Amazigh tunisia – Liby Amazigh Fri, 11 Nov 2022 09:57:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Amazigh tunisia – Liby Amazigh 32 32 Fighting and Proud Mizrahi Jew Fri, 11 Nov 2022 09:57:24 +0000

Take a look at Hen Mazzig’s Instagram biography and you’ll get a taste of who he is: “I love being Jewish 10 times more than anyone hates me for it. Son of Amazigh + Iraqi refugees.

The young influencer has more than 155,000 followers between Instagram and Facebook, and he spends his time posting his support for Israel and his defense of the Jewish people. Now he has published “The Wrong Kind of Jew: A Mizrahi Manifesto,” a book that is part memoir, part proclamation about how Mizrahi Jews are often misunderstood and not included in mainstream-dominated conversations. Ashkenazim on our community.

“Because of my Mizrahi heritage, I do not fit into what many people consider to be the secular cultural tenets of Judaism,” he writes. “I love bagels, but I don’t consider them my cooking. I have no opinion on Katz’s Deli or whether or not they are better than Langer’s…I don’t live up to expectations of what it looks, sounds, thinks and means Jewish.

Mazzig started writing his book four years ago. It started as a memoir, then turned into a passionate plea for Jews of Mizrahi descent.

“I felt my love for the Jewish people and Jews of Mizrahi identity very strongly, and I wanted people within and outside of our Jewish community to see us,” he told the Journal. . “I really think that by seeing Mizrahi Jews and understanding our history, we become stronger as a Jewish community.”

The author’s family lived in the Middle East for thousands of years in Muslim and Arab countries and faced discrimination and persecution, like the Jews of Eastern Europe.

“They lived like second-class citizens,” Mazzig said. “You were protected until they didn’t want you protected.”

Mazzig’s grandparents were in Tunisia during World War II. There, the Vichy French government that controlled North Africa made them, and the other Jews there, work in forced labor camps.

Other family members were in Iraq during the Farhoud in 1941, a pogrom that resulted in the death of 150 to 180 Jews. Rioters injured hundreds more, raped women, and looted about 1,500 homes and businesses.

According to Mazzig, Mizrahi Jewish history, including what happened in Tunisia and Iraq, is often not included in the conversation about Jewish oppression and anti-Semitism in general.

“We hear a lot about the Holocaust and Soviet Jews,” he said. “One community that has been largely ignored is the Mizrahi Jews. I struggle with that, and in the book I dig deep into why we’re being ignored.

In his book, Mazzig writes, “Not only are we unfamiliar, but our culture is breaking stereotypes and unspoken rules. Meanwhile, our story derails the narrative that many want to propagate about Jews, anti-Semitism and, most controversially, Israel. We shatter the expectations of many about Jews and race, the Middle East and religion, and even politics and oppression.

Fortunately, the response from the Ashkenazi community has been positive.

“So many Ashkenazi Jews who are my friends are interested in this story and want to discuss it,” Mazzig said.

Currently, Mazzig divides his time between Tel Aviv, where he works at the organization he founded, the Tel Aviv Institute, and London, where his partner lives.

In addition to publishing about Mizrahi Jews and Israel, the author, who is gay, also discusses LGBTQ+ issues. One thing that bothers him is when people accuse Israel of “pinkwashing,” or promoting the country’s LGBTQ+ rights and support while “covering up” for other atrocities they are supposed to be committing.

“It really erases the achievement of brave LGBTQ leaders in Israel to say we are pinkwashing,” Mazzig said. “It’s very hateful and sinister.”

Constantly, Mazzig receives threats online for being pro-Israel, Jewish, gay and Jewish, Mizrahi and a gay Israeli.

“I feel like I’m going numb,” he said. “I have to remember that my grandparents went through much worse.”

Right now, being a Jew online is especially frightening, given the anti-Semitism coming from celebrities like Kanye West and Kyrie Irving, who have huge followings. Although Mazzig is worried, he doesn’t like the current approach we’re taking on the matter.

“People watching from the sidelines don’t understand why what Kanye said was anti-Semitic,” he said. “We need to educate them and explain why. In London, a black British fashion blogger was engaging in hate speech and failed to acknowledge it. She completely changed and said she was very pro-Jewish and could see us in a different light. My approach is to always lead in kindness and not cancel people out. We should not consider people as anti-Semites. We should see them as people trying to unlearn anti-Semitism.

Mazzig knows what it’s like to build bridges – when he served in the Israel Defense Forces, he helped Palestinians build infrastructure in Ramallah.

Mazzig knows what it’s like to build bridges – when he served in the Israel Defense Forces, he helped Palestinians build infrastructure in Ramallah. Now, in addition to conversing with people on the “other side” to fight anti-Semitism, he hopes he can inspire others to stand up for what they believe in.

“Everything I do is for the Jewish people,” he said. “My mission is bigger than me as an individual. This is to support one of the most marginalized groups in human history.

On college campuses, where he encourages students to become activists, he tells them something that can be applied to anyone fighting for a cause.

