Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Arzu Aliyev is not a businessman, he's a business, man

Wikipedia tells me that this is a picture of musicians from Azerbaijan. I imagine that when Arzu Aliyev pays back the loan he owes me, I will celebrate by hiring a band similar, if not identical, to this one.

Some background: last month, in keeping with my habit of tying my fortune to faraway, disadvantaged groups with potential, I adopted a delightful Azeri businessman named Arzu Aliyev by lending him $25 through a microcredit loan. The loan was made through Kiva, a website that facilitates microfinance transactions from the West into developing countries.

I promised Arzu updates, and I aim to deliver. Soon after I tossed in my 25, Arzu made his $600 target. At the end of April, he got the money and began to expand his store's product line. In 12-16 months, I should be getting my money back. Until my Paypal is plump again, however, Arzu should know that I won't hesitate to cap a few knees.

In conclusion, microcredit seems like such a good idea. I hope once Western Sahara is free they can get a system up and running for it. I know I'd like to help bankroll a Sahrawi goatherd or pizzeria.


  1. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Hi Will

    Please look at Spanish Students website such as:

    Spanish students who visited the refugees camps last time launched a campaign “ In the Name of Justice and common history we are applying for Saharawi citizenship )

    Students can sign petition also. As I understand only in very short time they have 900 students from Madrid University. The citizenship have give to them by official Saharawi representative in Madrid

    May others in other parts of the world can do the same

    They should give the saharawi citizenship to Will too !!!



  2. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Polisario would better give people the opportunity to leave the camps, than bringing people there like a zoo...Yes, like a zoo. Polisario is reducing the refugees to a state where they SIT in their tents and wait for Spanish to come take picture with them. Those poeple deserve more than 30 years of craving in Algeria. By the way, why oil-rich Algeria doesn't help refugees as much as it does with the Polisario (weapons & co.) ?

  3. On a largely unrelated note, Saharawi riot porn:

  4. Anonymous7:44 AM

    To Anonymous ( pro-morrocan )

    Do you know why Sahrawis are living in the refugees camps ?

    Please. Try to have the right answers

    If you are so young to remember .please let us remind you


  5. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Desertman, Your answer is very typical in the Western Sahara debate. Whenever someone criticize Polisario, he/she is automatically taxed of being pro-Moroccan or pro-occupation.
    If you don't like my argument or my idea, instead of taxing me of something, answer my arguments.
    So, let me answer your question: "why refugees are living in the camps NOW ?" : because the Polisario front will die ALONE in the desert if refugees get their papers and go to live with their relatives in Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, or the Canary Islands. So, the more refugees are stuck in the camps in Algeria, preferably if they rely on the foreign help to survive, the more the international community give attention to the Polisario political agenda. Without those refugees, Polisario is DEAD.
    Now, if your question was why the camps were created from the begining in the 70's (I think that's what you really meant) then my answer is : if a mistake was made in the 70's, there is absolutely no reason to make that mistake last 30 years or longer.

  6. Anonymous3:51 PM

    Dear Anonymous

    You are wrong. I am not defending Polisario but I am defending the right of the Saharawi people for self-determination. if these rights are what Polisario is defending this is only a plus for Polisario.

    That Moroccans can criticize Polisario and all who supports the right of Saharawi people ( even if they are not agreed with Polisario ) and in their websites and blogs . this is only plus for Polisario and those who are defending the right of Saharawi people
    Unfortunately we can not tell that about the Moroccans and pro-Moroccan websites and blogs.

    Now to the important.
    Why the saharwis are becoming refugees not only in Algeria as the propaganda of Moroccan Mekhzen tried to say but also in Mauritania. Mali, Spain and many other countries

    Issue is not a “mistake” in earlier 70s as you said.

    “… After the Madrid Treaty in 1974 which divide Western Sahara BETWEEN Morocco, Dadah regime of Mauritania and Spain ( resources). Look. Morocco regime AGREED to divide what he called now “ Moroccan Sahara – or - provinces du sud - ” ????

    Without going deep in the History. Western Sahara have been invaded by Morocco from the north and Mauritania from the south. Bombarding the Sahrawi cities by Napalm and phosphors prohibited internationally. ( In 1976 only more than 30.000 saharwis become victims of the Moroccan and Mauritian Dadah regime ….There no Saharawi family who didn’t lost one of its members in this invasion ..)

    These are only two directions to poor Saharawis top evacuate: east = Atlantic ocean and West = Algeria
    In this situation of course poor Saharawis have no choice. Those who cant evacuate they have also to suffered till now….

    So Saharawis in the refugees are suffering of course but they want to go to THEIR Western Sahara not Moroccan.
    so hope the Morrocan regime allow the sahrawis to make a choice a free choice on their own issue. let them decide

    Anyway. That is good that Moroccans can discuss about Western Sahara a “taboo” in the Moroccan public discussion go ahead.


  7. I've returned from Wisconsin, having avoided again impressment in the Green Bay Packers.

    Comments and new post, tomorrow!

  8. Laroussi2:15 PM

    Why are the Saharawis staying in the camps in Algeria instead of setteling in Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Mauritania or elsewhere? an anonymous Moroccan asks.

    The simple answer is that they are still hoping to return to their home country, Western Sahara, as a free people without the Moroccan occupation.

    The day they loose that hope, they will for sure leave the camps. But knowing the Saharawi people, that day is not likely to come in the near future, and surely not in the lifetime of M VI...

    And please drop the silly propaganda about "kidnapped people".

    Saharawis who want to can leave the camps anytime they like. And many people do as well. They leave for Mauritania or Spain, but most of them return afterwards to their people and families.

    Polisario however never stops anyone from leaving, or returning.

  9. Laroussi7:37 PM

    Norwegian NGO:s urge Morocco to stop attacks on Saharawi students in an appeal to the Minister of the Interior Chakib Benmoussa.