on their ten-day trip across the desert. 07.jpg08.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0bj6cv249P4BBAbdou Ag Moussa, 34, poses with his family outside of their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. Abdou‚??s family fled after his mother and four other women were kidnapped and shot. He returned to bury his mother a few days later. The most important object that Abdou brought was this motorcycle. After burying his mother, Abdou put his wife and children into a car and he and his father followed on the motorcycle, which he says saved their lives. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0bj6cv249P4BBBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAbdou Ag Moussa, 34, poses with his family outside of their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. Abdou‚??s family fled after his mother and four other women were kidnapped and shot. He returned to bury his mother a few days later. The most important object that Abdou brought was this motorcycle. After burying his mother, Abdou put his wife and children into a car and he and his father followed on the motorcycle, which he says saved their lives. 08.jpg09.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=02JKb1g31I98TMatata Wallet Ali, 37, and her child in their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. Matata and her family fled Mali before a massive anti-Tuareg demonstration in 2012 where two of her cousins were killed. Her departure was so sudden that, apart from water to drink, she says the most important thing she brought was her family. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=02JKb1g31I98TBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesMatata Wallet Ali, 37, and her child in their shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. Matata and her family fled Mali before a massive anti-Tuareg demonstration in 2012 where two of her cousins were killed. Her departure was so sudden that, apart from water to drink, she says the most important thing she brought was her family. 09.jpg10.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=06wd9mibO27nmHabib Ag Mohamed, 48, and 3 year old son Hama outside their family‚??s shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. The most important thing Habib brought with him is his traditional Touareg turban. ‚??The turban is my ‚??guardian‚?? - it protects my identity and my faith. Without it, I would feel vulnerable.‚?? The turban also protected him from the wind and sand during his escape from Mali. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=06wd9mibO27nmBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesHabib Ag Mohamed, 48, and 3 year old son Hama outside their family‚??s shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. The most important thing Habib brought with him is his traditional Touareg turban. ‚??The turban is my ‚??guardian‚?? - it protects my identity and my faith. Without it, I would feel vulnerable.‚?? The turban also protected him from the wind and sand during his escape from Mali. 10.jpg11.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0bOHaKgfcS5MQMariam Diallo, 55, center poses with her daughter and granddaughter outside of their family‚??s shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. Mariam and her family were nomadic shepherds of Peul ethnicity. Mariam loves the traditional jewelry worn by women who belong to her ethnic group, and feared wearing jewelry in Mali. The most important thing she brought with her is a pair of earrings. After living in fear and unable to wear traditional dress, jewelry symbolizes her freedom. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0bOHaKgfcS5MQBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesMariam Diallo, 55, center poses with her daughter and granddaughter outside of their family‚??s shelter in Mentao refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 15. Mariam and her family were nomadic shepherds of Peul ethnicity. Mariam loves the traditional jewelry worn by women who belong to her ethnic group, and feared wearing jewelry in Mali. The most important thing she brought with her is a pair of earrings. After living in fear and unable to wear traditional dress, jewelry symbolizes her freedom. 11.jpg12.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0b8GgKWcPUfHsDoud Ag Ahmidou, 45, left, poses for a portrait with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso on March 10. Doud left Mali after he heard bombings in a nearby village, followed by militias who came to kill the survivors. The most important thing Doud took on his trip was a Tuareg pillow, made from traditional Tuareg fabric, that gives a direct connection with his ancestors and his traditions and a sense of comfort. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0b8GgKWcPUfHsBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesDoud Ag Ahmidou, 45, left, poses for a portrait with his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso on March 10. Doud left Mali after he heard bombings in a nearby village, followed by militias who came to kill the survivors. The most important thing Doud took on his trip was a Tuareg pillow, made from traditional Tuareg fabric, that gives a direct connection with his ancestors and his traditions and a sense of comfort. 12.jpg13.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0aYD0pT4VW6AdDula Ag Anaglif, 36, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 9. Dula says when his brother was nearly shot and killed by rebels, they decided to leave. Their plastic carpets were the most important items they brought. During their three-day journey they slept on them and used them for protection from the intense sun. Today the carpets cover the floor of their shelter where they spend time thinking of home.Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0aYD0pT4VW6AdBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesDula Ag Anaglif, 36, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 9. Dula says when his brother was nearly shot and killed by rebels, they decided to leave. Their plastic carpets were the most important items they brought. During their three-day journey they slept on them and used them for protection from the intense sun. Today the carpets cover the floor of their shelter where they spend time thinking of home.13.jpg14.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0a7y1XS6uv4SLHadeisha, 19, with her niece (name unknown) near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 13. Hadeisha fled with her extended family when a strict version of Sharia law was imposed. Her husband stayed behind to tend their livestock. She still worries about him, as ‚??he is in a very dangerous zone.‚?? The most important object Hadeisha brought was a Tuareg necklace that belonged to her grandmother . She sometimes holds it, hoping it will bring a sort of spiritual protection to her husband. It also brings back memories of her childhood and happier times. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0a7y1XS6uv4SLBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesHadeisha, 19, with her niece (name unknown) near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 13. Hadeisha fled with her extended family when a strict version of Sharia law was imposed. Her husband stayed behind to tend their livestock. She still worries about him, as ‚??he is in a very dangerous zone.‚?? The most important object Hadeisha brought was a Tuareg necklace that belonged to her grandmother . She sometimes holds it, hoping it will bring a sort of spiritual protection to her husband. It also brings back memories of her childhood and happier times. 14.jpg15.jpghttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0esHc8o2Az2kqOmar Ag Chakude, 41, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 9. When they heard the Malian army was killing Tuareg people, one Saturday, they took one of the biggest decisions of their lives: they decided to flee. They chose to take their Touareg tent made from animal skins with them. The tent is a link to their ancestors and to their nomadic lifestyle. Omar couldn‚??t bear to leave it, ‚??I would have felt as if I left my entire life behind.‚?? Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371482419402?image_id=0esHc8o2Az2kqBrian SokolUNHCR/Al JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesOmar Ag Chakude, 41, right, and his family near their shelter in Goudebou refugee camp, Burkina Faso, on March 9. When they heard the Malian army was killing Tuareg people, one Saturday, they took one of the biggest decisions of their lives: they decided to flee. They chose to take their Touareg tent made from animal skins with them. The tent is a link to their ancestors and to their nomadic lifestyle. Omar couldn‚??t bear to leave it, ‚??I would have felt as if I left my entire life behind.‚?? 15.jpg

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