Well it has finally cooled off here in Los Angeles, but I still can’t get the burning image of that relentless sun out of my head. It reminds me of one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, The Midnight Sun, where a girl in New York City, in a feverish state, dreams that the earth is hurtling towards the sun. She comes to and realizes that the planet is actually hurtling away; growing colder by the hour. I don’t know about you, but after this past weekend, I’d certainly choose the latter.
Continuing on from this post, here are the five remaining hottest places in the world and the outfits they wear to stay cool.
6) Ghadames, Libya – 131 degrees
A true oasis in the middle of the desert complete with white clay architecture, palm trees, and natural springs. Mostly inhabited by Berbers, an indigenous North African tribe west of the Nile, Ghadames is bursting with history and culture. It even has an ancient wall that encircles the Old Town. Doesn’t it all just sound so romantic? Except for the extreme heat and occupation during the Libyan Civil War, of course.
What they wore: Historically known as the “Blue People,” Tuareg Berbers have an affinity for indigo dye in their clothing which often stained their skin a dusky blue. Interestingly enough, it is the Tuareg men that don a full veil as a rite of passage into manhood.
7) Kebili, Tunisia – 131 degrees
As an early center for the African slavery trade, Kebili now celebrates a much more diverse and human rights friendly population. Tourism and archeological digs play a big part in the economy as Kebili just happens to have the earliest known evidence of human presence in Tunisia. Not to mention that the famed Sahara Gate is just south in Douz, where the International Festival of the Sahara is held each year.
What they wore: The diverse population is made up of Arabs, Berbers, and African Blacks so dress is quite unique to each group, but blousey cottons, woven textiles, and bright colors abound.
8) Timbuktu, Mali – 130.1 degrees
Timbuktu has a legendary past; rich with infamous warriors, wealthy inhabitants, scholarly centers, and French Colonial rule. Sadly, after declaring independence in 1960, Timbuktu has suffered a deep slide from its once illustrious Golden Age. Poverty, rebels attacks, and desertification now plague the city.
What they wore: The city may no longer be at its peak, but its hearty people celebrate vibrant colors and rich abstract patterns in their clothing.
9) Tirat Tsvi, Israel – 129 degrees
A traditional agriculture community founded by Jewish Eastern Europeans in 1937 as part of the Tower and Stockade settlement program, Tirat Zvi was built up from a single two-story structure and has a population of just 654. West of the Jordan River, this kibbutz produces dates, palm fronds, and meat – all at 220 meters below sea level.
What they wore: Because it was founded by Europeans in 1937, the people of Tirat Zvi wore 1940’s style clothing as seen in the painting below. Ammo belts slung across the chests of guards were also commonly seen due to revolutions and the Arab-Israeli War.
10) Wadi Halfa, Sudan – 127 degrees
The only town in this list that is on the shores of water, Wadi Halfa is one hot place in constant danger of flooding. Settled long before the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the resultant Lake Nubia, Wadi Halfa is home to ancient Nubian artifacts and beautiful Nubian people who work mostly in trade. A ferry and railway make it a center of trade to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
What they wore: Breezy cottons and lightly patterned pastels keep the Wadi Halfa denizens cool on those hot, hot days.
*Hottest places on earth taken from foreignpolicy.com. Some are contended and even discounted by the World Meteorological Organization due to inaccuracy (El Azizia). All temperatures posted are highest ever recorded, not the average.
Au Revoir Summer.