Dad Blogs About Azawad

29 12 2012

My father (1st from left) meeting Egypt’s Nasser during first Mauritanian official state visit to Cairo in July 1963

It is not every day that one can call their own dad a fellow blogger! My father, a retired diplomat and historian has been blogging more than I have of late. He produced a 12-part series on his Arabic-language blog “Ewrag Mussafir” (Travelers Notes) about the Azawad province in Mali. The series covers in short format the history, politics, sociology and ethnography of that troubled region.

It is a very useful contribution for Arabic-language readers explaining the background of the current upheaval in that region. Very few has been written of late in accessible language explaining a rather complicated and profoundly unfortunate fate of the peoples of Azawad.

Given the current context,  these writings also offer insights into how Mauritanians think of Azawad and their perspective on its affairs. My father’s views were informed by his diplomatic and journalistic career spanning over 4 decades, as well as, translating into Arabic of some of early 20th century French colonial sociologist Paul Marty‘s books about today’s Mauritania and Mali. Marty’s work was instrumental for France’s colonization of that area and informed its policies aiming to dominate that space.

the impending war in Azawad remains a highly unpopular prospect among Mauritanians who fear that the conflict would spill over into their own territory. Alas, I do not have much time to translate these posts. Hopefully, someone else would.

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