POLISARIO CAMPS, Algeria — Rabab Deid has lived most of her life in an isolated camp in the windy, moonscape desert of western Algeria, alongside 150,000 other refugees.
The 43-year-old teacher is involved in one of the least-known, longest-running conflicts involving refugees, part of a decades-long dispute over a Colorado-sized strip of land in northern Africa called Western Sahara. On one side are the Sahrawi refugees led by a group known as the Polisario Front. On the other, the Moroccan government, which annexed Western Sahara after Spain’s colonial forces withdrew in 1976.
In the decades since, five Sahrawi refugee camps have sprouted up in Western Algeria’s barren Tindouf province. With their mud-brick and concrete buildings, and nomadic tents known as khaimas, they look more like towns. Pens hold goats and camels for meat and skins. Water is pumped from the ground.
This article is available in full on the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/10/the-37-year-old-refugee-situation-you-know-nothing-about.html