Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Western Sahara Online redesigns, looks good doing it

The eternally slick pro-SADR iteration of Western Sahara Online (perhaps best known for beating its evil twin brother in the Western Sahara Smackdown) has gotten even better with an attractive redesign.

WSO has always looked professional compared to most of the Sahrawi web, but the new redesign makes its resources easier to access. Check it out: there's a list of headlines in the center, with a top stories slideshow on the left and a collection of articles on the negotiations on the right.

You'll also notice a slick blogroll for Western Sahara blogs. I'm claiming credit for this because I sent an email to Khatry, WSO's webmaster, pointing out that he hadn't linked to One Hump.

I'm glad to see Western Sahara Online is back in fighting form. Next up for a redesign: ARSO. That layout might've been cool when ARSO launched in the ARPANET days, but it's time that they sex up the cause with some interminable Flash intros.

All this talk of websites makes me wish SADR had a better web presence. The Union of Sahrawi Writers and Journalists is a step in the right direction, but SADR has a long way to go before finding out about Western Sahara is easy for the average person.

As for the less reputable Western Sahara Online? It's limping along, thanks for asking. It would probably feel better if it could figure out how to get higher up on Google searches for Western Sahara than the fifth page, though.


  1. Laroussi9:28 AM

    Why SADR and Polisario is working so little with their web presence and media relations is a mystery to me. Why isn't there even an international Polisario site? Hey, if they would ad English to the working languages of the embassy's site in Alger that would be a major step forwards.

    About remodelling sites I would wish that people did so without "sexing up" their sites with "Flash intros".

    Flash might look cool and all, but it is not. You can do the same stuff with style sheets and standardized html-coding, plus you then make it possible for users with text based web readers to browse the "Saharawi web".

    More focus on spreading the word on Internet, yes! But, hands off flash intros! ;-)

  2. Heh, I know, Laroussi. I was being facetious. Some people I know have long Flash intros and they're ridiculous.

    Thanks for the web design tip, though. And I agree-Polisario needs to get more of their material in English.

  3. Anonymous12:05 PM

    The CODESA Secretariat
    El Ayun, Western Sahara,
    June 25th, 2007.
    The Arrest of minor children and young Sahrawis in El Ayun, Western Sahara:
    The Moroccan authorities in El Ayun, Western Sahara are imposing a strict police control on different districts, streets and educational institutions that are hosting the end-of-year examinations. This has negatively affected the students who take their exams in difficult stressful conditions.The Sahrawi minors and teenagers have been suffering greatly from the Moroccan police interventions at schools, their arrest and torture in different places, especially in the police vans. Some of these students were deprived of taking their exams. The case of Mohamed Boutabbaa, 17 years old is a good example. Boutabaa was arrested, spent five days being interrogated at the judicial police center, and then put in the Black Jail in El Ayun, Western Sahara. The reason was his participation in pro-independence demonstrations.Salah Eddine Achraf, 14 years old, and Ahmad Chtouqui, 11 years old, were also arrested by some judicial police agents. They were interrogated for a period ranging from 04 to 08 hours. They allege that they were subject to beating and inhuman treatment.The Sahrawi young citizen, Ali Tawbbali, 20 years old, was arrested on June 14th, 2007. He spent 24 hours in the judicial police center in El Ayun, where he was severely beaten on all his body´s parts. This resulted in injuries on his back, knees, ears and eyes.The CODESA notices with great concern the increase of political detention among the Sahrawi minors and young people, especially these two late months. It also remarks the Moroccan authorities´ pressure on these children and their families not to unveil these violations. They warn them not to write complaints or contact the human rights associations or publish their pictures of torture on newspapers and the web

    Pictures of 4 years children burned and tortured by moroccan police yesterday ( 27.06.2007) in Smara city, Western Sahara available here:

  4. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Hi Will

    Terrible what is happened to these young saharawi children in the “occupied WS” but in the other side in the refugees camps there are about 9000 children from the refugees camps are invited to spent vacation in Spain this year
    They are lovely…see them here:
    May Will will write nice word on saharawi children, their patient and their sacrifice in other side…good issue for next post

    On the websites . yes most of WS website are poor and have bad design WSonline have professional design but the websites from “occupied WS “ are the most popular among saharawis. Simply they want to see what is going in the other side of the bern…
    The pro-polisario sites concentrate on the high political issues. People want to know first what is going on the camps first such the social and economic activities . hope soon we will hear about website doing this business
    Hope all best to saharawis


  5. Desertman, you play me like a cheap fiddle. There definitely will be a post coming up about that. Adorable!

    What's not adorable is the treatment Sahrawis are getting, as outlined by CODESA. How can Polisario be expected to make concessions when Sahrawis in the occupied territory are treated so poorly?

  6. I like the pic. Did you steal it fromt that exhibit we saw on menswear at the NY Public Library?

  7. I wish. That's actually a photograph of Khatry Beirouk. He's gesturing to the laptop where he's displaying the WSO redesign.

  8. Laroussi8:23 PM

    According to Codesa there should be photos of "burned and tortured" children at

    I find no pictures whatsoever at the said address. Has anyone seen them there or elsewhere?