Segments in this Video

Deserted People (12:35)


Since the Moroccans invaded Western Sahara in 1975, five refugee camps along the Algerian border house up to 160,000 Sahrawi people. Jalihenna Mohamed explains that nobody knows about the conflict and the harsh conditions in the camps.

Moroccan Occupation (03:06)

In 1975, Mauritania and Morocco colonized Western Sahara. After the U.N. and the International Court of Justice declared the occupation illegal, Mauritania left, but Morocco remained. South African Ambassador Dennis Thokozani Dlomo and Western Sahara Prime Ministe Abdelkader Taleb Omar hope the Sahrawis will gain full independence.

Against the Wall (05:03)

Peadar King visits the liberated zone of Western Sahara, where the Moroccans have constructed a 2,000-kilometer wall and laid 7 million land mines. Mustapha Mohamed fought against Morocco. Shepherd Mohamed Salem Hamma Halla and his wife are willing to fight.

Responses to Exile (03:04)

King returns to a camp where refugees grow vegetables. He then goes to Algiers, where a refugee tells him about how difficult it is to be a stateless person.

Tales of Torture (05:23)

King visits El-Aaiún where he secretly meets with human rights activists who tell him stories of arrest and torture. He later goes into the desert where Moroccan flags line the road in preparation for the Moroccan king’s visit.

Hope of Return (02:58)

King returns to the refugee camp where a husband and wife tell him that they are willing to go to war against Morocco. There is a debate among the Sahrawi people whether to continue with U.N. plans or take up arms; the desire to return to their homeland is unshakable.


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What in the World—Algeria and Western Africa: Going Home

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



For forty years now the Sahrawi people have lived in exile. Their home: five refugee camps in one of the hottest parts of the desert where summer temperatures reach over 50 degrees centigrade. Having fled the Moroccan invasion of their homeland, Western Sahara, over 100,000 people now live in what is in effect an open prison where they are completely dependent on the World Food Programme for their survival. Yet they continue to dream of the prospect of returning to their homeland in northwest Africa. After years of frustration, armed conflict, and broken UN promises many of the young men are contemplating a return to war.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL138852

ISBN: 978-1-64023-868-8

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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