March 2022 Photo Contest Winner: Janet Holl, Cupertino, California

Congratulations Janet! With over 50 photos to choose from, yours received the highest rating among members. You’ve not only brought honor to the Northern California chapter, but you have won a year of free dues for yourself. Thanks to everybody who submitted their wonderful “Northern Africa” theme photos for the March contest. They can still be seen and commented on by visiting

The theme for our June 2022 contest is “Castles.” Click for contest details »

Photo: Janet Holl

Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains is nicknamed “The Blue Pearl of Morocco.” There are photo opportunities at every turn of the steep, narrow, cobblestone lanes that are lined by blue- washed buildings which house weaving workshops and bazaars featuring leather, wool, silk, colorful straw hats, and goat cheese.

Both locals and visitors congregate in the car-free shady main plaza by the 15th century Kasbah fortress and octagonal Great Mosque minaret. The buildings and arches are a melding of Arab and Spanish architecture. The blue color is uncertain but it may have been a legacy of the Jews who came to the city in the 15th century to escape the Spanish Inquisition.


Victoria Russell, Etobicoke, Ontario

Photo: Victoria Russell

The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou are earthen buildings and a great example of Moroccan clay architecture—a UNESCO site. Once a trading post linking Sudan to Marrakech, it includes two cemeteries (Mus- lim and Jewish), a public square and houses.

Mahmood Poonja, Vancouver, British Columbia

Photo: Mahmood Poonja

The Sahara is the world’s largest desert and has to a large extent retained the ancient lifestyles of its people. Traditional attire is still worn as it is best suited for the climate and terrain. The single humped camels are the source of life here.

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