“We are doing something huge here,” he said. “We’re doing something bigger than ourselves, and it’s worth the discomfort we have to endure.”

“The Wrong Kind of Jew: A Mizrahi Manifesto” is available on Amazon.

Young indigenous women from Mexico and Morocco unite for COP27 Global Voices Fri, 11 Nov 2022 06:47:00 +0000

Luz Edith Morales Jimenez on the left, Fatima Zahrae Taribi on the right. Portraits used with permission.

When Fatima Zahrae Taribi, a 20-year-old climate justice activist from Morocco, met Luz Edith Morales Jimenez, a young land defender from Michoacán, Mexico, she wondered how they could communicate. Zahrae speaks French, Arabic and English, and Morales speaks Spanish and Purépecha, an indigenous language of his region. Yet when they met at a climate camp in Tunisia ahead of the international climate conference COP27, the UN’s annual international conference on the environment, they understood each other without the need for words.

“The strange thing is that I don’t speak Spanish and they don’t speak English, so we had to find a way to communicate. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and with them, our only option was to take action together and speak through our eyes and our emotions. Zahrae told Global Voices via Instagram. “I couldn’t believe we connected on such a deep level without words.”

Although the Atlantic Ocean separates these two young women of different indigenous backgrounds, they have suffered comparable effects of colonialism, land dispossession and climate change.

Morales’ father, a Purépecha indigenous who was trying to protect his ancestral lands from encroaching development projects that would cut down ancient forests for avocado monoculture, was shot and killed by Mexican police in 2017. Three other people were killed. killed and 10 were tortured. Yet five years later, authorities have failed to address the case. Since then, her daughter has been fighting for justice.

Southern women met at the Climate Justice Camp in Tunisia in September 2022

Meanwhile, Zahrae comes from a long line of indigenous Amazigh Moroccans who speak their own language but endured discriminatory policies to make them adhere to “Arabism”.

For the indigenous Amazigh people, responding to the challenges posed by climate change could mean the difference between life and death for entire communities.

The use of water-intensive industrial farming methods has made the country’s limited water resources more apparent. As food insecurity and water shortages become more common, authorities are struggling to find creative solutions, which is particularly complicated in Moroccan regions where indigenous peoples are tied to the land.

Amazigh populations face challenges such as higher than average poverty rates and prejudice, as well as more obvious environmental challenges such as maintaining forests as structural drought intensifies across the country. Maghreb, the Sahel and beyond due to the climate crisis.

Zahrae’s grandfather was a guardian of the lands and dedicated his life to defending the people’s right to their lands against French settlers. Zahrae resumed her role to continue guarding the land after years of worsening drought.

“I see myself as a continuation of his soul, as I am a protector of the earth against another enemy: climate change,” Zahrae said.

COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh

The two young women met at the Climate Justice Camp in Tunisia earlier this year and reunited at COP27, which is being held in Sharm-El-Sheik, Egypt, from November 6-18.

The COP is the United Nations’ largest international climate conference, bringing together heads of state, nonprofits, business leaders and activists to take action towards achieving the world’s collective climate goals. , as agreed. in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

This year’s conference, COP27, brings together more than 190 countries amid global crises. Food and energy costs are at record highs due to the effects of COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and nearly every region of the planet is experiencing extraordinary weather disasters, including records for rain, heat, fires and storms.

The the main objectives of COP27 include develop financial plans to address climate change and lower global temperatures by at least 1.5 degrees Celsius through reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Role and Burden of Indigenous Peoples in Climate Change Mitigation

Indigenous peoples often pay a high price for their unwavering devotion to the environment. For Zahrae and Morales, climate change is a symptom of persistent structural problems. They both face “racism, gender-based violence, extractivism and imposed death,” Morales says via WhatsApp.

“Indigenous communities are still the ones that preserve the majority of the diversity that exists on the planet, without expecting anything in return. We live with resistances that have survived all the mega-projects of the big cities since Antiquity; it is we who give life and protect all that remains of nature”, she continues. It requires leaders to keep their promises to Indigenous peoples.

Over 80%ent of the world’s biodiversity is protected by indigenous peoples around the world, despite their estimated population of 5%part of ulation. Biodiversity plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation and human survival. Yet the continued commitment of Indigenous peoples to the land and ecosystems often comes at a high price.

In Latin America, land defenders, who are often indigenous, are routinely killed. In 2021, 54 land and environmental defenders lost their lives in Mexico, according to the non-profit organization Global Witness. “Mexico was the country with the highest number of recorded killings, with defenders killed every month, totaling 54 killings in 2021, compared to 30 the previous year,” their latest report says.

Many more are harassed, criminalized and intimidated by government, corporations and other actors. They are particularly at risk when they oppose mining and renewable energy megaprojects (such as large wind farms or hydroelectric plants), industrial monocultures and other private or public projects that threaten their communities. , their forests and their water sources.

In North Africa and the Middle East, the challenges of defending the environment and climate often come with the risk of being imprisoned or forcibly disappeared. In Egypt, for example, where the conference is taking place, there are an estimated 60,000 political prisoners behind bars. The country has been accused by preventing environmental organizations from carrying out the independent policy, advocacy, and grassroots work necessary to safeguard the nation’s natural environment.

