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Sand Dreams

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Morocco - Ouarzazate - Mbarek Arouaie, 50, portrayed next to his son (right) in his workshop of Ait Kdif, in Ouarzazate. Arouaie is a local blacksmith and jeweler whose manufacts, from swords to helmets, turbants and necklaces, have appeared in several movies. Arouaie belongs to a family of four artesans and started producing manufacts and props in 1990 for 1001 Nights, a French-Italian movie starring a debutant Catherine Zeta-Jones. His best working memories are those related to Martin Scorsese's Kundun, a movie about the life of the 14th Dalai Lama which was almost entirely shot in Ouarzazate. “The production stayed here for almost an year, giving work to the whole city” he remembers with fondness. “Once, they used to command us 3,000 swords for a single movie. Now, they just order two or three and replicate the others digitally.”