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Smara is located in Western Sahara
Location in Wastren Sahara
Coordinates: 26°44′22″N 11°40′13″W / 26.73944°N 11.67028°W / 26.73944; -11.67028
KintraWastren Sahara
Claimed biMorocco Kinrick o Morocco,
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Controlled biMorocco
 • Total42,056

Smara, an aa Samara an Semara (Arabic: السمارة‎), is a ceety in the Moroccan-Admeenistered Wastren Sahara, wi a population estimatit at 42,056[1].

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

The laiirgest ceety in its province, Smara wis foondit in the Saguia el-Hamra as an oasis for travellers in 1869. It is the anerlie major ceety in Wastren Sahara that wis no foondit bi the Spainyie. In the centre o the ceety the remains o a stane fortress can be foond, the Zawiy Maalainin, which enclosed a mosque. The Maalainin lived thare frae 1830 till 1912. It wis made a caipital an releegious centre in 1902 bi shaykh Ma al-'Aynayn, in wha wis then Spainyie Sahara. The location o the ceety wis intendit tae ensure its becomin a caravan tred hub in the spairsely populatit Sahara desert. The enlairgement o Smara wis carried oot bi local Sahrawis as well as craftsmen sent bi the sultan Hassan I. In 1902, shaykh Ma al-'Aynayn moved tae Smara an declared it his holy caipital. Amang ither things, he creatit here an important Islamic leebrar, an the toun became a centre o releegious learnin.

In 1904 the shaykh declared hissel an imam an cried for holy war (jihad) against French colonialism, which wis increasingly pressin intae the Sahara at this time. Durin the campaign against Ma al-'Aynayn, Smara wis sacked amaist completely in 1913 bi the French Airmy, an its leebrar destroyed.[2] The toun wis then haundit ower tae the Spainyie. In 1934 the toun wis ance again destroyed efter Sahrawi rebellions against the Spainyie occupation.

The Vieuchange brithers[eedit | eedit soorce]

Reachin Ma el Ainain's mysterious Smara wis the goal o the brithers Vieuchange, early 20t century French writers an romantics. Michel Vieuchange's painful journey throu the rebel-held Sahrawi lands in 1930 disguised varyingly as a tribesman, a Muslim wumman an an US businessman, an the illness that lead tae his daith on the wey back, is documentit in his traivel diaries. Thay wur published posthumously as Semara: The Forbidden City (1932) bi his brither Jean.

Efter 1975[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 1975, Morocco teuk control o Saguia Elhamra as Spain athdrew, accordin tae the Madrid Accords. The Moroccan airmy teuk the ceety frae the Polisario Front in 1976. Near Tindouf, Algerie, thare still exists a Sahrawi refugee camp named efter Smara. It is ane o the fower camps o the SADR admeenistration in Algerie.[3]

The toun is presently controlled bi the Moroccan authorities, as pairt o wha the govrenment terms its Soothren Provinces, an enclosed bi a section o the Moroccan Wall.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Stefan Helders (2006). "Western Sahara - largest cities (per geographical entity)" (in English). World Gazetteer. Archived frae the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2006.CS1 maint: unrecognised leid (link)
  2. After a defeat of the French at Lebeyratt colonel Mouret mounts an attack against Smara. Leaving from Teyarett (in the north-west of Atar) on the 9th of february, he arrives in the Zemmour on the first of march to sack the holy city (Smara). He finds her empty of all people.(Le Rumeur (Guy) : Le Grand Méhariste, Paris, Berger Levrault)
  3. Accordin tae the American Refugee Committee (ARC), approximately 39,000 Sahrawi refugees live in Asward camp, which is some 20 miles (30km) frae Tindouf; some 38,000 live in Dakhla camp, the furthest at aboot 110 miles (180 km) frae Tindouf; an estimatit 39,000 refugees live in Laayoune camp, aboot 5 miles (10 km) frae Tindouf; an mair nor 39,000 Sahrawi refugees live in Smara camp, which is aboot 30 miles (50 km) frae Tindouf. The number o refugees in the camps haes, accordin tae ARC, quadrupled syne 1979.

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]

Coordinates: 26°44′22″N 11°40′13″W / 26.73944°N 11.67028°W / 26.73944; -11.67028