Originally, the Saharawi were desert nomads who traveled from place to place with their camels. Today, they can be found in the desert in southern Morocco, in the Western Sahara region, in the north of Mauritania, in Algerian refugee camps, and in the Canary Islands. A sub-group of the Moors, the Saharawi are of mixed Berber, Arab and black African descent. Western Sahara was a Spanish colony, but Spain pulled out in 1976. Then Morocco and Mauritania invaded the former colony. Mauritania pulled out in 1979 but Moroccan troops still occupy the territory. A small number of them fled to Libya to escape fighting during a time when Libya was more peaceful than it is today.
Saharawi society consists of four main groups: warriors; marabouts, or holy people; tribute payers, who pay taxes to the higher classes; and black slaves. Craftsmen and musicians form separate, low-caste groups. In the past, differences in social class were clearly marked. The eight Saharawi tribes were constantly at odds with one another, struggling for supremacy. Fighting, robbery, and revenge were the means of surviving drought and plagues. Peace through negotiation always followed. Today, classes serve more as a means of identification rather than a way of life. Some Saharawi are herdsmen, others are traders, and still others are warriors. However, all speak an Arabic dialect called Hassaniya. In addition, their religion, way of life, and dress are Arabic in flavor and style.
While many pre-Islamic beliefs still exist among the Saharawi, they like to think of themselves as pure Muslims, though they are not that orthodox. Like most North African groups, they hold to beliefs that certain dead Muslim teachers have a power that can be accessed for healing through pilgrimage to their grave sites. Some scholars have mentioned that the Saharawi also worship a god known as Sidi Erbbi, who is paternal and full of life.
There's a serious need for peace so these people can go home. Libya is also in a state of war, so they are in a bad position no matter where they live.
* Scripture Prayers for the Sahrawi in Libya.
Pray for peace in the Western Sahara. Ask God for the formation of Bible believing fellowships in Libya among this people group. Pray that the Saharawi would come to see Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace and flee to him for refuge. Pray for Christ's ambassadors to go to these Muslims, bearing the sin-forgiving savior.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Sahrawi|
|People Name in Country||Sahrawi|
|Population this Country||900|
|Population all Countries||613,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Delim; Delim Bedouin; Saharawi|
|Region||Africa, North and Middle East|
|Persecution Rank||4 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Widespread, especially in the north. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language||Arabic, Libyan Spoken (900 speakers)|
|Language Code||ayl Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
Primary Language: Arabic, Libyan Spoken
Bible Translation Status: Unspecified
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Arabic Bible Online|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Arabic, Libyan Spoken|
|Film / Video||LUMO film of Gospels|
|Film / Video||My Last Day video, anime|
|Film / Video||The Prophets' Story|
|Film / Video||The Prophets' Story|
|General||Gospel resources links|
|Text / Printed Matter||Tools for faith conversations|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|