Laayoune

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Laâyoune

لعيون  (Hassaniyya)
ⵍⵄⵢⵓⵏ  (Berber languages)

El Aaiún
El Aaiún-Laâyoune Collage.png
Laâyoune is located in Western Sahara
Laâyoune
Laâyoune
Location in Western Sahara
Laâyoune is located in Africa
Laâyoune
Laâyoune
Laâyoune (Africa)
Coordinates: 27°9′13″N 13°12′12″W / 27.15361°N 13.20333°W / 27.15361; -13.20333Coordinates: 27°9′13″N 13°12′12″W / 27.15361°N 13.20333°W / 27.15361; -13.20333
Non-Self-Governing TerritoryWestern Sahara
RegionLaâyoune-Sakia El Hamra
ProvinceLaâyoune
Settled1934
Founded1938
Area
 • Total21 km2 (8 sq mi)
Population
 (2014)[1]
 • Total217,732
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)

Laâyoune (/lɑːˈjn/ lah-YOON,[2][3] also UK: /lˈ-/ ly-,[4] French: [la.ajun]) or El Aaiún (/ˌɛl ˈ(j)n/ EL eye-(Y)OON,[3][5][6] Spanish: [el (a)aˈʝun]; Hassaniya Arabic: لعيون, romanized: Laʕyūn; Berber languages: ⵍⵄⵢⵓⵏ, romanized: Leɛyun; Literary Arabic: العيون‎, romanizedal-ʿUyūn, lit. 'The Springs') is the largest city of the disputed territory of Western Sahara and de facto administered by Morocco. The modern city is thought to have been founded by the Spanish colonizer Antonio de Oro in 1938.[7] In 1940, Spain designated it as the capital of the Spanish Sahara. Laâyoune (El-Aaiún) is the capital of the Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region administered by Morocco under the supervision of the UN peace-keeping mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

The town is divided in two by the dry river of Saguia el Hamra. On the south side is the old lower town, constructed by Spanish colonists. A cathedral from that era is still active; its priests serve this city and Dakhla further south.

History[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Laâyoune or El Aaiún are respectively the French and Spanish transliterations of the Maghrebi Arabic name Layoun which means "the water springs".

Zemla uprising[edit]

The town was the scene of the Zemla Intifada that occurred on June 17th, 1970 that culminated in a massacre, resulting in the deaths ranging from 2 to 11 people.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Laayoune has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), moderated by the Canary Current with an average annual temperature of 20 °C (68 °F).

Climate data for Laayoune
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.0
(71.6)
22.6
(72.7)
23.7
(74.7)
23.9
(75.0)
25.4
(77.7)
26.4
(79.5)
28.8
(83.8)
29.6
(85.3)
29.2
(84.6)
28.1
(82.6)
25.0
(77.0)
20.5
(68.9)
25.4
(77.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.0
(60.8)
16.7
(62.1)
17.9
(64.2)
18.6
(65.5)
20.3
(68.5)
21.4
(70.5)
23.3
(73.9)
23.9
(75.0)
23.3
(73.9)
22.3
(72.1)
20.1
(68.2)
15.4
(59.7)
19.9
(67.9)
Average low °C (°F) 10.0
(50.0)
10.8
(51.4)
12.2
(54.0)
13.4
(56.1)
15.2
(59.4)
16.5
(61.7)
17.9
(64.2)
18.3
(64.9)
17.4
(63.3)
16.6
(61.9)
15.3
(59.5)
10.3
(50.5)
14.5
(58.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 3
(0.1)
2
(0.1)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
0
(0)
1
(0.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
4
(0.2)
7
(0.3)
8
(0.3)
27
(1)
Source: Climate-data.com [8]

Demographics[edit]

Year Population
1982 (Census) 93,875[9]
1994 (Census) 136,950[10]
2004 (Census) 183,691[11]
2014 (Census) 217,732[12]

Laayoune has a population of 217,732[1] and is the largest city in Western Sahara. It is a growing economic hub.

Economy and status[edit]

The city is a hub for fishing and for phosphate mining in the region.[13] In 2010 the country was negotiating a new fishing agreement with Europe over offshore fishing.

Sport[edit]

The football club of the city is Jeunesse Massira. The club plays in the Moroccan Premier League, the highest football league in the country. Jeunesse Massira uses Stade Sheikh Mohamed Laghdaf for training and games.

Transport[edit]

Laayoune is served by Hassan I Airport.

Education[edit]

There is a Spanish international school, Colegio Español La Paz, owned by the Spanish government. It occupies a 17,000-square-metre (180,000 sq ft) property. In 2015 the parents' association, Asociación de Madres, Padres y Tutores de Alumnos del Colegio Español La Paz (AMPA), asked for the establishment of secondary education so their children would not have to go to Las Palmas or Morocco to continue their education.[14]

Gallery[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES, MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in Arabic and French). High Commission for Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Laayoune". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Laayoune". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Laâyoune". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  5. ^ "el-Aaiún". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  6. ^ "El Aaiún". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  7. ^ Francisco López Barrios (2005-01-23). "El Lawrence de Arabia Español" (in Spanish). El Mundo. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  8. ^ "Climate: Laayoune".
  9. ^ http://citypopulation.de/WesternSahara.html
  10. ^ http://citypopulation.de/WesternSahara.html
  11. ^ http://citypopulation.de/WesternSahara.html
  12. ^ http://citypopulation.de/WesternSahara.html
  13. ^ "Diplomacy over Western Sahara: 'Morocco v Algeria'", The Economist, 4 November 2010.
  14. ^ Santana, Txema. "El colegio español en El Aaiún pide ciclo de secundaria" (Archive). El País. April 10, 2015. Retrieved on May 1, 2016. "Lagadaf Lahsen, presidente del AMPA del centro educativo, asegura que es “la única forma de evitar” que sus hijos “se vayan a otras ciudades de Marruecos o a Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, además de que no se pierda el español en el Sáhara”." and "[...]una instalación de 17.000 metros cuadrados que es propiedad del Estado español[...]"
  15. ^ "Renewing the twining agreement between Central Algiers and Wilaya of El Aaiun". Sahara Press Service. 2011-10-30. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
  16. ^ Ayuntamiento de Almería (ed.). "Ciudades Hermanadas". Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  17. ^ "Balance del viaje realizado por representantes municipales al Sahara". Aviles.es. Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  18. ^ Ayuntamiento de Málaga (ed.). "Official website for Malaga's candidature for European capital of culture in 2016". Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  19. ^ "Hermanamiento de Montevideo y El Aaiún". Montevideo.gub.uy. 2009-12-13. Archived from the original on 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  20. ^ "El Ayuntamiento de Lorca denuncia la agresión de Marruecos contra el Pueblo Saharaui" (in Spanish). Murcia.es. 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2013-02-11.

External links[edit]