Mauritania is bordered by Morocco to the north and Senegal to the south.
Endless desert landscapes, women wrapped in colorful Mulafas (saris ), men in white billowing boubous, and caravans of camels send one back to the days of Lawrence of Arabia. .But daily living in Mauritania is a challenge. Heat and sand are omnipresent, poverty is a constant and the government is a military dictatorship. Most of the country is desert, and the population is split between the Moors of Arab descent and the black Africans, considered second class citizens. Fishing has been an important source of income but the Asian and European trollers are depleting the fish population off the Atlantic coast. Except in the capital, Nouakchott, women have limited opportunities to work or go beyond primary school.