TRIP 2 TO BOUJDOUR: “CITY OF MYSTERIES”

Spending three months in Boujdour was not enough time to understand this small town. On my road back to Boujdour, many questions and ideas were still whirling in my mind. Though it is a very small town, Boujdour remains very obscure. Traveling back to Boujdour is traveling to a cave of obscurity, unclearness and a very complex society. This small city hides more than what it reveals. The quietness of this city hides a huge significant noise of poverty, exclusion, joblessness, illiteracy, ignorance, prostitution, violence, and crime.  These are issues one may not see on the surface during his first few months in Boujdour. This city is bleeding and crying but in silence. She is crying for help but no one can hear her cry.

The High Atlas Foundation decided to make the second trip to Boujdour, hoping to lend a helping hand for these people, to assess their needs, to know their dreams and ambitions, to empower them, to provide them with skills and tools to stand up. The High Atlas Foundation is committed to support and apply participatory development approaches, which hold the key road to human development in the Southern Provinces of Morocco generally and Boujdour region particularly.

It is my first week in Boujdour for the second time, and I find it a very interesting trip to answer many questions, to solve riddles of many contradictions and mysteries of this small city. Boujdour is like a desert without dimensions; or just like a very salty sea, the more you drink from it, the more you become thirsty. I am thirsty for discovery and with curiosity to understand the complexity of communities and cultures of Boujdour society and environment. The HAF continues to work to communicate with different development leaders, either governmental or nongovernmental, to prove her good intention and to help. We are still going ahead building relations day after day and never losing a chance for any new good relationship with any development leader or agent in the region.

Attending a closing ceremony organized by the Association of Ibdaa for Arts, Deco Art and Traditional Embroidery:

On Friday, March 15, 2013, I was so glad to attend a closing ceremony organized by Ibdaa Association on the occasion of International Women’s Day. This association offers young women a certification after two years of attending ceramic and deco art professional trainings. There was great participation from women that day, those who had already received their certification and a special visit from a poet from Laayounne, from the family of Khouloud, who came to enrich the occasion with her poems about love and women’s status in Saharawi culture.

There were also some officials from the cultural center of Boujdour.  Ninety percent of the audience and participants were women from different communities of Boujdour society. Attending this occasion gave support and encouragement for these talented young women.

I enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures they had exhibited in the showroom which were the symbol of the powerful creativity and challenge facing women in the “ City of Challenge” – Boujdour.

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