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Laayoune (Maghrebi Arabic: لعيون Al-ʿAyyūn/El-Aiun, Laʕyūn; Spanish: El Aaiún; French: Laâyoune; Berber: ⵍⵄⵢⵓⵏ, Leɛyun; Literary Arabic: العيون al-ʿuyūn, literally "The Springs") is the largest city of the disputed territory of Western Sahara currently administered by Morocco. The modern city is thought to have been founded by the Spanish colonizer Antonio de Oro in 1938.[2] In 1940, Spain designated it as the capital of the Spanish Sahara. Laâyoune (El-Aaiún) is the capital of the Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region administered by Morocco under the supervision of the UN peace-keeping mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO). 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. A cathedral from that era is still active; its priests serve this city and Dakhla further south.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Etymology

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

3 Demographics 4 Economy and status 5 Sport 6 Transport 7 Education 8 Gallery 9 Twin towns and sister cities 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

History[edit] See also: Zemla Intifada Etymology[edit] Laâyoune or El Aaiún are respectively the French and Spanish transliterations of the Maghrebi Arabic name Layoun which means "the water springs". Geography[edit] Climate[edit] Laayoune has a mild desert climate, moderated by the Canary Current with an average annual temperature of 20 °C (68 °F).

Climate data for Laayoune

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 22.0 (71.6) 22.6 (72.7) 23.7 (74.7) 23.9 (75) 25.4 (77.7) 26.4 (79.5) 28.8 (83.8) 29.6 (85.3) 29.2 (84.6) 28.1 (82.6) 25.0 (77) 20.5 (68.9) 25.43 (77.78)

Daily mean °C (°F) 16.0 (60.8) 16.7 (62.1) 17.9 (64.2) 18.6 (65.5) 20.3 (68.5) 21.4 (70.5) 23.3 (73.9) 23.9 (75) 23.3 (73.9) 22.3 (72.1) 20.1 (68.2) 15.4 (59.7) 19.93 (67.87)

Average low °C (°F) 10.0 (50) 10.8 (51.4) 12.2 (54) 13.4 (56.1) 15.2 (59.4) 16.5 (61.7) 17.9 (64.2) 18.3 (64.9) 17.4 (63.3) 16.6 (61.9) 15.3 (59.5) 10.3 (50.5) 14.49 (58.07)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 3 (0.12) 2 (0.08) 1 (0.04) 1 (0.04) 0 (0) 1 (0.04) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 4 (0.16) 7 (0.28) 8 (0.31) 27 (1.07)

Source: Climate-data.com [3]

Demographics[edit] Laayoune has a population of 217,732[1] and is the largest city in Western Sahara. It is a growing economic hub. Economy and status[edit] The city is a hub for fishing and for phosphate mining in the region.[4] In 2010 that country was negotiating a new fishing agreement with Europe over offshore fishing. Sport[edit] 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 in training and games. Transport[edit] Laayoune is served by Hassan I Airport. Education[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2016)

There is a Spanish international school, Colegio Español La Paz, owned by the Spanish government. It occupies a 17,000-square-metre (180,000 sq ft) property. In 2015 the parents' association, Asociación de Madres, Padres y Tutores de Alumnos del Colegio Español La Paz (AMPA), asked for the establishment of secondary education so their children would not have to go to Las Palmas or Morocco to continue their education.[5] Gallery[edit]

The old Spanish Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, chiefly serves European UN personnel 

Avenue Makkah al-Mukarramah 

Monumental arch near the airport 

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Western Sahara portal Africa portal Geography portal

Algiers, Algeria[6] (Since 2001) Almería, Spain[7] Avilés, Spain[8] Caracas, Venezuela (Since 12 August 2005) Málaga, Spain[9] Montevideo, Uruguay[10] (Since 13 December 2009) Lorca, Spain[11] Sorrento, Italy (Since 18 April 2009)

See also[edit]

List of cities in Western Sahara

References[edit]

^ 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.  ^ Francisco López Barrios (2005-01-23). "El Lawrence de Arabia Español" (in Spanish). El Mundo. Retrieved 2013-02-11.  ^ "Climate: Laayoune".  ^ "Diplomacy over Western Sahara: 'Morocco v Algeria'", The Economist, 4 November 2010. ^ 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[...]" ^ "Renewing the twining agreement between Central Algiers and Wilaya of El Aaiun". Sahara Press Service. 2011-10-30. Retrieved 2011-11-02.  ^ Ayuntamiento de Almería (ed.). "Ciudades Hermanadas". Retrieved 2008-04-12.  ^ "Balance del viaje realizado por representantes municipales al Sahara". Aviles.es. Retrieved 2011-09-04.  ^ Ayuntamiento de Málaga (ed.). "Official website for Malaga's candidature for European capital of culture in 2016". Retrieved 2008-04-02.  ^ "Hermanamiento de Montevideo y El Aaiún". Montevideo.gub.uy. 2009-12-13. Retrieved 2011-09-04.  ^ "El Ayuntamiento de Lorca denuncia la agresión de Marruecos contra el Pueblo Saharaui" (in Spanish). Murcia.es. 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutLaayouneat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons Travel guide from Wikivoyage Data from Wikidata

Official TV channel Official radio channel

v t e

Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region

Capital: Laâyoune

Provinces

Boujdour Province Es-Semara Province Laâyoune Province Tarfaya Province

Municipalities

Boujdour El Marsa Laâyoune Smara Tarfaya

v t e

Capitals of Africa

Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in italics

Abuja, Nigeria Accra, Ghana Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Algiers, Algeria Antananarivo, Madagascar Asmara, Eritrea Bamako, Mali Bangui, Central African Republic Banjul, Gambia Bissau, Guinea-Bissau Brazzaville, Rep. of the Congo Bujumbura, Burundi Cairo, Egypt Conakry, Guinea Dakar, Senegal Djibouti, Djibouti Dodoma, Tanzania El Aaiún(claimed)/Tifariti(factual), Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic1 Freetown, Sierra Leone Funchal, Madeira4 Gaborone, Botswana Harare, Zimbabwe Hargeisa, Somaliland1 Jamestown, St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha2 Juba, South Sudan Kampala, Uganda Khartoum, Sudan Kigali, Rwanda Kinshasa, D.R. Congo Libreville, Gabon Lilongwe, Malawi Lomé, Togo Luanda, Angola Lusaka, Zambia Malabo, Equatorial Guinea Mamoudzou, Mayotte3 Maputo, Mozambique Maseru, Lesotho

Mbabane (executive)   Lobamba (legislative), Swaziland

Mogadishu, Somalia Monrovia, Liberia Moroni, Comoros Nairobi, Kenya N'Djamena, Chad Niamey, Niger Nouakchott, Mauritania Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Port Louis, Mauritius Porto-Novo, Benin Praia, Cape Verde

Pretoria (executive)   Cape Town (legislative)   Bloemfontein (judicial), South Africa

Rabat, Morocco Saint-Denis, Réunion3 Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Canary Islands5 São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe Tripoli, Libya Tunis, Tunisia Victoria, Seychelles Windhoek, Namibia

Yamoussoukro (political)   Abidjan (economic), Ivory Coast

Yaoundé, Cameroon

1 An unrecognised or partially-recognised nation 2 British Overseas Territory 3 Overseas region of France 4 Autonomous region of Portugal 5 Autonomous

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