Mauritania Culture, Map, Flag, Tourist Places
Mauritania (Muritaniyyah in arabic), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, by Senegal on the south-west, by Mali on the east and south-east, by Algeria on the north-east, and by Moroccan-annexed territory of Western Sahara on the north-west. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast. It is named after the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania.
Most of Mauritania has a Saharan climate, being hot and windy with little or absolutely no rain. The strong desert winds appear in March and April. However, the coastal area has a milder climate, being relieved by pleasant sea-breezes. Daytime temperatures in the desert are usually above 38°C (100°F), but in the cooler season the daytime desert temperature can average around 24°C (75°F). Less then 100mm (4 in) of rain falls in the desert annually. In Nouakchott, Temperatures reach about 33°C (92°F) in the hottest months and average about 13°C (56°F) in the coolest month.
The state of Mauritania has a constitution which establishes the country as an Islamic republic and decrees that Islam is the religion of its citizens and the State; the Government limits freedom of religion. Non-Muslim resident expatriates and a few non-Muslim citizens practice their religion openly with certain limitation on proselytization and transmission of religious materials. Relations between the Muslim community and the small non-Muslim community are generally amicable.
Mauritania's largest ethnic group is the Moors. In Moorish society, musicians occupy the lowest caste, iggawin, who used song to praise successful warriors as well as their patrons. Iggawin also had the traditional role of messengers, spreading news between villages. In modern Mauritania, professional musicians are paid by anybody to perform; affluent patrons sometimes record the entertainment, and they are then considered to own the recordings, instead of the musician.
French and Arabic are widely spoken in Mauritania. Moors in the south speak a dialect of Arabic, Hassaniyyah, while several other African languages are spoken including those of the Pulaar, Soininke and Wolof peoples. After independence there was a long dispute between the Moors and the Africans over retaining French as an official language; in 1991, Arabic became the sole official language of Mauritania.
In Mauritania, 40% of the population is of mixed Moor and black African heritage; another 30 percent of Mauritania's people are Moors (of mixed Arab and Berber ancestry), many of whom lead nomadic existences. More than 90 percent of the population lives in the southern quarter of the country. About 30 percent of the people are black African farmers, who are settled in the Sénégal Valley.
Clans of priest-teachers called marabouts preserve and hand down the Arab-Islamic culture in Mauritania. The best-developed crafts among the Moors are goldsmithing and jewelry making. Drought has caused the disbanding of many clans and the decline of traditional nomadic culture.
On the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the capital city, Nouakchott provides a good out-of-the-way tourist destination. From its beginnings as a village in the desert on the route north from Dakar, the community grew after being chosen to be the site of the national capital in 1957, three years before Mauritania achieved full independence.
Formerly known as Port-Étienne, this town in northwestern Mauritania is the administrative centre of the Dakhlet - Nouadhibou Region, on the Atlantic Ocean. The nearby seaport of Point-Central in 1963 became the shipping centre for iron ore, which is produced in the interior around Fdérik.
Mauritania National Name : Islamic Republic of Mauritania
National Capital : Nouakchott
Mauritania Area : Approx. 1,025,520n Sq Km (395,960 Sq. Mi), 0.69% of total
Mauritania Population : 3,366,000 in 2010 (0.05% in total)
Ethnicity in Mauritania : mixed Maur/black 40%, Maur 30%, black 30%
Mauritania Languages : Hassaniya Arabic (official), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (official), French.
Religions in Mauritania: Islam 100%
Currency : Ouguiya ,MRO
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