Skip to main content

Distributed for University of Wales Press

Western Sahara

The Refugee Nation

In 1975, after Francoist Spain abandoned Western Sahara, Morocco and Mauritania hastily moved in to occupy the territory, despite protests by the United Nations and resistance from a nascent Saharawi liberation movement known as the Frente Polisario. During the conflict’s first few months, thousands of Saharawis were displaced to the neighboring Algerian region of Tindouf, where almost 200,000 Saharawis still live today in four large refugee camps. But now these camps are more than refugee settlements: they have become the center of a state founded by the Saharawi nationalists, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. This book examines how a new Saharawi identity, culture, and society has emerged in these refugee camps over the past few decades and highlights the impact that  the Hispanic, Arab, and African worlds have had in shaping the contours of this nation.

226 pages | 7 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2010

Iberian and Latin American Studies

History: European History

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

University of Wales Press image

View all books from University of Wales Press


“A credible history and analysis of the ways in which the Sahrawis, from Spanish colonial times to the present, have come to see themselves and have coped with the often-wrenching changes to their environment. . . . [T]hose already conversant with Western Sahara will find this book a useful addition to their collections, as it contains material of many types not readily accessible elsewhere in English.”


Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Foreword
List of Figures
Introduction: ’If you ever arrive at a wide white land ...’

Chapter 1: From Cuba to Villa Cisneros: The Construction of a Spanish Neocolonial Space in the Sahara
Chapter 2: From the Spanish ’Peace’ to Armed Struggle: The Emergence of Saharawi Nationalism
Chapter 3: From Refugees to Citizens: Exile and Nation-building in the Saharawi Refugee Camps
Chapter 4: From Soldiers to Shopkeepers: Nationalism, Development and Social Change in the Saharawi Refugee Camps


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press