Ghat and Ghat Festival
|Ghat and the Ghat Festival|
Beautifully located in the south western Fezzan, the mainly Tuareg town of Ghat was probably developed by the Garamantians as a protective outpost of their sphere of interest. It is built just west of the Acacus and not far from the Algerian border in about 1BC. The old town, as many others in Libya, is now mainly empty, the people preferring to live in the government provided new housing nearby. The old town is quite well preserved and hopefully will come under UNESCO protection in the near future. Overlooking the medina is a fort, initially constructed by the Turks and then improved by the Italians.
The majority of the local population is composed of the colourful Tuareg, so unlike many other areas it is possible to see women walking around with uncovered faces.
The Ghat Festival occurs every year and lasts for three days from 29 to 31 December. It attracts Tuaregs from all over Libya and from nearby Algeria and Niger. Few tourists come at this time but any that do are welcome to join in or observe the dancing, singing and musical performances. This is a very colourful and friendly family event.