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Amanar is a project organised by GalileoMobile and the Canary Association of Friendship with the Sahrawi People (ACAPS), in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) to inspire children and teachers from the Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, and the Canary Islands, Spain, using Astronomy.

Our aim is to promote quality science education and support the youth and the teachers from the refugee camps, enhancing both their resilience and engagement in the community through skill development and self-empowerment activities.

On the long term, we aim at raising awareness on the harsh conditions of the Sahrawi refugees and foster a sense of global citizen through Astronomy for the Sahrawi community, that has been in refugee situation for more than 40 years.

The project has been selected as Special Project by the International Astronomical Union through the IAU100 program and is funded by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD).

The project comprises two phases:


1) Astronomy outreach activities and visits to professional observatories for the refugee children spending the summer in the Canary Islands, within the Holidays in Peace program (July/August 2019);

2) Astronomy educational activities and teacher workshops in primary and secondary schools at the Sahrawi refugee camps (October 2019).



The project was initially conceived by GalileoMobile and the Canarian Association of Friendship with the Sahrawi People in Tenerife (ACAPS).


The ACAPS has dedicated more than 30 years to denounce the situation of the Sahrawi population and plea for their auto-determination. They coordinate, together with other organizations, the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid as well as the establishment of educational and social projects in the camps and programs to reunite the families separated by the war. The ACAPS is our link with Sahrawi authorities, including the Ministry of Education.

About GalileoMobile

GalileoMobile is a non-profit, itinerant, science education initiative that brings modern astronomy closer to young people around the world, with emphasis in regions that have little access to other outreach actions. The initiative was created in late 2008 inspired by the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) and is currently run by a crazy bunch of astronomers, educators, and science communicators. Click here to learn more about GalileoMobile.



Sandra Benitez Herrera


Astrophysicist & Science Communicator at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).

GalileoMobile member since 2011. 


Alberto Negrín


President of the Canarian Association of Friendship with the Sahrawi People (ACAPS).



Mayte Vasquez

(Dominican Republic)

Space Physicist at EUMETSAT

GalileoMobile member since 2011.


Diego Torres Machado


Astrophysicist at the Brazilian Center of Physical Research.

GalileoMobile member since 2016.


Eduardo Penteado


Astrophysicist & Science Communicator at International Astronomical Union.

GalileoMobile member since 2011.


Fabio del Sordo


Astrophysicist and Researcher at University of Crete.

GalileoMobile member since 2008.


Felipe Carrelli


Independent filmmaker. 

GalileoMobile member since 2015.

Demetrio Rodrigues


Independent filmmaker & photographer.

Camera at Media Report. 


Alba Fernández


Astrophysicist & Outreach and Education coordinator of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).


Nayra Rodriguez


Astrophysicist & Science Communicator at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).


Sarah Massalkhi


Astrophysicist at Instituto de Física Fundamental (IFF).

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).


Iván Jimenez


Scientific journalist at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).


Andrea Rodriguez Antón


Expert on Etno & Archeoastronomy. Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio.

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).



A huge thank you goes out to our partners who have supported us either through direct funding: Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the Intituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC); or through donation of educational materials and resources: Cherenkon Telescope Array (CTA), Virgo Collaboration, Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC), Universe Awareness (UNAWE) and Galileo teacher Training Program (GTTP). We are also very grateful to the Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) for donating telescopes to the project, which will in turn be donated to the participating schools, and the Astronomy Translation Network of the IAU and the Amnir Association for translating our educational resources into Spanish and Arabic, respectively.

Other local supporters in the Canary Islands are: Asociación Canaria de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Saharaui, TITSA, Cielos de la Palma, CEIP en Arucas, Fundación Observatorio de Temisas, Agrupación Astronómica de Gran Canaria.



Desert Stars is a transmedia narrative co-created between the Saharawi people, GalileoMobile and Amanar Task Force. The project was developed in partnership with the Graduate Program in Creative Media (PPGMC - UFRJ), the  Multimedia Research Group (GPMM - CEFET/RJ) and the Institute of Physics (if - UFF). ​


The initial proposal of Desert Stars was to use virtual reality to popularize the Saharawi worldview. Yet, throughout the co-creation process, arises the demand to denounce the refuge situation faced by this population of Western Sahara since 1975.  


Desert Stars is composed of six different products. Each piece explores a different approach and user experience, based on the specific  media and platform.


Click below to check out our hotsite and know more about our products.