Monday, June 16, 2008

What happened to Western Sahara Online

The passing of Western Sahara Online into the lapsed domain ether is a great loss for Western Sahara on the internet. It offered the best English-language introduction to the conflict available on the internet (ARSO is more of a fantastic tip sheet for the already converted), and the cartoons were cool too. It also handily beat its Moroccan doppelganger. So what happened?

Webmaster Khatry Beirouk was just too busy. He said he had some other reasons, but that seems to be at the core of it. Khatry has saved the website's information and may someday relaunch WSO. Until then, though, there is a great opportunity for a new, well-designed site to introduce people to Western Sahara.

While I'm sad to see the site go on hiatus, the work Khatry did through it was invaluable. I know at least one person who linked to the site in their email signature, and I put the URL on flyers distributed on cars around the Moroccan embassy (including Ambassador Aziz Mekouar's). It'll be hard to imitate WSO's success, but I hope someone will try.

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