Mission of the Western Sahara



The temperature in the Sahara Desert was over 130 degrees the first time I went to the refugee camps. Just weeks out of college, I was teaching English to Western Saharan refugees in southern Algeria. I was in the Sahara Desert, thousands of miles from home, because of a woman named Zahra. I met Zahra when I was a college student and she came to my university on a speaking tour to raise awareness about her country, Western Sahara.

Now, 22 years later, I’m going back to the refugee camps to run my first marathon. The SaharaMarathon winds its way through the refugee camps, bringing runners from around the world to raise funds and awareness for the 200,000 Western Saharan refugees who have been living in this harsh corner of the Sahara Desert for forty years.

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