Although they have contributed the least to global warming and environmental degradation, indigenous peoples and other historically colonized and marginalized peoples are on the front lines of the effects of climate change. Proponents of the term “climate justice” seek to correct this imbalance. The level of the oceans is rising. Pollution, extreme heat waves and droughts are health and crop risks.

People in both regions also report hoarding of water for commercial or political purposes, leading to conflict. Women, in particular, are at risk of vulnerability and violence in the face of climate change.

“Milpamérica resiste” can be loosely translated as “Corn America resists”, in reference to indigenous peoples. The banner translates to “The remedy of the earth, we are the water that quenches the fever of mother earth”.

These are some of the factors motivating Zahrae to create a safer environment for climate advocacy. “My first step was to find ways to make it accessible, fair and safe for individuals to stand up for the cause they believe in.” Zaharae started Moroccan Youth for Change, a community where young Moroccans can meet and talk about the issues they face, such as climate change.

Morales, for her part, is active in Futuros Indigenas (Indigenous Futures), a network of indigenous activists and journalists from Mexico and Central America who enable indigenous peoples to share their own stories about climate change.

Asked about how women in the Global South can benefit from their similar lived experiences, Morales says: “I have always believed that there is strength in unity. We can take advantage of our common crises to support each other.

For Zahrae, meeting Morales and other young climate activists was essential. “Thanks to these people, my hope and confidence in humanity has been restored and I am now able to meet the challenges ahead with a smile on my face and serenity in my heart.”

Where normalcy is hard to find Wed, 09 Nov 2022 11:56:50 +0000 Whether public or private, creative or industrial, the Tunisian citizen faces an uncertain future. Kais Saied’s controversial rise to the post of prime minister has deepened financial instability, with social repressions only adding to Tunisia’s misery.

“This country is in ruins, says an exasperated artist, Yassine Ben Miled. I haven’t found gas for two days, I can’t go anywhere! Based in Carthage, a chic suburb of the capital, he had been unable to source or deliver his works.

The government’s inability to pay for oil imports led to nearly dry pumps and long queues for several days in October. The energy minister told a radio station that panicked buyers were to blame. Almost after the fact, she mentioned the state’s financial problems.

In his own way, Ben Miled, 36, embodies both the ambition and the frustration felt by many in the small North African country hailed as the only Arab country to transition to democracy after regional uprisings in 2011.

“Public finances are unsustainable: the 2022 budget deficit is estimated at 9.7% and public debt is above 87% of GDP

In his workshop, he designs Arabic calligraphy with an unprecedented innovation: adorned with pins, calligraphy gives depth. “The inspiration is Martin Luther’s 95 theses pinned to the door of the church,” he explains.

An example of Yassine’s calligraphy [photo credit: Yassine Ben Miled, @ybm_calligraphics]

Drawing inspiration from East and West is common here. Located on the Mediterranean, Tunisia is a melting pot of Arab, Amazigh and European influences. Relatively stable and educated, on the face of it, the country should do well; but many young Tunisians are seeing their hopes snuffed out by an unprecedented economic crisis.

Shortages plagued the country for much of the year. The crisis predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the conflict between Tunisia’s first and second grain supplier has had predictable negative consequences. Soaring commodity prices have drained foreign exchange reserves and wreaked havoc on the state budget.

No country imports more grain per capita than Tunisia, but the government has repeatedly turned back shipments due to a lack of funds. A shortage of bread has upended dietary expectations. “This is not a country that can survive long without bread,” said Cyrus Roedel, a researcher co-author of the podcast series. Revolution 1: The story of the Tunisian uprising. “Bread is a major part of the average person’s calorie intake.”

Bakers have adapted by maintaining prices but reducing the size of the loaves. Last month, however, those who run state-supported bakeries went on strike after the government failed to provide them with subsidies. Subsidies allow bakeries to keep prices low, operating at an initial loss until the state transfers money. Without this transfer, the bakeries cannot remain in business.

The closure of subsidized bakeries has left private stores unable to keep up with new customers willing to shell out more dinars rather than go without bread. The Sidi Bou Bakery near Carthage is now running out of bread before noon.

The dairy sector was also affected by the war in Eastern Europe. Farmers are caught between high feed prices and the government’s reluctance to lift the milk price cap. Unprofitability – operating at current levels means a 25% loss – has forced many farmers to abandon production. Milk is scarce on market stalls.

“My dairy prices have gone up by at least 8%,” said Marco Ouadday, owner of Gavroche, a pastry shop. The rising cost of doing business is being felt everywhere, but perhaps most so in the culinary sector where rising input prices rival supply uncertainties as a source of anxiety. “Long-term planning is out of the question,” says Ouadday.

The list of shortages is long: coffee, honey and bottled water can be hard to come by. Local Coca-Cola factories have temporarily suspended production of sugary drinks due to sugar shortages.

