The Ouled Birri
(spelled variously) is a Moorish tribe
in the Trarza
region of northern Mauritania
. It is a Zawia
(religious) tribe. The Oulad Birri have produced a number of important Marabouts
of the Qadiriyya Sufi tariqa
: most famous among them was Shaykh Sidya Baba
, who aided the Frenchman Xavier Coppolani
in bringing the Mauritanian emirates
rule in the first years of the 20th century. This secured French protection for Zawia tribes from extortion by warrior Hassane
groupings, and a prominent position for Sidya Baba and his family in the colonial and postcolonial state.
Other members of the tribe Mauritania's first President, Moktar Ould Daddah; and his half-brother, Ahmed Ould Daddah, who was one of the main contenders in the 2007 Presidential elections in Mauritania.
The tribe generally adheres to the Maliki rite of Sunni Islam, but is associated with Qadiriyya sufism. It has traditionally, like all Moorish tribes, upheld a nomadic or seminomadic way of life.