Ministry of Culture celebrates Amazigh New Year – Middle East Monitor

The Minister of Culture said that “there is a government discussion on adopting the Amazigh New Year as an official holiday, and we are awaiting the Prime Minister’s decision”.

Thursday evening, the Moroccan Ministry of Culture and Communication celebrated the Amazigh New Year, through a symbolic festive event in the capital, Rabat.

During the celebration, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohamed Bensaid, inaugurated an art exhibition on the occasion of the Amazigh New Year 2972.

The exhibition, which was hosted by the Ministry of Culture, also saw the presence of a number of government officials, as well as a number of Amazigh activists in the country.

The event included the exhibition of paintings reflecting the Imazighen culture, in addition to displaying traditional clothing and designs that imitate the well-known customs of the Amazighs in Morocco, in addition to paintings informing about their history.

In an interview with media including Anadolu AgencyBensaid said his ministry chose to symbolically celebrate the occasion amid the Covid-19 pandemic, under which it was difficult to celebrate the Amazigh New Year more appropriately.

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The Minister added that efforts are continuing at the level of Morocco to democratize the Amazigh language and facilitate access to information through it.

Regarding the calls to make the Amazigh New Year an official holiday, the Minister indicated that there is a discussion related to this issue within the government, and we are still awaiting the decision of the Prime Minister.

After the exhibition, the Mohammed V Theater in Rabat hosted a gala during which several Amazigh musical scores were presented.

The Amazigh New Year is called “Eid Yanayer” (January night), which corresponds to January 13 of each year.

Earlier Thursday, the Moroccan government announced its commitment to complete the process of forming the Amazigh language as the official language of the Kingdom and to enshrine it in a clear national framework in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

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This was stated by Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch during the opening of the Government Council, which was held by teleconference, according to a government statement.

At the end of last December, Mustafa Baytas, the government spokesperson, declared that “the government has given significant clues on the promotion of the Amazigh language; he announced that an amount of one billion dirhams (100 million dollars) was allocated to activate the official feature of the Amazigh language.

Parties and civil organizations in Morocco are calling for the adoption of the Amazigh New Year as a national holiday and official holiday in the country, and to improve conditions for the Amazigh language.

The Amazighs are indigenous peoples who inhabit the region stretching from the Siwa Oasis in western Egypt in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and from the Mediterranean in the north to the Great Desert to the south.

About Wesley V. Finley

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