Algerian Trooper (Spahi see in Wikipedia)
Mohamed Osman (from Oran)
The word Spahi conjures up an extravagant fantasy, rifle shots, white smoke under a blue sky, dazzling sun, frenzied galloping, flame coloured burnous flying. The Algerian troopers played their part in the conflict and the war took everything from them: their red tunic was replaced by dull khaki, their joyous fusillade by a bitter and risky struggle behind the loophole of fortifications; their life of sunshine and ardour by the dismal depressing existence of the trenches. They were sent to the flattest sector, in Flanders, a landscape constantly veiled in mist or drowning in rain. When they came down from the front lines, they exercised their horses on the sandy dunes on the edge of the grey sea, and the bitter wind made their cloaks billow. Among all the trials and dangers they kept their calm, their fatalism, and the enduring dignity of their profile. And now the campaign is over, those who have been spared tell interminable stories under the palm trees of their villages, of their memories of the war and the strange life they led, the terrible paths followed by those of their sons whom Allah received into the Paradise of the Brave.
Vincent van Gogh made two portraits of Zouaves (see in Wikipedia)