Although the region of Western Sahara on the northwest coast of Africa is still in dispute, it has nonetheless been occupied by Morocco and annexed by them as part of their country since 1979.
|2020||14 Aug||Fri||Oued Ed-Dahab Day|
|2021||14 Aug||Sat||Oued Ed-Dahab Day|
Oued Ed-Dahab is the southernmost of Morocco’s 16 provinces, lying on the border of Mauretania. The day on which it was taken back from colonial Spain on 14 August, 1979, is a public holiday in Morocco called “Oued Ed-Dahab Day”.
The province of Oued Ed-Dahab was formerly called “Rio de Oro” (Gold River) after a now-extinct river that once ran through its centre. The Arabic name, Oued Ed-Dahab, however, is just the transliteration of “Gold River”.
Taking back Oued Ed-Dahab from Spain was viewed as a completion of the territorial integrity of Morocco. It was as if a part of their country and people had still been under foreign control but were now free.
Therefore, there was cause for great celebration at the royal palace in Rabat when Oued Ed-Dahab was re-claimed in 1979. A delegation 360-strong was sent from the newly freed province to the palace, where they swore allegiance to the Moroccan king. He, in return, made a famous speech wherein he assured them of protection and of his personal attention to their future well-being.