After repeated delays in payments to importers and domestic producers, the full confidence and credit of the government was exhausted.

In the past, the state had been able to pay suppliers in installments, allowing it to spread its portfolio to meet national needs. But with producers demanding full upfront payment, supply trade-offs have become a feature of governance.

The gasoline shortage has forced the state to prioritize gasoline imports, but paying for oil means payments for other goods will be postponed.

Public finances are unsustainable: the 2022 budget deficit is estimated at 9.7% and public debt is over 87% of GDP.

Much of the problem lies in the overstaffed public sector. Under pressure to reduce unemployment, successive governments have used state enterprises and bureaucracy to hire desperate but surplus workers.

Public salaries now account for half of state expenditure. The government is already spending a lot on servicing the debt. They take out loans to pay loans that have existed since the Ben Ali era, the former dictator who ruled Tunisia from 1987 to 2011.

President Kaid Saied has turned to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout to avoid a default on international loans. An interim loan of $1.9 billion was negotiated, half of what Tunisia had requested.

IMF aid comes with stipulations to reduce subsidies and public wages. Previous governments have repeatedly failed to deliver on promised reforms, and it remains to be seen whether this one will be any different. The president has shown little interest in economic policy and his hand-picked prime minister, Najla Bouden, is a former geology professor (and friend of the president’s wife) with no government experience.

The IMF mandates are opposed by the UGTT union, which has a million members, which has threatened to strike if the government decides to cut wages and subsidies. Roedel wonders if the government will use the IMF loan as a stopgap measure and “get the problem out on the road.”

To maintain foreign exchange reserves for essential goods, such as food and energy, the president has restricted the import of goods he deems unnecessary (he mentioned pet food as an example). The depreciation of the Tunisian dinar (DT) means that the state must convert more dinars for fewer dollars.

Tunisians will still have to spend more dinars on goods that need to be imported, dealing another blow to living standards as wages stagnate.

About 20% of the population lives with 16DT per day. Unemployment is over 18%. The success story of the Arab Spring looks bleak.

Khelil Bouarrouj is a writer and civil rights activist based in Washington, DC. His work can be found at the Washington Blade, Palestine Square and in other publications.

Tunisian Hamama Tribe: Many Stories, One Feeling Fri, 28 Oct 2022 10:14:31 +0000

adventurous spirit

The Hamama tribe was an annoying neighbor to the surrounding tribes, as its members are well known for their love of conquest and adventures. Their identity is closely linked to an old Arabic proverb; “A saddle, a bridle and a life for Islam.” Tradition has it that mothers whisper these words into their newborn’s ear.

As such, Hamamian life can be said to be based on horseback riding and adherence to Islamic teachings. Apparently the tribesmen provide horses and weapons for their children in their quest for adventure. Children who return from their adventures with exceptional gains are considered true Hamamiens.

Horseback riding is one of the best known skills of the Hamama tribe and is prevalent among its members due to the tribe’s historical identity. For centuries, the tribe was one of the most powerful in Tunisia, prompting the Beys of Tunisia to use the Hamama Knights in internal and external wars.

The tribe was known for its role in the resistance to French colonization after the Treaty of Bardo. Mohamed Ali Habachi’s book Orosh Tunis – Thrones of Tunisia mentions a message from the leader of Awlad Muammar to the Prime Minister in which he said:

We are the Hamama, servants of the late Sidi Hussien bin Ali. May God rest his soul and bless his descendants and preserve them. The throne belongs to us because they are our ancestors, and we are their descendants, and we don’t want their throne to be defiled by anyone but them, and shame will haunt us across the land if we don’t stand up to the French .

It is difficult to talk about the Hamama society today. Since Tunisia’s independence, tribal structures have regressed in favor of the national state.

Over time, this regression has reduced the privacy and autonomy of tribal societies while national societal characteristics have widened, as Amin al-Harshani, one of the tribesmen, told Fanack. . “It is more accurate today to speak of a geographical space with cultural particularities, since most of the inhabitants of this space are descended from the same tribal origins, just like the Hamama tribe,” he added.

Ghadames: Is it the perfect desert city? Wed, 26 Oct 2022 22:49:51 +0000

The interior walls, which shone white with a protective layer of whitewash, were made of sun-dried mud bricks. This mixture of clay, sand and straw was placed on stones which isolated them from humidity. Dr Susannah Hagan, Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Westminster and a specialist in green architecture, later explained why this building technique is so ingenious: “The secret is in the walls: thick walls of earth or stone that retard the penetration of the sun’s heat. inside a building during the day and reflect that heat back to the cold sky at night,” she said. “By morning, the walls have cooled enough to start the protection cycle again.”

She added: “The skilful use of available building materials [achieves] maximum comfort with minimum resources. In the desert, that means cool without air conditioning and heat without heating.”

As we continued, we passed doors made of simple palm trunks, some studded with brass, as well as low arches, curved alcoves and Dakar – built-in benches – which, perfect for lounging around, usually point to a nearby mosque (there are 21, though only a handful are still in use, and only on Fridays). Sometimes the arches were incised, chiselled, or decorated with delicate paintings (a hand of Fatima, a star, intricate geometries), adding to the mystery and allure.

Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan top list of 54 countries in urgent need of debt relief Mon, 10 Oct 2022 07:00:00 +0000

The cascading global crises have left 54 ​​countries – home to more than half of the world’s poorest people – in dire need of debt relief, the UN has said.

As a result, dozens of developing countries face a rapidly worsening debt crisis and “the risks of inaction are grave,” the United Nations Development Program said in a report.

Without immediate help, at least 54 countries will report rising levels of poverty, and “the desperately needed investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation will not happen.”

This is worrying as the affected countries are among the most climate-vulnerable in the world, the UNDP said.

The agency’s report, released on Tuesday ahead of meetings of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and G20 finance ministers in Washington, stressed the need for swift action.

But despite repeated warnings, “nothing has happened so far and the risks have increased,” UNDP chief Achim Steiner told reporters in Geneva.

“This crisis is intensifying and threatens to turn into an entrenched development crisis in dozens of countries around the world,” he said.

Poor and indebted countries are facing converging economic pressures and many of them are unable to repay their debt or access new financing.

“Market conditions are changing rapidly as a synchronized fiscal and monetary contraction and weak growth fuel volatility around the world,” the UNDP said.

The agency said debt problems were simmering in many affected countries long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

“The rapid accumulation of debt over the past decade has been consistently underestimated,” he said.

Morocco’s last nomads struggle to adapt to climate change in images, in pictures

The freeze on debt repayment during the Covid-19 crisis to ease their burden has expired and negotiations under the G20 common framework, which was created during the pandemic to help heavily indebted countries find a way to restructure their bonds, moved at a snail’s pace.

According to available data, 46 out of 54 countries had accumulated public debt totaling $782 billion in 2020, according to the report.

Argentina, Ukraine and Venezuela alone represent more than a third of this amount.

The situation is rapidly deteriorating, with 19 of the developing countries now effectively locked out of the lending market, 10 more than at the start of the year.

Meanwhile, the debt of a third of all developing economies has been labeled as “substantial, extremely speculative or default risk”, UNDP chief economist George Gray Molina told reporters.

The countries most at immediate risk are Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tunisia, Chad and Zambia, he said.

Mr Gray Molina said private creditors had so far been the biggest obstacle to pursuing the necessary restructuring.

But he suggested that current market conditions could pave the way for a debt deal as private creditors see the value of their holdings plunge by up to 60%.

“When emerging market bonds are trading at 40 cents on the dollar, private creditors suddenly become more open to trading,” he said.

“The incentives are to now join a negotiation where you could accept the discount of 20 cents on the dollar, 15 cents on the dollar and 30 cents on the dollar.”

But willing creditors are not enough to secure a much-needed debt relief deal, Gray Molina said.

“The missing ingredients right now are financial assurances from major creditor governments to get a deal done.”

Steiner, who has repeatedly sounded the alarm over the crisis, expressed hope that the international community might finally recognize that it is in everyone’s interest to act.

“Prevention is better than treatment and certainly…much, much cheaper than having to deal with a global recession,” he said.

Updated: October 11, 2022, 5:15 a.m.

The way of life of Moroccan nomads threatened by climate change Fri, 07 Oct 2022 07:00:00 +0000 This video provides an overview of the Sultan Foundation’s work in the “City of the Dead” in Cairo, Egypt. British documentary filmmaker Mark Hammond traveled there for several weeks in the fall of 2018 to capture the unique setting in which community and arts events take place in and around Sultan Qaitbey’s Maq’ad Cultural Center.

Unlike Western cemeteries, the “City of the Dead” in Cairo was always meant to be a city of the living. Rulers and dignitaries built not only tombs, but huge religious complexes that included mosques with teaching madrasas, convents of Sufi mystics, as well as various charities, and housed many people. Today, the cemeteries, which stretch for more than eight kilometers, include some of Cairo’s most important historical monuments and are home to populated communities.

For some years now, Cairo-based ARCHiNOS Architecture has been conserving monuments within the funerary complex built by Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbey in the 1470s. The works are mainly funded by the European Union and carried out under the auspices of the project of the Historic Cairo within the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Experience has shown that the long-term preservation of cultural heritage cannot be achieved in isolation from communities in historic quarters, and ARCHiNOS’ work has increasingly included components of social and cultural development. A large reception hall in the former residence of the sultan (maq’ad) has been adapted to become a center of art and culture in the district. ARCHiNOS has also upgraded the small urban square in front of the building to make it a suitable setting for the various cultural events organized in and around the MASQ: Sultan Qaitbey’s Maq’ad.

In 2016, the non-profit Sultan Foundation was established to promote the links between the preservation of cultural heritage and social and economic development, and to provide access to culture and the means of development to disadvantaged communities while contributing to the heritage preservation. Convinced that culture and heritage can be vectors of development, we work to guarantee access to culture and art, to improve the living and working conditions of the local community and to modernize services, to create sustainable sources of income and develop educational activities. We particularly target women and young people, as well as artisans practicing their trade in the low-income neighborhood.

