This will be our first attempt to cover the Sahrawi blogsphere. I, alongside Jillian York and Renata Avila will try to shed light on what the Sahrawi bloggers are saying each week, in Arabic, English and Spanish. The topic of Western Sahara is one of a very complex background, and emotions tend to run high whenever it is under discussion. We will try to cover the Sahrawi side with as much objectivity as it is humanly possible.
This week's pick comes from the Western Sahara blog, writing about the new Sahrawi satellite TV station, R.A.S.D. TV (Democratic Sahrawi Arab Republic Television):
لا أخفيكم سرا كم انتظرت شخصيا كما الكثيرين بالمناطق المحتلة خروج هذا المولود الجديد الى النور بعد طول انتظار، نعم أخيرا لنا تلفزاتنا الفضائية
I have to tell you how much I've personally waited, like many others in the occupied areas, for this newborn baby to see light. And after a long wait, yes, we now have our own satellite television station.
The blogger says that the most important mission for the station should be to advance the Sahrawi case among other Arab countries:
لعل أهم دور لها آن تعرف بالقضية الوطنية لأخوتنا العرب في ظل صمت الجامعة العربية والذي نتمنى أن تتمكن القناة من كسر جدار الصمت هذا وان تجعل منها منتدى للنقاش البناء وللتفاعل مع الأشقاء العرب ، وهو اكبر تحدي للتلفزة نظرا لامتناع المسؤوليين عن الأقمار الصناعية العربية عن إعطاء تردد لها.
The most important role [for the station] is to shed light on our national cause to our Arab brothers. As the Arab League has remained silent over the issue, we hope the station will be able to break this silence barrier and to be a forum for constructive and interactive discussion with our Arab brothers, which will be the biggest challenge facing the channel, considering that the officials at the Arab TV Satellites have refused to host the channel on their frequencies.
وأخيرا نتمنى أن تميط القناة اللثام عن واقع المناطق المحتلة من خلال بث أشرطة متلفزة تظهر فيها الصحراء الغربية من الداخل وان تؤرخ هذه الحقبة والمنعطف الهام في مسيرة قضيتنا الوطنية العادلة،
And finally, we hope the channel will also uncover the realities in the occupied areas by airing footage showing the Sahara from the inside, and to document this era and this important juncture in the history of our just national cause.
Thanks Yazan, for getting this started!
To the readers – I just want to say that this effort to cover the Western Sahara’s blogosphere would not have happened if I hadn’t received comments over the past year from Moroccans, Sahrawis, and friends that it is an area in dire need of coverage. Undoubtedly, our coverage will not be perfect, so please feel free to contact us, alert us of blogs we should look at, and tell us what we could do better.
All the best for you in this new challenge!
Thanks for the great team work!
I will translate this important and much interesting piece of news in Portuguese!
Thanks for this initiative!
For those that read Spanish, Sahablogs is an interesting portal that aggregates several blogs written in Spanish (and some in Catalan). Among others, I recommend this one by a Sahrawi singer.
Thanks Yazan, Renata and Jillian for your collective efforts! It’s so great to see this. I will translate this into Chinese.
Hmmm, good luck mate, but celebrating yet another bit of nationalist agitprop -whether Moroccan or Saharan seems empty. Rather reflecting on how the colonial imperial confettis take on lives of their, however economically or ecologically nonsensical, would be more interesting.
Sadly neither the Moroccans nor the Sahraoui independistes seem to be able to pull back from their 19th century style national narratives.
If you have any recommendations of Sahrawi blogs to follow, we’d be happy to hear them. We can only reflect what the blogosphere is saying, whatever that might be.
Congratulations to the three of you, I’m really excited about this effort…