All day and all night in that house. El Mahboul took the opportunity and shaved me. Up to then I had simply kept my hair hidden. I was free in the little room. El Mahboul and the others, at a loose end, looked through our packets, and, opening them, asked me for explanations. It was really odd to see me going backwards and forwards, or sitting down with the Berber manual, or some other compromising article in my hand. We could hear the voices of the owner, or his children, and people walking overhead. But, in feminine attire I felt reasonably confident, even out of doors; free, out of danger, although I was anxious to be crossing the Sahara, on the back of a camel, with my face uncovered, head and chest bare…. Under my wraps it is possible to hide pencil and note-book, to make one's toilet.
— Michel Vieuchange, Smara, the Forbidden City (E.P. Dutton, 1932)