Championing a people group imazighen

Among outsiders, the more common — though incorrect — name for Imazighen is Berber, a term that is largely rejected by Imazighen for its negative connotations. Story continues below Get Rid of Ads Although some may find words like Amazigh and Tamazight difficult to pronounce at first, it is far better to struggle with these words than to use a derogatory term which amounts to an ethnic slur.

Championing a people group imazighen

Among outsiders, the more common — though incorrect — name for Imazighen is Berber, a term that is largely rejected by Imazighen for its negative connotations. Story continues below Get Rid of Ads Although some may find words like Amazigh and Tamazight difficult to pronounce at first, it is far better to struggle with these words than to use a derogatory term which amounts to an ethnic slur.

Outside of Tamazgha, there are other Indigenous groups in North Africa like the Nubians with their own struggles against Arab colonialism. In the 7th century C. However, even after the majority of Imazighen had converted to Islam, Tamazight remained the lingua franca.

This Arab nationalism arose out of a wave of pan-Arabist ideology which served to oppress and marginalize other non-Arab groups like the Kurds. In fact, the vast majority of North Africans are of Amazigh descentwith little Arab genetic contributions.

Imazighen are not Arab and we have our own Indigenous culture and language for which we have been persecuted. There are countless examples of Amazigh repression and violations of human rights under North African regimes.

Championing a people group imazighen

The Moroccan army killed thousands of Rifian civilians. In the early s in Kabylia, an Amazigh region in Algeria, people were killed in the Black Spring during Amazigh protests.

An unknown number of Kel Tamasheq were killed in reprisal massacres by Mali and Niger after Tamasheq uprisings for self-determination.

The marginalization of Imazighen is multifaceted and has long been characterized by extreme violence. Linguistic Repression Even after European colonialism formally ended, Imazighen still do not have independence from Arab dominance in North Africa.

In actuality, Arabization policies served to further engrain Arab colonialism in North Africa by imposing yet another foreign language, Arabic, while even banning Tamazight.

Due to the significant oppression of Imazighen for our language and ethnicity, a great deal of Amazigh activism has focused on language rights. The current state of Amazigh language rights varies between countries, but Tamazight is not systematically taught in any North African country and no Amazigh children receive mother tongue education.

This provides a significant disadvantage to Amazigh children, who are often banned from speaking their mother tongue in school and are violently punished for doing so.

Linguistic repression has meant that Tamazight has largely not benefitted from language development such as mass media production. As a result, the different dialects of Tamazight are not always mutually intelligible and a natural process of language standardization cannot occur.

Opponents of Amazigh language rights argue that Tamazight is too difficult to learn or that the dialects are too disparate, but of course these issues cannot be addressed when there still exists legal discrimination against Tamazight. Resistance and Decolonization The Amazigh Flag by Lhossine wikimedia One step of decolonization, as I have argued previously, is the rejection of colonial languages such as Arabic.

This, however, is not the only thing needed for decolonization and the attainment of Indigenous rights. In parts of Tamazgha like the Canary Islandswhich are occupied by Spain, and Kabylia there are movements for independence or autonomy, attempting to actually reclaim Amazigh land and gain self-determination.The Berbers or Imazighen of North Africa; Mazigh, Amazigh or Tamazight language; definition of Berber and etymology of Imazighen; Amazigh community: the native inhabitants of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Canary Islands, Niger and Mali; the Tuareg or Touareg people of the Sahara; Berber flag, calendar, genealogy, history, .

The Amazigh or Imazighen (Berber) and the Phoenician Punics.

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The Phoenician colonies in North Africa started out as peaceful, trading presence among the Amazigh original inhabitants of the region. Jun 06,  · Introduction: Algeria was made a French colony from the s and it was a very tough colonization for them.

However, after an almost year colonization of violence and oppression from the French, Algerians started to fight for their independence in Eventually, the same term was used to refer to “people in North Africa who didn’t speak Latin,” a practice that was adopted by the Arabs that later settled in North Africa and referred to [Imazighen] as ‘Barbar’” (El Allame, ).

The conglomerate tribes known under the generic term of Berbers or Imazighen are the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa since time immemorial; currently distributed across a wide extent of country including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

Yet there is an extensive ‘non-Arab’ population in North Africa: the true Indigenous people of the region. We are called Amazigh, plural Imazighen, a word which means “free people” in the Indigenous Tamazight language.

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