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Index / Peoples /
Sahrawis
Arabic: sahrā'wiyy



Young Sahrawi women, here in Boujdour, Western Sahara.
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Young Sahrawi women, here in Boujdour, Western Sahara.

 Sahrawi women, here in Tinfouf, Algeria.
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Sahrawi women, here in Tindouf, Algeria.

People in western Sahara with a population between 500,000 and 1 million.
They represent the original population in southern Morocco, the region that is internationally recognized as the sovereign state of Western Sahara.
Originally they were nomads, but due to drought, many have sought refuge in towns like Laayoune or emigrated to Morocco or other countries. Many Sahrawis in Laayoune live under very basic conditions, in refugee camps set up in the middle of the town, while a majority live in normal houses.
Sahrawis have been invited by Moroccan authorities to join the Moroccan society, and they enjoy the same rights as other citizens, but Moroccan occupation is probably only accepted by a minority of the population.
Their lifestyles are marked by strong families and tribes, and women enjoy an important position in the society. The Sahrawi men have simple clothes, designed to ward of desert sand and summer heat — women wear colourful garments.




By Tore Kjeilen