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ICE-CSIC joins Amanar Summer Programme bringing astronomy to young Sahrawis spending summer in Spain 

Group photo of school activities in the Saharawi refugee camps in 2019. Credits: GalileoMobile / Felipe Carelli.

Group photo of school activities in the Saharawi refugee camps in 2019. Credits: GalileoMobile / Felipe Carelli.

The Amanar Project, created in 2019 with the aim of inspiring girls and boys from the Sahrawi refugee camps near the city of Tindouf (Algeria) through astronomy, returns in summer 2023. During the months of July and August, the Amanar team, thanks to the support and coordination of local institutions and associations, will carry out educational activities with young people who temporarily reside in the summer with Spanish host families within the "Vacaciones en Paz" programme. The activities, free and also open to all members of host families, will take place in A Coruña, Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, Sagunto and Tenerife.

The Amanar Project was born as an outreach project to inspire the Sahrawi community through the observation of the Universe and the development of scientific skills, as well as to promote the sense of unity under the same sky. The 2023 activities will include visits to astronomical observatories, planetariums and scientific museums, as well as observation sessions with telescopes, talks and workshops. The Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC) will join the program by organizing the activities that will take place in Barcelona during the summer.

During the events, both the Sahrawi boys and girls and their host families will have the opportunity to explore the Cosmos and develop their creativity at the hands of experts in astrophysics and communication. All information, including dates and times, will be communicated through the Amanar website and on the official channels of the local organisers: Agrupación ÍO (A Coruña), Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Granada), ESA CESAR (Madrid) , Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Tenerife), Institute of Space Sciences (Barcelona), Observatory of the University of Valencia and Asociación Sapiencia (Sagunto, Valencia).

The Amanar Project, originated by the GalileoMobile initiative, has had the growing support of international scientific institutions throughout its history, such as the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the Office of Astronomy Disclosure (OAO ) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO), the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC), the Virgo Collaboration, Universe Awareness (UNAWE), Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), the Leiden Observatory, the Europlanet Society or the Asociación Canaria de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Saharaui, among others. In 2019, the year of launch, activities were carried out in the Canary Islands, as well as in the refugee camps in Algeria. In 2020 and 2021, due to the restrictions of the pandemic, the program was reformulated as an online workshop with teachers from Tindouf through WhatsApp. In 2022, face-to-face activities resumed in Spain and expanded to peninsular locations. In total, Amanar's activities have reached around 750 boys and girls, 85 teachers and 200 people from the general public.


More information

Amanar was selected in 2019 as a "Special Project" within the IAU Centennial Activities and awarded the Falling Walls Award in 2020.

Read more about the project and the latest news on Amanar's 2023 summer programme on the Amanar Project website.


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Jorge Rivero & Alba Calejero