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Western Sahara: Introducing the Sahrawi Blogosphere

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Western Sahara, Arts & Culture, Ethnicity & Race, Human Rights, Indigenous, International Relations, Language, Media & Journalism, Refugees, Technology

On July 5, Global Voices started its coverage of the Sahrawi blogosphere with a post on a new satellite television station [1] in the region. The post, by Yazan Badran [2], focused on the Arabic-language constituency of the Sahrawi blogosphere. That post was quickly followed by one from Renata Avila [3] on poetry and the Spanish language [4], 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? [5] 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 [6] 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 [7] 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. [8], a great place for news updates on the region. Sand & Dust [9], 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 [10], 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!