Our goal is to reintegrate the region’s rich cultural heritage into community life in a way that benefits both locals and heritage.



EVENT: Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in North Africa: Progress and Challenges in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia Thu, 06 Oct 2022 15:58:34 +0000

Ahead of the 4th cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), which will examine the human rights situation in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, this event highlights the specific challenges faced by minorities and indigenous peoples in the three North African countries.

This online event will present key points from Minority Rights Group International’s submissions, produced with the support of local civil society organizations at the UPR, concerning minorities and indigenous peoples in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. What are the remaining gaps in legislation and policy to ensure the protection of the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples? What forms of repression do these groups still face and how to deal with it?

The event will bring forward the voices of community representatives from the countries concerned to discuss the challenges they face. By bringing together members of minority and indigenous communities, it will be an opportunity to discuss their views on how to ensure better protection of their rights before the UPR.

The event will be held online in French, with live interpretation available in English. A livestream will be available on YouTube.

Participants will include:

  • Amina Amhareshfounding member of the Amazigh community network AZUL and member of the International Land Coalition (ILC), Morocco
  • Lounes BelkacemExpert of the Working Group of the Commission on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Africa within the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights of the African Union, Algeria
  • Saadia Mosbahfounding member and president of the Mnemty association, Tunisia
  • mohamed ben moussaBaha’i Community Information Office Representative, Tunisia

The event will be moderated by Silvia Quattrini, North Africa Manager at Minority Rights Group International.

Time and date

Friday, October 14, 2022, 8 a.m. (New York) / 12 p.m. (London) / 1 p.m. (Geneva).


Please register here to attend.

Image: Amazigh women celebrate New Year 2970 in the village of Sahel, south of Tizi-Ouzou, east of Algiers, on January 12, 2020. Yennayer, the first month of the Berber year, is marked as a national holiday in Algeria for the third time. Credit: EPA-EFE/STRINGER.

Algeria: a free activist obtains refugee status in Tunisia Mon, 26 Sep 2022 04:00:00 +0000

(Tunis) – Algerian authorities should immediately release Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian activist who disappeared a year ago from Tunisia and is currently being held under investigation by an Algerian court, and guarantee his freedom to leave the country. country, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. .

Bouhafs lived in Tunisia as refugee and reappeared in Algerian custody under unclear circumstances. Tunisian authorities should investigate his apparent abduction and forced return to Algeria, and hold anyone found responsible to account.

“Slimane Bouhafs fled Algeria after being persecuted by the authorities, and the UN refugee agency in Tunisia granted him international protection in Tunisia,” said Amna Guellali, deputy director for the Middle East. and North Africa to Amnesty International. “The last place Bouhafs should be is back in an Algerian prison, facing a possible trial.”

On August 25, 2021, unidentified men in civilian clothes showed up at Bouhafs’ home in Tunis, forced him into a car and drove off, the Bouhafs family said, citing witness information. On September 1, 2021, Bouhafs appeared in an Algerian court, where a judge opened a criminal investigation against him for alleged links with the Mouvement pour l’autodétermination de la Kabylie, a group that Algeria considers a terrorist organization. and for posts on Facebook, in a context of increased criminalization of peaceful activism. Algerian authorities previously jailed him for two years for Facebook comments deemed offensive to Islam.

Bouhafs, 55, is an Amazigh (Berber) activist and converted Christian. In 2016, an Algerian court sentenced him to three years in prison under Article 144 bis 2 of the penal code, which criminalizes public insult to the Prophet Muhammad and denigration of Islam. Bouhafs’ family said he suffered ill-treatment in prison. In 2018, he was released by presidential pardon, moved to Tunisia and sought asylum with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

A letter of support from an Algerian human rights group that Bouhafs’ family shared with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International says Bouhafs feared Algerian courts would prosecute him again in retaliation for his activism. UNHCR granted him asylum in 2020 as part of an agreement between UNHCR and the Tunisian authorities.

Citing their accounts, Bouhafs’ family said the men who abducted him put a bag over his head, drove him to the Algerian border and to a police station in Algiers, and took him away. threatened during the journey.
For four days, Bouhafs’ family did not know where he was. On August 29, they learned through informal contacts that Bouhafs was being held in a police station in Algiers.

On September 1, an investigating judge at the Sidi M’Hamed Court of First Instance in Algiers placed Bouhafs in pre-trial detention pending investigation on 10 charges under Algeria’s criminal code. They included “membership of a terrorist organization” (article 87 bis 3), “apology for terrorism” (article 87 bis 4), “attack on the integrity of the national territory” (article 79), ” attack on the Prophet [of Islam](article 144 bis 2), “publication of false news” (article 196 bis), “incitement to hatred and racial discrimination” (article 295 bis), and “obtaining foreign funding” (article 95 bis), according to information from Bouhafs’ lawyers that his family shared with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

On September 20, 2021, independent UN human rights experts asked the Tunisian and Algerian governments to explain all the steps they had taken to transfer Bouhafs from Tunisia to Algeria, and any basis of the criminal investigation against him in Algiers.

