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TOZEUR, Tunisia — Some are already at work when the gray November dawn begins to creep across the Sahara toward this "carpet capital" of Tunisia.
Turbaned and burnoosed against the bitter cold, paid about $80 a month, they erect barricades of tightly woven palm branches known as "tabia" to keep the wind-blown sand out and the roads open. They are the "unsung heroes" of Tunisia's army fighting desertification — an unwieldy word which Webster's New World Dictionary describes as