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Language Family: Berber

  • Mar 08, 2012
  • 01:17 PM

Tunisia: Amazighs Push to Institutionalize Language and Culture

Houda Mzioudet /
The Amazigh language is rich and spoken in different dialects. Therefore, speakers at the conference advocated that a standardized version of the language be instituted for all Amazighs. The official number of Tunisian Amazighs, who speak their ancestral Tamazight language, is 1% of the whole Tunisian population, including scattered communities in the towns of Matmata, Tataouine, and the island of Djerba.
  • Dec 27, 2011
  • 10:35 AM

After Gaddafi, Libya's Amazigh demand recognition

Edwin Lane / BBC News
Mr Abouzakhar and other activists are now calling for the Amazigh identity to be included in Libya's new constitution, and for Tamazight to be made an official language alongside Arabic. But so far they say Libya's new leaders have completely ignored their demands.
  • Nov 30, 2011
  • 07:00 PM

Berber Revival's First Big Sell: Convince Libyans They're All Berbers

Sarah A. Topol / The Atlantic
The script looks ancient, almost rune-like, because it is -- the first examples of the language stretch back to the third century BC. But for Tilelli's first issue off the press this November, most of the Tamazight section looks more like something you'd find in a children's book than a newspaper: a primer of the alphabet and definitions of key words. Even among the minority of Libyans who speak the language, most can't actually read or write it.
  • Nov 29, 2011
  • 12:25 PM

After Centuries of Oppression, a Libyan Minority Sees Hope in Qaddafi's Fall

Sarah A. Topol / The Atlantic
...Abu Sagar's family spoke Tamazight, the Amazigh language, at home, but Muammar Qaddafi's policies had forbidden teaching the script in schools or showing any Amazigh symbols in public. That day something clicked in Abu Sagar, he told me. He decided it was unacceptable for anyone not to know their own language.
  • Aug 10, 2011
  • 04:21 PM

Amazigh language recognised by Moroccan constitution (video)

The Amazigh language has been recognised by a new constitution in Morocco, making it the first north African country to give official status to the indigenous language.
  • Jul 24, 2011
  • 03:19 AM

Ancient language renewed in Libyan rebellion

Peter Graff / National Post
Today, the rebel-held town of Jadu, normally home to about 20,000 people but now swollen with refugees from areas within shelling range of Gaddafi’s troops, has become the centre for the rebirth of Amazigh culture and language. Shops have painted Amazigh signs above their doors.
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • 12:03 AM

Agadir's Timitar Festival highlights Berber comeback

Sylvia Smith / The National
In fact, Amazigh is constantly heard in Morocco. It is included in almost every sentence uttered on the streets and its prevalence is what makes the Moroccan dialect so difficult to understand by speakers of classical Arabic - even though Arabic has been the only official language since the Arabs swept across north Africa bringing the language with them. But Amazigh is no longer viewed as backward-looking.
  • Jul 12, 2011
  • 02:21 PM

Moroccan Berbers Call Constitutional Reforms A 'Trick'

Michael Martin / International Business Times
...Among the reforms, the constitutional review will raise the Berber language or Tamzight to official language status, meaning that it will now be taught in Moroccan schools in addition to Modern Standard Arabic.
  • Apr 26, 2011
  • 11:44 PM

Tunisia's Berbers test the limits of country's newfound freedoms

Jon Jensen / GlobalPost
For many Berbers, official government recognition of their native language — Tamazight — will be the ultimate litmus test for a fledgling democracy promising to represent the aspirations of all Tunisians.
  • Apr 24, 2011
  • 12:04 AM

Amazigh campaigners challenge parties

Imrane Binoual /
...Justice and Development Party MP Lahcen Daoudi underlined that "everyone wanted the Amazigh language to become an official language" but "there are three local dialects" of the language spoken across Morocco. As such, it "cannot be considered for official status", he concluded.