While Tunisian human rights activists say President Kais Saied made a verbal promise on September 3, 2021 to investigate the alleged kidnapping of Bouhafs, Tunisian authorities have made no official public comment on this. topic.

Algeria responded to UN experts in a letter dated October 7 saying that Algerian security forces in Tébessa, Algeria, near the Tunisian border, arrested Bouhafs on August 27 after he attempted to register. in a hotel without showing ID. They transferred him to authorities in Algiers after discovering evidence linking him to the Movement for the Autodetermination of Kabylie (MAK), Algerian officials said in the letter.

Algeria has designated the group as a terrorist organization since May 2021. In the same letter, Algerian authorities detail the charges against Bouhafs under Algerian law. Authorities said they included messages attacking the Algerian state, its symbols and institutions, as well as messages praising the MAK and about its alleged communications with members of the group, and communicating with members of the group.

However, Algerian authorities have not said anything publicly about how, when and under what circumstances Bouhafs entered Algeria.

“A year has passed since Slimane Bouhafs disappeared from his host country and reappeared in the custody of the country he had fled, without any government knowing whether he had been brought there against his will. “, said Balkees Jarrah, acting deputy. Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Tunisian authorities had a responsibility under international law to protect Bouhafs, but there is no evidence that they sought to investigate the case and hold to account anyone found guilty of violating his human rights. .

Algerian authorities have refused Bouhaf’s requests for provisional release at least four times, according to his family and one of his lawyers.

Algerian authorities are increasingly using the overly broad definition of terrorism contained in Algeria’s criminal code, which President Abdelmadjid Tebboune expanded by decree in 2021, to prosecute activists and human rights defenders, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Watch said. Amnesty International. Authorities have also recently targeted other critics among the Algerian diaspora with travel bans and extraditions.

Algeria and Tunisia have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 guarantees the right to freedom of expression. Any restriction on this right must be proportionate and strictly necessary for a legitimate purpose.

As a party to the United Nations and African Refugee Conventions and the Convention against Torture, Tunisia is bound by the principle of non-refoulement, prohibiting forced returns, expulsions or extraditions – both of refugees to countries where they might face threats to their life or freedom, and of anyone to countries where they risk being tortured. The 1951 Refugee Convention prohibits the expulsion of refugees who are lawfully within the territory of a contracting state, except for reasons of national security or public order. Even in such cases, decisions must be made in accordance with due process, unless “compelling reasons of national security require otherwise”.

Articles 6 and 9 of the ICCPR, guaranteeing the rights to life and security, imply an obligation for governments to protect vulnerable people within their jurisdiction, including refugees. Governments should investigate all cases of enforced disappearance and hold accountable anyone found responsible, in line with official guidelines on the implementation of the ICCPR by the UN Human Rights Committee. Article 12 of the ICCPR states that everyone has the right to leave any country, including their own.

An expert from Morocco offers her advice to visitors Sat, 17 Sep 2022 02:57:05 +0000

From seemingly endless deserts to dramatic mountains and enigmatic cities, Morocco has so much to offer visitors. And while the colorful city of Marrakech is a great place to start, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover further afield, as longtime Moroccan resident and author Alice Morrison reveals.

Eight years ago, Alice Morrison moved to Morocco to train and compete in the Marathon des Sables, a grueling event that involves running six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert.

But after taking on the challenge, Alice realized she didn’t want to leave Morocco, a country that had a seemingly magnetic pull on her. “People were so welcoming and friendly – I immediately felt at home here,” she says.

Alice Morrison with a camel (Image courtesy Alice Morrison)Image courtesy of Alice Morrison)

So she moved to the small Amazigh (Berber) village of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains. In addition to being the ideal setting for her many adventures, it is here that she fell in love with Moroccan hospitality and the sweetness of life.

In 2016, she started filming a documentary for the BBC, From Morocco to Timbuktu: an Arab adventurewhich involved crossing the Atlas Mountains, traveling along ancient salt roads and through the lonely expanses of the Sahara Desert in a quest to reveal what makes the country so magical.

She is also the first woman to cross the legendary Draa River, which she did on an epic 932-mile (1,500 km) trek with two Amazigh guides.

Imlil, Morocco (Image: Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock)The village of Imlil, Morocco, which Alice calls home (Image: Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock)

We spoke to Alice about what makes Morocco so unique, the little-known places that many tourists avoid, and her expert advice on how to get the most out of your trip.

Alice’s Top Tips

1. Choose one or two cities to visit

Morocco is home to four imperial cities: Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakech. The latter is usually the first port of call for tourists and for good reason: it’s a captivating mix of bustling medinas, elaborate Moorish architecture, incredible food and fascinating cultural attractions.

If you have two weeks ahead of you in Morocco, Alice advises choosing one or two towns to visit before heading into the desert and mountains.

