Maalouma Mint El Meidah is one of the most prominent Mauritanian artists to garner local and worldwide acclaim. Her genre of music rebelled against tradition and spread her liberal ideas in culture and art.
The government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. In Mauritania about 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day.