Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Newsletter 1/2010: Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone:

We hope 2010 will be a great and successful year. In this first newsletter we are updating you on what has been and what is yet to come.

Since 2009
All eyes were on Aminatou Haidar when the decade came to an end. After staging a 32 day long hunger strike, the "African Gandhi" finally celebrated her victory and was allowed to return to her home in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Since then, she has been reported to be under house arrest and is still very weak.  Her convictions generated unprecedented media coverage about the plight of the Saharawis. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who showed their support.

It is our responsibility now to use this momentum of rare international awareness on Western Saharato to take action.

Action Alert
While Aminatou’s battle is won, the wider battle of human rights still needs to be fought. Sandblast is running a PETITION addressed directly to the Prime Minister to pressure the UK government to play a more active role in finding a just solution to the conflict in Western Sahara. It is very important that this petition be signed by as many of us as possible to reflect our outrage about the ongoing human rights violations being perpetuated by the Moroccan regime.

Sign it and share it. Circulate it with your network via email, facebook, twitter and the good old word-of-mouth.

Coming up in 2010
For 2010, we hope that the Saharawi struggle for their self-determination can come closer to becoming reality.

February 19-27
Next month, 32 people go out to the refugee camps in the Algerian desert for the Saharamarathon. Charity director Danielle Smith joins the group of adventurous runners and plans to walk 42km in an effort to raise £ 20,000 for projects to give the Saharawi refugees a voice and income through the arts. Please support their fundraising efforts and learn about the personal stories of some of the participants on our JustGiving page

April 25-May 2
For this year’s FISAHARA, the annual international film festival in the Saharawi refugee camps, we hope to attract as many actors, filmmakers, film technicians and enthusiasts to experience this unique festival in the desert. Now in its 7th year, international stars like Penelope Cruz are expected to attend. More information will soon be released. Emailgiles@caravanseraiproductions.com for more details.

Contact us for any questions and comments,

If you no longer want to be contacted by Sandblast, please email to info@sandblast-arts.org.


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