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Western Sahara: Introducing the Sahrawi Blogosphere

On July 5, Global Voices started its coverage of the Sahrawi blogosphere with a post on a new satellite television station in the region. The post, by Yazan Badran, focused on the Arabic-language constituency of the Sahrawi blogosphere. That post was quickly followed by one from Renata Avila on poetry and the Spanish language, quoting Sahrawi bloggers in Spanish. Both posts were met with strong reactions, both positive and negative.

Although most Sahrawis speak Arabic or Spanish as a first language, some choose to blog in English; some live abroad, others in Morocco or Western Sahara. Still others are Sahrawi supporters from other countries. I will attempt to convey what all of them, regardless of political affiliation or beliefs, are talking about in this important region.

Introducing Anglophone Western Sahara

One prominent blogger covering this region is One Hump or Two? Admittedly an American, Will is especially notable for the fact that he has tirelessly assisted me in digging up the best of blogs from this region. His blog covers both political and cultural issues. An excerpt from a recent post reads:

I'm obviously no fan of Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara, but I like Morocco the country–everyone I know who's been there has liked it, and the Moroccan government is nice enough to let my friend study there this semester, despite his affiliation with separatists like me. That's why I hope Morocco and whatever Sahrawis are on its team win as many medals as they want at next month's Olympics.

View from Fez took in Morocco's chances, and pointed out that Morocco has won medals in the past in boxing and track. The taekwondo team is apparently good, too, so I predict a sweep.

FreeWesternSahara is a Sahrawi blogger whose blog tagline reads “No to the Auntomony, but yes to the Referadum.” A recent post featured photos from Western Sahara, including this one:

Freedom Writer is another Sahrawi who blogs in English. An excerpt from a recent blog post, about having to make a difficult decision, reads:

Emerson said that he loves ”the Sayers of no” more then ”the Sayers of yes”! and I agree with that. Emerson realized that ”No!’ means ”yes” to saving other people s time and energy. When we make our choice to say No in any given situation( Job offer, invitation…) we save our energy and other people s time and effort to convince us to change our mind, and as Leonardo da Vinci said ” It is easier to resist at beginning than at the end”.

There are several other foreign bloggers writing about Western Sahara. Of prominence is alle, who runs the blog Western Sahara Info., a great place for news updates on the region. Sand & Dust, by Nick Brooks, is another great resource for those wishing to learn a bit more about the conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara. A third blog, Western Sahara Endgame, focuses heavily on politics.

As Global Voices continues coverage of the Western Sahara, we are constantly looking for new blogs to read. Please let us know if you find any!

9 comments

  • Thanks for the link, Jillian. I’m glad you chose one that shows my beef isn’t with Moroccans, but with their government’s occupation. I can’t wait to go to Morocco!

  • mohamed

    Thank you so much Jillian York for covering western sahara issues and Blogosphere it really benifit our cause internationally.When talking about the western sahara Blogosphere in English i think we have to mention some Sahrawi people right in self-determination supporters whom you do not mention and who made great jobs such as Sahara-Watch who represent himself as “an American observer of the Western Sahara conflict”
    http://sahara-watch.blogspot.com/
    And western sahara Echo which in Arabic and English:
    http://www.sahara-panorama.blogspot.com/
    Thank you for mentioning Mr. WILL as the top of the list.

  • Oh, thanks.

  • Mohamed,

    Thanks. I (we) will be covering as many blogs as possible, but I do want to reiterate that our goal isn’t to cover the political situation so much as the culture of Western Sahara and the thoughts of Sahrawis. Therefore, I will attempt to focus more on Sahrawis than foreigners. That said, thank you for those two links, which I will pay attention to.

  • Dear Jillian,

    I am sorry to say that you will probably be naive if you think that people who are supporting separatism in Western Sahara are doing their (cultural) propaganda without thinking of the political aspects of the conflict. All is about politics and all is about VICTIMIZATION and MISINFORMATION to get the greatest support possible from international people.

    The moroccan Internet community was absent from Internet to deal with this absurd cold war conflict. Since then, many stories and mirages became established facts on Internet.

    Globalvoicesonline is the best weblink to let the readers get balanced views about Western Sahara issue.

    There will be a version of the conflict from the separatists and their supporters and there also will be another one of the unionits and their supporters. Knowing that, there is a reality in the ground in the main cities of Western Sahara you can look at on :
    http://www.sahara-villes.com

    Many thanks to permit to everyone to express his opinion.

    Regards

    Ahmed Salem

  • Ahmed,

    Did I say that? No, I did not. All I said is that I think covering the W. Sahara blogosphere is important; that’s why we started this initiative.

    Jillian

  • Hello Jillian,

    Could I be cheeky enough to add the Sandblast blog to this discussion?

    Sandblast is an arts and human rights charity that aims to promote the cultural identity of the Sahrawi refugees through the arts. We highlight UK-based events, camp-based art projects, Sahrawi artists and musicians through our blog.

    http://sandblast-arts.blogspot.com

    Best,
    Cathrin

  • Hi Cathrin,

    More to read on the Western Sahara culture :
    http://www.sahara-culture.com

    Made by the unionist sahraouis supporting the autonomy initiative to end this absurd cold war conflict.

    Hope to see one day that sandblast take into account the efforts of the unionist sahraoui to promote the culture of the Western Sahara region.

    Thanks

    Ahmed Salem

  • kahar boli zario

    Sahara is Moroccan and will stay Moroccan forever.
    Long live Morocco from Tanger to Laguira,and death for the terrorists Polizario polizabal.
    For people who are crying about these terrorists why do not you give independent to Ireland,Scotland,Strait of Gibraltar,Bask, and canaria islands?

    bolizario = terrorists

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