Amazigh Identity

Tamazga, the ancient homeland of the indigenous Amazigh (Berber) peoples stretched from the Canary Islands to the western edge of Egypt and includes Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania.

 amazighidentity

The conquest of this large territory during Byzantine times by Arab armies already converted to Islam unified the area in terms of a single language and religion, obscuring Amazigh origins and ignoring their mother tongue and customs.

After the Ottoman Era many Amazighen were caught between the demands of French colonialism and Arab nationalism. Marginalized by rulers determined to establish a homogenous narrative by ignoring differences, the Amazighen risk cultural extinction.

The Berber Identity Movement And The Challenge To North African States by Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, University of Texas Press 2011 provides a brief history of the Amazighen before detailing the contemporary struggle for cultural and linguistic expression.

While the Amazigh language is now being taught in Morocco, the number of native speakers continues to decline. Leaders within the Amazigh identity movement are striving for a modern, secular approach that includes women, hoping this will improve chances for a better life in the future.

This book brings into perspective the complex and difficult, ongoing fight of the Amazighen for recognition.

copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

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Arab Fest

The 16th Annual Arab Film Festival opens Thursday 11 October 2012. The screenings will take place in San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley. Man Without a Cell Phone directed by Sameh Zoabi (Palestine, Belgium, France, Qatar) 2011 is the opening night feature at the Castro Theatre.

Other festival films include: Another Night On Earth directed by David Munoz (Spain) 2012; Death For Sale directed by Faouzi Bensaïdi (Belgium, France, Morocco) 2011; Farewell Exile directed by Lamia Alami (Morocco, Switzerland, France) 2011; Letter To Sasha directed by Andoni Jaén and Javier Reverte (Morocco, Switzerland, France) 2012; My Name Is Not Ali directed by Viola Shafik (Egypt, Germany) 2011; Pegasus directed by Mohamed Mouftakir (Morocco) 2010; Private Sun (Palestine) 2011; Rough Hands directed by Mohamed Asli (Morocco) 2011; Teta directed by Merva Faddoul (Lebanon) 2011; The Virgin, The Copts, And Me directed by Namir Abdel Messeeh (France, Qatar) 2012; Words Of Witness directed by Mai Iskander (USA, Egypt) 2012; and Yamo directed by Rami Nihawi (Lebanon) 2011.

For more information and tickets contact AFF.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved