Laayoune

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/Elʕyūn; Berber languages: ⵍⵄⵢⵓⵏ, romanized: Leɛyun; Literary Arabic: العيون‎, romanizedal-ʿUyūn/el-ʿUyūn, lit.'The Springs') is the largest city of the disputed territory of Western Sahara, with a population of 217,732 in 2014. The city is under de facto administration by Morocco. The modern city is thought to have been founded by the Spanish captain Antonio de Oro in 1938.[7] In 1940, Spain designated it as the capital of the Spanish Sahara.[citation needed] Laâyoune is the capital of the Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region administered by Morocco, under the supervision of the UN peacekeeping mission MINURSO.

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
Claimed byMorocco Kingdom of Morocco, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Controlled byMorocco Kingdom of Morocco
Settled1934
Founded1938
Founded byAntonio de Oro
Area
 • Total21 km2 (8 sq mi)
Population
 (2014)[1]
 • Total217,732
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)

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.[citation needed] A cathedral from that era is still active; its priests serve this city and Dakhla further south.[citation needed]

HistoryEdit

Laâyoune or El Aaiún are respectively the French and Spanish transliterations of the Maghrebi Arabic name Layoun, which means "the springs", in reference to the oases that furnish the town's water supply.[8]

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

ClimateEdit

Laayoune has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), moderated by the Canary Current,[citation needed] with an average annual temperature just over 21 °C (70 °F).

Climate data for Laayoune (1981-2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.2
(72.0)
22.7
(72.9)
24.5
(76.1)
23.9
(75.0)
25.6
(78.1)
27.4
(81.3)
29.5
(85.1)
30.4
(86.7)
30.0
(86.0)
28.6
(83.5)
26.0
(78.8)
23.2
(73.8)
26.2
(79.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.9
(62.4)
17.6
(63.7)
19.2
(66.6)
19.2
(66.6)
20.7
(69.3)
22.5
(72.5)
24.5
(76.1)
25.2
(77.4)
24.7
(76.5)
23.3
(73.9)
20.8
(69.4)
18.0
(64.4)
21.1
(70.0)
Average low °C (°F) 11.6
(52.9)
12.5
(54.5)
13.9
(57.0)
14.5
(58.1)
15.8
(60.4)
17.7
(63.9)
19.4
(66.9)
20.0
(68.0)
19.4
(66.9)
18.0
(64.4)
15.6
(60.1)
12.8
(55.0)
15.9
(60.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11.1
(0.44)
11.1
(0.44)
5.4
(0.21)
1.1
(0.04)
0.5
(0.02)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.00)
0.5
(0.02)
1.5
(0.06)
3.0
(0.12)
9.8
(0.39)
13.3
(0.52)
57.4
(2.26)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 239.1 234.7 281.4 296.5 326.5 308.9 290.3 286.9 260.1 266.1 243.9 229.8 3,264.2
Source: NOAA[9]

DemographicsEdit

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

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

Economy and statusEdit

The city is a hub for fishing and for phosphate mining in the region.[11] In 2010, the country was negotiating a new fishing agreement with Europe over offshore fishing.[citation needed]

SportEdit

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.[citation needed]

TransportEdit

Laayoune is served by Hassan I Airport.

EducationEdit

Schools in Laâyoune include a Spanish international school, Colegio Español La Paz, owned by the Spanish government.[12]

Diplomatic missionsEdit

On 18 December 2019, Comoros became the first nation to open a consulate in Laayoune in support of Moroccan claims to Western Sahara.[13] In January 2020, Gabon opened a consulate general in Laayoune.[14] Later on, São Tomé and Príncipe,[15] the Central African Republic,[16] Ivory Coast,[17] Burundi,[18] Eswatini,[19] Zambia,[20] the United Arab Emirates,[21] and Bahrain,[22] also opened consulates in Laayoune.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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". Lexico UK Dictionary. 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". Lexico UK Dictionary. 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. ^ Adrian Room (1994). African Placenames: Origins and Meanings of the Names for Over 2000 Natural Features, Towns, Cities, Provinces, and Countries. McFarland. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-89950-943-3.
  9. ^ "WMO_Normals_ASCII_60033". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d "Western Sahara: Provinces & Urban Communes - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Diplomacy over Western Sahara: 'Morocco v Algeria'". The Economist. 4 November 2010.
  12. ^ 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[...]"
  13. ^ "First foreign diplomatic post opens in Western Sahara". Arab News. 18 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Gabon Opens Consulate General in Laayoune". Sahara News. 17 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Sao Tome and Principe Inaugurates Consulate General in Laayoune". Morocco World News. 23 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Central African Republic Opens Consulate General in Laayoune". Morocco World News. 23 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Cote d'Ivoire Opens General Consulate in Morocco's Laayoune". Morocco World News. 18 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Burundi Opens General Consulate in Laayoune". Morocco World News. 28 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Eswatini Opens Consulate General in Laayoune, Southern Morocco". Morocco World News. 27 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Zambia Opens Consulate General in Morocco's Laayoune". Morocco World News. 27 October 2020.
  21. ^ "UAE Officially Opens Consulate General in Morocco's Laayoune". Morocco World News. 4 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Bahrain Opens Consulate General in Laayoune, Southern Morocco". Morocco World News. 14 December 2020.

External linksEdit