More on Sahara coverage

Last week I mentioned that Yazan Badran, Renata Avila, and I will be covering Western Sahara for Global Voices.  I may have briefly explained that I attended the GV Summit with the thought marinating in my head, and left having created a plan with those two (as well as many other interested parties).

Yazan broke the news with his post last week on a new Sahrawi television station.  The post has garnered 30 comments in just 9 days, as well as plenty of other reactions.  Dave Lucas gave GV a mention:

GV makes its first pass at the Sahrawi blogsphere, examining what Sahrawi bloggers are saying each week, in Arabic, English and Spanish.

Western Sahara Info. seems pleased with the development:

Finally, commendably, Global Voices Online have started tracking and translating Western Saharan blogs from French, Arabic, Spanish and whatever else it may be, into English. This question being what it is, furious debate immediately erupted in comments between people claiming that their opponents are agents of hostile intelligence services.

One Hump or Two? gave an honest assessment and asked that readers send in more blogs for GV to follow:

I’m a little disappointed that the first blog Global Voices chose to profile was a SADR-government one, ignoring in their inaugural post the rich Sahrawi blogosphere unaffiliated with Moroccan or Sahrawi government.

Still, it’s a start, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Western Sahara from Global Voices. The writers will look at Sahrawi blogs in all languages, so those of us who can’t read Arabic, French, Spanish, and English will get to look at more.

Today, A. Tee. Dub. wrote a lengthy and informative post about the region, mentioning GV and its coverage quite a bit:

Interestingly, the launch of the Global Voices Western Sahara blog garnered quite a bit of attention. I guess GV does play an important role in make voices heard.

That last sentence pleases me to no end! The blogger then summarizes other Western Sahara content recommended by Global Voices readers (have no fear, they’ve all been added to our aggregator and will be read on a weekly basis!)

Best of all, today, Renata’s first Western Sahara post went live. The post focuses on Spanish and poetry, two ties that bind Sahrawis to their native land.

I guess it’s my turn next…I still feel that my list of English-language Western Sahara blogs is lacking, but the French ones are decent (I will be covering both languages until someone steps up to the plate for French – perhaps Lydia is coercible). My biggest concern is that many of the English-language blogs I have listed are non-Sahrawis writing about the Sahara. I will include them only when I see fit. Still, if any readers have suggestions of blogs (or topics), you can e-mail them to me (or comment on GV itself) at jilliancyork at gmail dot com and I will throw them in the aggregator.

EDIT: It seems that today our project has gotten some negative coverage from Le magazine des blogs et du web au Maroc.  This project is not about countries and borders; it’s about amplifying voices.

4 replies on “More on Sahara coverage”

A lot of people are excited about the Western Sahara Global Voices, including some you can’t see because they don’t have blogs. Good work, Jillian.

I know it’s harder to find English blogs written by Sahrawis, but I think I gave you a few that will be useful. ASVDH has some good posts recently about Sahrawi political prisoners.

Hi, sorry, this is not in English (or rarely, at least), but do add it to your list of Sahrawi blogs. It’s an ARSO-hosted blog for political debate by Sahrawis, both supportive and critical of Polisario, but mostly (only?) pro-independence in the actual sovereignty dispute. At its best, it gives a rare glimpse into Sahrawi internal politics, although the tone tends to be pretty shrill and many posts are simply manifests for one side or the other.

Thanks Will and Alle.

It’s unfortunate that we’re getting negative coverage for doing this. I want people to understand that this is apolitical – it’s about giving voice to the voiceless.

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