Marrakech, Morocco (Image: Marrakech posztos/Shutterstock)The bustling city of Marrakech at night (Image: Marrakech posztos/Shutterstock)

2. Don’t miss the Atlas Mountains…

High on the list of places Alice recommends visiting are the Atlas Mountains, which stretch some 1,200 miles (2,000 km) from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Offering world-class hiking, climbing and mountain biking opportunities, these historic peaks are a playground for adventure seekers. But in many small villages clinging to mountain peaks, “you will also see a very different way of life – the Amazigh way of life.”

3. …or the Sahara Desert

Meanwhile, the Sahara Desert, which lies south of the Atlas Mountains and spans an impressive 3.3 million square miles (8.9 million square kilometers) of North Africa , is another must visit.

A camel walking in the desert (Image courtesy Alice Morrison)Image courtesy of Alice Morrison

Although Alice acknowledges that venturing into the desert may not be for everyone, she believes there is a “spectacular void” to be found there. “As you walk through it, your soul or spirit is cleansed by this amazing scenery – and it reminds you of how small you are, as a human. It makes you feel alive.

4. Consider trekking

“I love to walk, so I would recommend that if you’re two weeks old, you should do a five-day hike during that time,” says Alice.

Trekking with a local guide is also a great way to immerse yourself: “the guides I have worked with are so knowledgeable that they will tell you everything there is to know about their country”.

For female travelers who wish to follow in Alice’s footsteps, Intrepid Travel is currently offering a unique expedition to Morocco, which will run from October 15-20 this year and will be led by Alice.

Beginning in Marrakech, the six-day trip will take visitors deep into the Atlas Mountains, where they can meet Amazigh women, hike in the mountains and stay with local families.

READ MORE: Cave diver John Volanthen on his incredible role in Thailand’s cave rescue mission

5. Get stuck in street food

Thanks to its unique cultural history, Moroccan cuisine is a fusion of influences, including Berber, Arabic, Jewish and Spanish. Tagine – a dish of chicken cooked with spices, olives, lemons and other aromatics, cooked in a traditional clay pot – is a classic for a reason.

“Go get a tagine at a little place down the street,” advises Alice, where it will be “much tastier and cheaper” than most versions you’ll find in restaurants. If you’re worried about eating street food, “stick to stalls where there are a lot of people around.”

Tajine, a typical Moroccan dish (Image: Curioso.Photography/Shutterstock)Traditional Moroccan tagine served in a market (Image: Curioso.Photography/Shutterstock)

Feeling adventurous? Camel milk is a must: “It’s absolutely delicious!” Other unexpected must-haves are chicken and fries – “you’ll find it on small stalls all over the country, it’s the best in the world” – as well as briouats (pastries with almonds and honey) and amlou ( sweet almond butter with argan oil and honey).

6. Dress the room

When visiting Morocco, visitors, especially women, are generally advised to dress conservatively, ensuring that shoulders and knees are covered.

But it’s not just about making sure you feel comfortable. “If you wear Western clothes, you will have a Western experience. If you wear a bit more modest clothes, you will be able to approach people more easily, especially women,” says Alice.

7. Learn some Arabic

Learning a few phrases in Arabic before you go will make a huge difference when it comes to engaging with the locals.

‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ is a common greeting, meaning ‘peace be upon you’. To answer, you must say ‘Wa-Alaikum-Salaam’ (peace be with you too).

Alice hiking with two Moroccan guides (Image courtesy Alice Morrison)Alice hiking with two Moroccan guides (Image courtesy Alice Morrison)

“Shukran” means thank you, while “zwin” means good, beautiful or delicious.

“There’s a saying in Morocco, ‘Duyuf Allah’, which means visitors come from God,” says Alice – which she says is a good summary of the incredible hospitality many tourists receive.

8. Trust your intuition

As a long-time solo traveler, Alice is adamant that “the biggest misconception about women traveling is that it’s dangerous”. And while there are certainly risks to be aware of, Alice thinks taking a few simple precautions will go a long way to making you feel safer.

Women hiking in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco (Image courtesy of Intrepid Travel)Image courtesy of Intrepid Travel

“Make sure you feel comfortable in the hotel, riad or guesthouse you are staying in – that you feel comfortable with the owners, that the doors are lockable.”

She also advises letting someone know before you go alone, as well as exchanging contact details so you can get in touch to let them know when you’ll be back.

Finally, “if you are worried that something is wrong, just listen to it. Your intuition is usually good.

9. Take your time

Morocco is not a country where you have to rush, tourist checklist in hand. Rather, it’s a place to sink into a gentler pace of life. “Take the time to talk to people and if someone invites you for tea, accept the invitation!”

“If you come with an open mind and heart, you’ll have an amazing time,” says Alice.

READ MORE: Top tips for solo travelers

Alice Morrison is currently offering a unique women’s expedition to Morocco in partnership with Intrepid Travel, taking place October 15-20, 2022. To learn more about the trip and reserve your spot, click here. Alice has published four books, the last of which, Walk with nomads, was released in March 2022 and is available on Amazon. Learn more about Alice by checking out her website or following her on Instagram.

Main image: Courtesy of Alice Morrison