Customs and traditions
In Mauritania, several peoples and cultures
live side by side. The nomadic lifestyle has largely
disappeared, but it lives on in the traditions of many
Mauritanian families. Virtually all Mauritanian people
are Muslims and follow Islamic living rules.
The lunch is the most important goal of the day. Then
fish or a vegetable stew with rice is often eaten. For
dinner, Mauretanians often eat couscous. Other common
dishes are mechoui (grilled
lamb), dates, fishballs, dried fish and dried meat.
Popular drinks are zrig, which
is goat soft mixed with sugar, and sweet arabic mint
tea. Alcohol is prohibited from drinking according to
Overview of the capital city of Mauritania, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
The urban population often has western clothing.
Traditionally, women wear a melhfa,
which is a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around
the body from head to foot. The men wear a
daraa, a kind of loose-fitting, bag-like
fabric jock, along with pants. Men often wear a long
cloth strip like shawl or turban, and it often covers
Younger people should treat the elderly with respect,
treat them correctly and avoid loud conversations and
overly emotional expressions.
Traditions and holidays
According to Mauritanian law, all Muslim holidays are
public holidays. The feasts include Prophet Muhammad's
birthday (mouloud), Prophet
Muhammad's ascension (leiat
al-mayj), the end of the fasting month of
Ramadan (id al-fitr), the
celebration of Abraham's atoning sacrifice (id
al-adha), and the Muslim New Year. The
days on which Muslim holidays coincide vary from year to
year depending on the Muslim calendar.
Secular national holidays are New Year's Day on
January 1, International Labor Day on May 1, African
Freedom Day on May 25 (the date on which the African
Union's predecessor African Unity Organization OAU was
founded in 1963), the Armed Forces Day on July 10, and
Independence Day on November 28 (the day when Mauritania
became independent in 1960).
Death sentence for blasphemy
For the first time since Mauritania became independent in 1960, a death
sentence for blasphemy was announced. 28-year-old blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould
Mohamed M'khaitir is convicted of questioning some of Prophet Muhammad's
decision in an article published anonymously online in January. M'khaitir has
been detained ever since.
Anti-slavery activists arrested
The authorities strike against activists who fight slavery and seize several
leaders of the IRA-Mauritaine (Initiative pour la Résurgence du Mouvement
Abolitionniste en Mauritanie) organization. Among those arrested is Ould Abeid,
who was presidential candidate in the June elections. The arrests have drawn
sharp criticism from, for example, the European Parliament and Amnesty
Measures against Ebola
The contagious viral disease ebola that ravages in several West African
countries causes the authorities to decide that anyone crossing the Mali and
Senegal borders should be controlled and that the borders should be closed at
Mass meeting is prohibited
Authorities prohibit a meeting planned by the black movement Flam (Forces de
Libération des Africains de Mauritaine). In the 1980s, Flam's leadership was
forced to go underground or in exile, but leader Samba Thiam returned from the
United States in 2012 with the intention of forming a political party.
New Prime Minister is appointed
Prime Minister Laghdaf resigns and Yahya Ould Hademine becomes new head of
government. Otherwise, only seven ministers are replaced, despite Abdelaziz's
promises of change.
The President takes up a new term of office
President Abdelaziz formally enters his second term, in a ceremony in
Nouakchott attended by a number of West African leaders.
President Abdelaziz resigned
President Mohammed Ould Abdelaziz is re-elected with 82 percent of the vote.
In second place comes the anti-slavery activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid with
just under 9 percent. The turnout is stated to be 56 percent. The election is
conducted under calm conditions.
The opposition is boycotting the presidential election
The "radical" opposition within the FNDU / COD alliance (see Political
system) decides to boycott the presidential election in June. The leaders accuse
the government of not wanting to participate in the promised dialogue. The
Constitutional Court approves four counter-candidates to President Abdelaziz:
two opposition politicians, a female news agency head and an anti-slavery
Presidential elections are announced
Authorities are announcing that presidential elections will be held on June
21. President Abdelaziz is the first to announce his candidacy. Representatives
of the government and the opposition are planning discussions on how to organize
Regional security organization is formed
Mauritania together with Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad form the new
organization G5 Sahel. The purpose of the organization is to strengthen
cooperation on development and security in the Sahel region. The headquarters is
located in Nouakchott.
Female mayor of Nouakchott
The capital gets its first female mayor, economist Maty Mint Hamady. She
represents the UPR government party and was minister of public service in the
Tear gas against protesters
Police use tear gas to disperse a group of members of human rights
organizations gathered to honor the memory of hundreds of blacks who were killed
in violence in 1989-1992.
Collaboration agreement with Mali
Mauritania and Mali agree on increased military cooperation and the exchange
of information in the fight against armed terrorists.