THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR

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Mauritanian railway stretches all along the Western Sahara border connecting the port of Nouadhibou with the mining town of Zouerat. It is Mauritania's economical artery, and a relic of its colonial past. Built in the 60's by the French and taken over by SNIM (National mining and industrial company) in 1974, the railway has been operating for almost half a century, tirelessly transporting iron ore and, as there are no road connections between the two cities, people, travelling from Nouadhibou to Zouerat and back. At a length of 2.5 km, it is also said to be one of the longest trains in the world. For a group of Mauritanian men, transporting food products and sheep is their full-time job. They travel between the mines and the port several times a week, enduring a rough 16-hour long journey through sandstorms, extremely hot days and freezing cold nights.

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