Sahrawi Woman Delivers Pizza by Mercedes in the Desert

pizzeria1Hindu Mani owns the Sahrawi Pizzeria in the refugee camp of Awserd  (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

12 June 2017 |Eugenio G. Delgado| Mid East Eye

As she pulls up in a 1989 white Mercedes Benz 190, all eyes are on 26-year-old Hindu Mani, a Sahrawi refugee.

Women driving in the Sahrawi refugee camps, 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf, is a rarity, but it is not the only thing Mani has gained notoriety for. With a staff of four women, Mani runs the only Sahrawi pizzeria in the camps.

“From the beginning I thought of [opening a pizzeria] with the idea of empowering young Sahrawi women who have been unable to [finish] their studies or work,” Mani said.

According to Mani, there are places where camp residents can buy pizzas made in Tindouf, but she bakes the pizzas in her shop and serves them fresh out of the oven.

pizzeria2Hindu Mani delivers pizzas with her 1989 white Mercedes Benz in Aswerd camp, around 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

“Our pizzas are made in the moment based on demand, all-day long from Saturday to Thursday,” she said.

What is her speciality? “The camel pizza. It is an authentic Sahara cheese pizza which contains camel meat, tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives and aromatic herbs typical of the Sahrawi desert,” said Mani.

In a desert environment where there are almost no leisure options, the Sahrawi Pizzeria has become a meeting place for young Sahrawis and NGO workers from several European countries like Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

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