Ahmed Abokob (from Djibouti)
The little serpentine head with shining skin seems, under the blue steel helmet, animated by a strange life. The man does not have the powerful features of so many other dark-skinned men, nor their broad stature, nor their appearance of brutal and massive strength: he is lithe, light and no doubt skilful in all the tricks of war. He has always lived under the oppressive sun of Djibouti, on the edge of the sea, which seems to roll with fire. He has lived like a lizard on a rock, seemingly motionless, but quick to defend himself, agile when danger comes. At the gates of the desert, in one of those bastions with which France stakes out its distant routes, he has always seen our colours floating against the implacable blue sky; he followed them under the greyness of our climate, under the snow and the rain. His bronzed face has contracted under the great blast of shellfire, but his warrior blood has not shivered, nor has his faithfulness to our service wavered.