Mauritainaboysstudents Byglobalpartnershipforeducation Viaflickrcc

Pray for the Moors of Mauritania

Mauritania is an Islamic republic in West Africa and is predominantly a desert country – mostly hot, dry, and windy. It is about the size of France and Spain combined, but with only 4.3 million inhabitants. Mauritania has an ethnically diverse population, but two dominating groups are the Bidhan, or “white Moors” who are 30% of the population and the Haratin, or “black Moors” who make up 40%. Both groups are themselves a blend of Arab and Berber cultural influences. They are almost entirely Muslim.

Most Moorish families were still nomads only two or three generations ago, but sustained droughts forced over one million people to move to the capital, Nouakchott, and become more involved in trade.

The status of Moorish women is somewhat different from other societies in the region. A striking example is a genre of exclusively female poetry called tebra, which is composed and recited by women before an all-female audience only.

Mauritaniamom Byglobalpartnershipforeducation Viaflickrcc
Mothers from the Riyad 5 school have formed the Association for the Promotion of our Students and their Futures to keep students safe outside of school, Nouakchott, Mauritania. Photo by Global Partnership for Education via Flickr CC.

However, Mauritanian Moors also have a tradition of viewing obesity in women as a status symbol, promoting the idea that a man with a thin wife must not be able to afford to feed her. This has led to dangerous practices of over-eating, sometimes by force, with the aim of attracting a wealthy husband. Other challenges faced by Moorish women include the practices of female genital mutilation and child marriage – also done with the aim of making girls attractive to men in the hope of securing financial security.

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How to Pray

  • Pray for Moorish women to understand the love that God has for them and their value in His Kingdom.
  • Pray that God’s love and salvation would be revealed to all the people of Mauritania.
  • Pray for the tribes of Mauritania to find in Christ the fulfillment of His promises of peace and salvation.
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