Farmed for its ancient cross culture – between the Arab-Amazigh (Berber) and the African peoples – Mauritania is a land of history, culture, music, tradition and modernity all weaved into one. Meet mouthwatering Moorish women on Exotic Africa.
Known as ‘the land of a thousand poets” within the Arab world mauritania takes pride in its people’s talent in composition and recitation of poetry, both in classical forms and in the Ḥassāniyyah dialect.
Traditional music forms, belted out by beautiful moorish women, are alive here and some of the popular stars include Dimi Mint Abba.
Moorish women have long held central roles as household managers as well as critical cultural roles as the chief transmitters of Moorish culture, a tradition that has been translated into the modern economy with women playing an active part in government, business and education.
Arabic is the official language of Mauritania; Fula, Soninke and Wolof are recognized as national languages.
Welcome to Mauritania
Mauritania is an arid, lower-middle-income country in Northwest Africa, bordered on one side by the Atlantic Ocean.Nouakchott is the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.The city focuses on a square, the Place de l’Indépendence, and includes an airport and industrial area.
A former French colony and now an Islamic country you can still grab a drink after a hot hard day. Many of the French and Spanish owned clubs and restaurants in Nouakchott will have some whisky or beer available.
Monotel – Ran by a Spanish Father and Son, is a fairly reliable source for whisky. Naf’s Cafe – Located behind Friso’s will also have beer, whisky rum and vodka. Cafe in the American Embassy will also have drinks during the day.
The national currency is called the ouguiya and 100MRU is equal to 20US$.
The Moors constitute more than two-thirds of the population. About three-fifths of the Moorish population has Sudanic African origins and is collectively known as Haratin (singular Ḥarṭānī; sometimes referred to by the outside world as “Black Moors”). About two-fifths of the Moorish population self-identifies as Bīḍān (singular Bīḍānī, translated literally as “white”; “White Moors”), which indicates individuals of Arab and Amazigh (Berber) descent.
Mauritania forms a geographic and cultural bridge between the North African Maghrib (a region that also includes Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and the westernmost portion of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Much of Mauritania encompases part of the Sahara desert, and, until the drought conditions that affected most of that zone of Africa in the 1970s, a large proportion of the population was nomadic. Today, of Mauritania’s total population, about half live in and around urban centres.
The climate owes its aridity to the northeastern trade winds, which blow constantly in the north and throughout most of the year in the rest of the country; the drying effect produced by these winds is increased by the harmattan, a hot, dry wind that blows from the northeast or east.
The country’s mineral wealth includes large reserves of iron ore, copper, and gypsum, all of which are now being exploited, as well as some oil resources.
On the whole, the population is very young: more than two-fifths of Mauritanians are under age 15, and more than two-thirds of the population is 29 years of age or younger.
How to get to Mauritania
International airports include those at Néma, Nouakchott, and Nouâdhibou, and a number of other cities are linked by regular domestic air services. Some one-third of Mauritanian roadways are paved. The Trans-Mauritania highway, which links Nouakchott to the west of the country via Kaedi, Kiffa, ʿAyoûn el-ʿAtroûs, and Néma, was completed in 1982. A north-south highway linking Nouakchott and Nouadhibou was completed in 2004. A rail link connects the mining centres of Zouerate, Guelb El Rheïn, and Mhaoudat with a port at Nouâdhibou.
Things to see in Mauritania
Mauritania has excellent tourism potential and some of its most important sites (the Banc d’Arguin National Park and the historic cities of Tîchît, Chingueṭṭi, Ouadâne, and Oualâta) have been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Nouakchott is the site of a national library, national archives, and a national cultural and social research centre, which houses a repository for the national collection of Arabic manuscripts. There are numerous private local libraries in many urban centres that specialize in Arabic works; among these are the family libraries of Arabic manuscripts in Boutilimit, Chingueṭṭi, and Kaedi.
The Banc d’Arguin National Park, situated along the Atlantic coast, is home to a particularly large variety of migratory birds and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1989.