Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The reason your relatives in Lagwira never call back

Remember when the Moroccan magazine Nichane got in trouble for publishing an issue full of Moroccan jokes? They were charged with insulting Islam, even though most people in the country knew the jokes. They got off easy, but according to Khatry Beirouk of Western Sahara Online, the Western Sahara might've been why they got in trouble.

Apparently, there's a slogan about Morocco that goes "From Tangiers to Lagwira." Tangiers is in the north of Morocco, while Lagwira is a city in Western Sahara's south. When Moroccans say "Morocco: From Tangiers to Lagwira" they mean Western Sahara belongs to Morocco.

But here's the rub: Lagwira is outside the Berm, and outside of Moroccan control. The Moroccan government doesn't want this to be widely known, but the editors of Nichane knew better. They went to a government office and asked for a copy of the Lagwira phone book. Since they couldn't give them a phone book, they gave them a lawsuit, instead.

Update: Commenter Larbi Mansour for telling me Tangiers is the first city in the slogan. Thanks, Larbi.


  1. Larbi Mansour9:01 AM

    The other city, on the north is called "Tangiers" and Moroccan propaganda got everyone to say: "From Tangiers to Lagwira" (Min Tanga Ila Lagwira) despite the fact that no official or military Moroccan have ever seen Lagwira nor heard of it before beign mentioned on the state propaganda media.
    NOTE:Saharawis spell it "La Guera", with Spanish tone.

  2. For Maps users, here are Lagouira coordinates: 20°50′N 17°5.5′W

  3. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Hi Will

    „ Lagwira „ or „ La Aguera” historically called ( Capo Blanco ) is the deepest point in the south of WS just near Mauritanian port of Nouadhibou ( see it in your Google earth coordinates : 20.50.21 N, 1705.24 W )

    This small city never been Moroccan... According to the peace treaty between Mauritania and Polisario signed in 1979 . The Saharawis leave it to Mauritania till Independence…

    The Nichane magazine ( now closed by Morrocan authority) have published report about the morrocan borders translating from Arabic as “morrocan borders from Tanger to La Aguera is just rapper !”
    Saying that Polisario himself is controlling more than 1 /3 Western Sahara and La Aguera is now under Mauritanian administration.
    that is all about this city


  4. Anonymous3:09 PM

    See also New York Times Editor's correction below]

    Mr. Ambassador, don't sell the Sahrawis out.

    By Carlos González

    New York Times, letter to the editor, March 22, 2007

    I recently read an op-ed article of March 3 rd in The New York Times regarding the conflict in
    the Western Sahara, titled: "Will Freedom Bloom in the Desert?" by Ambassador Frederick
    Vreeland, a former United States representative to Rabat in 1992-1993.

    for more check Sahara update:

  5. Anonymous8:18 AM

    Hi desertman!

    "The Nichane magazine ( now closed by Morrocan authority)". This is not true anymore: Nichane and Assahifa are back.

    Desertwoman from Morocco

  6. DesertWOMAN? I think the entire Western Sahara scene just did a collective "Wha-?"

    Do you think Desertman and Desertwoman are married?

  7. Anonymous3:32 AM

    To desertwoman:

    Nichane is still closed by “Mekhzen”. You can write petition to moroccan authority
    You can check their website below
    Mekhzen = in arabic mean store/wholesale but historically mean the regime of morocco.


    to Will:
    Desertman unfortunately don’t know who is Desertwoman but suppose She is nice and gentle
    Moroccan Woman. Since She is interested in Western Sahara issue and visiting Will blog she is doing good and we all thank it for that


  8. Ah, you're so bashful. Seems to me like we have a One Hump or Two love story. Certainly wouldn't be the first.