If you lived in Mauritania, your meals would be very different than meals in the United States. You would stand or sit with your family around a large bowl filled with meat, rice, and vegetables. You would take food from the bowl along with your family, using only your right hand. The left hand is considered unclean and is not used for eating.
Mauritania lies in northern Africa along the Atlantic Ocean. To the north is Western Sahara – also known as Morocco and Algeria. To the east and south lie Mali and Senegal. Mauritania has one of the richest fishing waters in the world. It also has acres of farmland, but drought and poor farming practices have stripped the soil.
In the northern part of Mauritania live Berbers and Maurs. These Arab groups often live a nomadic life – moving from place to place with herds of goats and sheep. Black Africans live in southern Mauritania. Many of them are farmers. The two groups sometimes have conflicts. Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Most children do not go to school and only the wealthy can read. Children are expected to learn how to work and how to be good Muslims. Beyond that, formal education isn’t considered necessary. People believe that disease is caused by bad deeds or destiny. Most people don’t go to doctors.
Fun Facts about Mauritania for Kids
- 3,069,000 people live in Mauritania.
- Mauritania has 397,955 square miles of land.
- People in Mauritania speak Hassaniya Arabic, Wolof, Pulaar, Soninke or French.
- Everyone in Mauritania is Muslim.
- People in Mauritania can expect to live 54 years.
- Only 42 percent of adults can read.
- Drought: severe lack of water; crops and animals die and people don’t have enough food during a drought.
- Nomadic: a wandering lifestyle; people do not have permanent homes or communities
- Formal: organized and serious
- Destiny: a person’s future, for which he or she has no control
All About Mauritania Video for Kids
Here’s a great video for kids on Mauritania:
This is a video documentary about a lifestyle of some people in Mauritania.
Question: Do people have enough food in Mauritania?
Answer: Food is scarce in Mauritania. Because of this, fat women are considered beautiful and healthy. Girls are sometimes forced to eat so they become fat.
Map of Mauritania
Here’s a map of the country of Mauritania and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Mauritania! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Mauritania, as though you are actually there!
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