You write what you see and what you hear with tiny letters squeezed together, squeezed together like ants, which go from your heart to your honorable right side.
The Arabs, they have letters that lie down, get on their knees and rise up completely straight, like spears: it’s a writing that coils and unfurls like the mirage, which is clever as time and proud as combat.
And their writing travels from their honorable right side to their left, because everything ends there: at the heart.
Our own writing, in the Ahaggar, is a writing of nomads, because it is all made up of dashes which are the legs of all the herds. Legs of men, legs of meharis, of zebus, of gazelles, everything that traverses the desert.
And then the crosses determine whether you go to the right or to the left, and the periods, you see, there are a lot of periods. They are the stars that steer us through the night, because we, the Saharans, we don’t know the way, the way that is guided, in turns, by the sun and then the stars.
And we set out from our heart, and we make bigger and bigger circles around it, to enlace the other hearts in a circle of life, like the horizon around your herd and around yourself.
— Dassine Oult Yemma