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Thursday, September 1, 2011

World Portraits: Catered Coffee


In the center of the grand souk in the shadows of the massive sandstone minarets, stands Ahmed. For 30 years the “human drinking fountain,” as he is known, has provided sparkling cupfuls of liquid relief from the hot desert days.

He says that shoppers, who repeatedly visit him throughout the day feel as if they “plunged into a lake with an almighty splash, the delightful shock of icy water jolting their minds.” Never asking for money, Ahmed ekes out an average of $12 a day from donations, enough to keep his family of five clothed and fed. And his grateful customers keep on coming.