Saharan poets describe the Spanish conversion to the Sahara as a “betrayal.”


The poets of the Sahara Generation Friendship Group are not surprised by the sudden turn of the government over Spain’s position in the Sahara conflict. The Saharan-Spanish writer, anthropologist, and poet Baia Mahmoud Awahi believes that the first “betrayal” came from Felipe Gonzalez in 1976, when during a visit to the Tinduf deportation camps, he promised that his party would be with them. Until the final victory “and then did the opposite. “He has become a big pro-Moroccan lobbyist,” he told

And he is not the only one who retains harsh words against the Spanish government. Sukina Aali-Taleb Fernández, journalist and poet, regrets that “a democratic country with a progressive government blindly obeys the policies of a big country like the United States and submits to the pressure of Morocco” and believes that it will be better for Spain. They have “an independent Sahara as a collaborating partner in North Africa and thus close the most infamous chapter in its recent history.” His other teammate, Lima Boisha, thinks Sanchez’s operation is “disgusting”. One can not speak and demand justice. “For invaded and attacked peoples like Ukraine and vice versa, along with other equally invaded and attacked peoples,” he said.

Just three months ago, the writers and poets of the Sahara Friendship Generation, formed in 2005, presented their anthology in Madrid. Poets and Poetry of Western Sahara (Last Line, 2020) and they will do it again on April 1 at the Alcazar Library in Toledo. This is not the first thing they do. with Ayun, Scream What You Feel: Modern Sahara Poetry (Autonomous University of Madrid and Exilios Publishing House, 2006) Poetics derived from Saharan culture have been mapped. Most of them live in Spain and use Castilian as a literary language. Ali Salem Iselmu, Zahra Hasnawi, Saleh Abdallah or Muhammad Salem Abdelfatah ‘Ebnu’ are other active writers in the collective.

Both Awah, Aali-Taleb, and Boisha regard poetry as a weapon of war for the cause of their people, and use it to condemn the situation in which Spain left the Western Sahara. “Poets are attentive to reality and sometimes use harsh words to change unjust situations,” says the poet Aali-Thales, while Liam Boshia argues that while his writings serve as a protest, they also refer to “a free world and therefore a better world.” .

Poets and Poetry of Western Sahara It is the result of the joint efforts of Juan Carlos Jimeno Martini, Juan Ignacio Robles in Anthropology and Baia MH Avah, all of whom are professors at the Autonomous University of Madrid. The germ of the project was the film Legna, speak a poem of the Sahara (2016), Winner of the FISahara First Prize, which can be found in full on YouTube. It was carried out for two purposes. “On the one hand, the formation of memory as an element of transmission to future generations and the visibility of their people and their way of life, which is constantly and consistently invisible,” explained Juan Carlos Jimeno Martin. Presentation last December.

According to anthropological research by Bahia MH Awah, three important literary schools in Spanish emerged during the process of decolonization and liberation of Western Sahara. The first of these was the so-called Sahara Generation 73, which consisted of first university students who formed the Polisario Front and declared the Republic of the Sahara. “They sang and represented the culture and identity of the Sahara in Cervantes’ language with its most distinctive features,” he said.

Then came what is known as the War Generation, which took the first foundations of teaching Spanish in the Republic of the Sahara and the exile camps in Tinduf. Bilingual anthology in 1991 I fiori nascono even in the Sahara (The flowers also grow in the desert), So far unique.

Third are the poets in exile, the aforementioned Saharan Friendship Generation, named after the 27th generation of Spain, the writers and intellectuals of the Algerian National Liberation Front’s independence revolution, and the friends and intellectuals of Latin America. On the case of the Sahara. In fact, Boisha’s poetry relies on Latin American poetry, especially the poetry of Nicholas Gulen. His personal experience as an individual, as a refugee and migrant is present in everything. “With my poems, I want to convey the voice of the Sahara culture, or rather part of it, to the hearts of all people, all people,” he said.

The art of storytelling in the Sahara is traditional, so present-day Saharan poetry breathes the air of past writers, but also looks to the future. “Sahara writers are today’s poets, they are interested in any topic that interests people. From suffering and resistance, they have a vision of world events, with a certain sensitivity,” – develops Sukina Ali-Tal. They are scattered geographically: in the camp, in the occupied Sahara, and in emigration, but they are all united by a protest against a situation that their people have suffered for decades.

She is one of the female representatives of the Joy generation, though she says her case is no exception, as women have traditionally played a very important role in Saharan culture, both in music as well as in literature and handicrafts. Partly because, he said, women have always had the freedom to make decisions. “These are the people who hate the sexist violence that is being talked about in the West and it is one of the most progressive Muslim countries in North Africa,” she said. And he notes that singers Mariam Hassan, Aziza Brahimi, poet Zahra Hasnawi, diplomats Jadietu Mojtari and Suel Beiruk, among others, make her feel “proud as a woman and a Sahara.”

Sahara diplomat Ahmed Mully Ali, who attended the presentation of this latest anthology along with other Western Sahara-related figures such as actor Pepe Vieula or Sahara representative to the UN Sid Mohamed Omar, commented that the movement was led by the Spanish government a few months ago. According to his observations, the book came “at a crucial moment in order to resist the attempt to Moroccanize the Saharan people.”

For the Bahia MH Awah it was not a coincidence or a symptom that a diplomat has the ability to read, but rather because this kind of rotation is not something new. However, he acknowledges that “poets are ahead of the facts.” “Sahara scientist and poet st [lengua] Hassania Badi Mohamed Salem says in this regard that “an elf sits on the tongue of every poet” and the years of exile and many injustices force us to create prophetic poetry, he adds.

Avah cites the poem “Belga” by the Saharan poet and scholar Salma Old Brahim, who predicted the emergence of the Sahara liberation movement and the proclamation of the Sahara Republic in the 1970s. His poems are still valid today and, depending on the course of events, may be for a long time: “I have a buck that hatches this year / eggs. / One of his eggs sings his song. / And I ask those who hold. Power, / for whom is this egg stored?

Source: El Diario


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