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Shedding Light on the Saharawi Plight
SAHARAWI
MUSIC
Music is a central part of Saharawi culture – both in daily life and traditions and as a tool of expression used for political resistance. Music is a shared practice in Saharawi culture, and is deeply connected to Hassaniya poetry. As the Saharawi way of life is increasingly threatened, music serves as a connection to tradition and a way of reaffirming the uniqueness of Saharawi culture.
Learn More About Saharawi Music

Badawi Saharawi Music Archives

Badawi Sahrawi Music Archives (@badawisahrawiarchives) is the first Saharawi music label and archive set up and run by the music producer and DJ Bedouin Sahrawi, a refugee raised in Spain. Currently based in the Canary Islands, his heart is rooted in the Sahrawi refugee camps and in the Sahrawi cause.
DJ Bedouin Sahrawi has been collecting Sahrawi music for decades. He is in the process of digitising all of it to release through the Badawi label. Saharawi political folk music dates back to the 1970s and has played in integral role in the Sahrawi struggle for independence, with political anthems creating a national identity.
"One of the things that can kill us is when we start to forget the things that we have done. Our aim is to keep releasing all Sahrawi music and bring it back to life again."
– DJ Bedouin Sahrawi
In 2019, Badawi co-released the standout album "Tiris" by El Wali with Sahel Sounds. Originally recorded in Belgium in 1994, this version of El Wali performed a style reflecting the popular music of the Sahrawi refugee camps. A small run CD was first released through Oxfam Belgium, but it quickly disappeared and is impossible to find. After an arduous search over 8 years, the artists, the studio, and the original recording were eventually tracked down.
"In the past, Sahrawi music was only accessible for a few people that knew about the cause. Now we can promote the music online worldwide and support Sahrawi musicians...It's a way to present our music to the world."
– DJ Bedouin Sahrawi
DJ Bedouin Sahrawi has curated this archive of Saharawi music, some of which is available online free or to download!
ArtistAlbum Year Info Listen/Buy
Aziza Brahim Mawja 2024Voiced with deep passion and grace, Aziza Brahim’s music adeptly travels the expanse between her Western Saharan roots and Barcelona, the European cosmopolis where she now lives. Aziza is both a contemporary sonic poet and a prominent and eloquent spokesperson for the Saharawi people and their ongoing struggle for recognition and justice.https://azizabrahim.bandcamp.com/album/mawja
Aziza BrahimSahari 2019Sahari is a truly captivating release, with melodies that will linger long in the memory. There is great power to be found in the juxtaposition of the hurt, anger and resistance with the unbridled optimism in the dream for the end to the struggle, but the album speaks to more than just the specifics of Western Sahara, its hope is that the world will learn not only to open its heart and mind to the Saharawi, but to all refugees.https://azizabrahim.bandcamp.com/album/sahari
El WaliTiris 1994 - present Recorded in Belgium in 1994 while on tour, this version of El Wali performed a style reflecting the popular music of the refugee camps. “Tiris” is a refreshing production with none of the typical World Music polish of the 90s. This evidently led to its unsuccessful release in the West. Originally released only in as a small run CD for OXFAM Belgium, the CD quickly disappeared and is impossible to find. In West Africa, however, it became a viral success and the defining representative Sahrawi music. In 2012 a track was released on “Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol 2” and only after an arduous search over 8 years (leading through Spain to the Canary Islands to Tindouf and eventually to Belgium) the artists, the studio, and the original recording were tracked down.https://elwali.bandcamp.com/album/tiris
Aziza BrahimAbbar el Hamada2016Abbar el Hamada (Across the Hamada), is a commanding and compassionate musical statement about, and for, the tumultuous age in which we live.https://azizabrahim.bandcamp.com/album/abbar-el-hamada
Aziza BrahimSoutak2014https://azizabrahim.bandcamp.com/album/soutak
Mariem HassanEl Aaiun egdat2012El Aaiun edgat is the third album of Saharawi singer Mariem Hassan. This album reached Number 1 on the World Music Charts Europe in June and July 2012. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_k9o2WMp8gEoO-_VlNIq4mR5qQJ4jzhBjQ
Group DouehBeatte Harab 2010Doueh is a four-piece family band from Western Sahara. Doueh (the father) is the guitarist.https://sublime-frequencies.bandcamp.com/album/beatte-harab
Mariem HassanShouka 2010https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lJ4c8w3e5r6B87DEc2DJKa2_RSgoxTeS8
Ali SeidahGritos contra el muro (Shouting against the wall)2008Ali Seidah rose to fame after releasing this album.
Mariem HassanDeseos2005Debut solo album. This album contains Hassan's most known song 'La Intifada'. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lOXIWto_pGA8DjF-UzvNAKiCSkM8hOOl0
Mariem HassanMariem Hassan con Leyoad2002A collective album by Mariem Hassan and the Saharawi group Leyoad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2wgQzaZDxs
Sahrauis: The Music of the Western Sahara 1999Three-disc box set of Saharawi music.
CD1, entitled 'A Pesar De Las Heridas' features Saharawi artists such as Mariem Hassan and Aziza Brahim.
CD 2, entitled 'Sahara Mi Tierra' include guitarist Nayim Alal and Mahfoud Aliyen.
CD 3, entitled 'Polisario Vencerá', is a re-edition of a 1982 album by the Saharawi band Chahid El Uali.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r-LDzDN1ag
Starry Nights in Western Sahara 1993Starry Nights in Western Sahara is an album compiled by Sandblast founder Danielle Smith. The majority of the songs are sung by Umm Mekiya, a woman notorious for her voice. Songs range from traditional love songs to contemporary songs of political protest, accompanied with rhythmic clapping, lutes and tidinit. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Starry-Nights-Western-Various-Artists/dp/B00008UAOG

A journey does not consist of the path you take, but of what you bring back with you."

- Saharawi proverb
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