Permanent Camp-Life

Sahara Tuesday May 22nd 2012 It’s a few minutes past three in the afternoon, and the refugee camp on the border between Algeria and Western Sahara is silent. A few Saharawian goats and two Norwegian journalists are the only living creatures too stupid to seek shelter from the sun. The camp is named after the day the Saharawians declared their own state, 27th of February (1976). It’s hard to believe that the deserted desert camp is the home of thousands of refugees. Flying in to the Algerian border-town Tindouf we saw the low brick houses with stub roofs spread out in the sand dunes. 27th February has only got 12.500 inhabitants, but all in all some 150.000 Saharawian refugees are living in this area – probably more than what is left in the parts of Western-Sahara occupied by Morocco.

What brings us out here to the desert called “ahh’ mada” – a local name that translates in to something like “a lot of pain”. Pain is indeed the answer. The pain of a people who have been living as refugees ever since their neighbours Morocco and Mauritania occupied the country the minute the Spanish government gave up their colonial ambitions. For 36 years the Saharawians have been living here in the Algerian sand separated from their country and their countrymen by a 2700 kilometer wall erected by Morocco. We want to tell our readers about the last African colony, about all the people who want to return to a homeland they have never seen and about the international political reasons for the world turning a blind eye to the conflict.

Stay tuned!


17 Responses to “Permanent Camp-Life”

  1. Thanks for documenting your journey. That part of the country & the people have been under reported for years. This has changed a little.

  2. Thank you for sharing this…will look forward to seeing the images…

  3. This will be a fascinating feature to follow on your blog. I’m so glad you are able to post from there, and being able to tell the story.

  4. The saharawian refugees really deserves press coverage. Go for it, make really good stuff! It will be very interesting to follow.

  5. So good to know we can follow your journey as you document this incredible part of the world. Best wishes, stay safe and I hope the situation for this population changes soon.

  6. Thank you very much for sharing your adrenaline with us.

  7. Ditto what Patti said. I’ll look forward to vicariously seeing your journey.

  8. I cannot image what it must be like to be forcibly displaced like that … to long for a homeland I had never seen. I read your accounts with interest Otto 🙂

  9. Michelle Gillies Says:

    This is a story that needs to be told and I can’t think of anyone who could tell it better. I look forward to seeing more of the journey.

  10. artblablablablog Says:

    This is very exciting! Please be safe, I look forward to your postings and learning about this area.

  11. Looking forward to continuing to share your adventures (and beautiful shots too!)

  12. obviously I am about to learn some important news-thanks for having the gumption

  13. Looking forward to hearing… Thank you!

  14. Wow, Otto! Many thanks – what an incredible for us to have this firsthand account of the truth! May we know what to do with it. xo

  15. Thank you Otto! Looking forward to the rest of your journey…

  16. Thank you for sharing this…I look forward to hearing (and learning) more about what you’re seeing over there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: