amazigh people – Liby Amazigh Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:40:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 amazigh people – Liby Amazigh 32 32 Escalating Conflict in Kabylie (Part 1 of 2) Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:40:38 +0000

**This is the first of a two-part series covering the Kabyle-Algerian conflict. The second part will deal with specific allegations of genocide by the Kabyle government in exile against the Algerian state and the petitions it has filed with two tribunals.


While wildfires occur almost every year in Algeria in the northeast region of Tizi Ouzou in the Kabylie region, last August they ravaged the once verdant region, destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares, incinerating thousands of homes and killing at least 90 people. . The disaster has provoked cross accusations and allegations from the recently installed Algerian government – which has little popular support – and the exiled government of Kabylia – which represents the Amazigh (Berber) population known as Kabyles.

The current situation – with little or no media coverage – is the culmination of events dating back decades, to Algeria’s independence from France in the 1960s and the emergence of the Kabyle independence movement.

Independence of Kabylie and Hirak movements

President Abdelmajid Tebboune is the successor to the corrupt 20-year reign of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who died on September 17, 2021 at the age of 84. Bouteflika had been in poor health since 2013 and his term ended in disgrace. in 2019. His long-awaited retirement was precipitated by massive popular protests by the pro-democracy Hirak movement that year.

Hailing from the Kabylie region, the Hirak sought to overhaul the entire system of Algerian government, in place since the North African country’s independence from France in 1962. Although often compared in the Arab Spring that started with Tunisia in 2011, the Algerian Hirak “spring” did not turn into summer and Tebboune took office on December 19, 2019. He won with 58% of the vote in an election with less than 40% voter turnout.

Almost three months later, in March 2020, Tebboune banned all “marches and gatherings, whatever their motives”, ostensibly to protect the population from the Covid-19 pandemic. But many saw it as a pretext that was used to restrict all freedom of expression, assembly and opposition to the regime.

In March 2020, Tebboune banned all “marches and gatherings, whatever their motives”.

Nevertheless, protests by the Hirak movement returned to the streets in February 2021, and have continued throughout the year despite hundreds of arrests, including a 14-year-old girl who was arrested in December and then sent back to judgment for “attending an unarmed meeting”. gathering.'”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released its 2021 World Report documenting a litany of human rights violations in 2020 by the Algerian state against journalists, doctors and women.

The Kabyle independence movement (not mentioned in the HRW report) has championed the independence aspirations of the Kabyle people since the 1980s. The Kabyles constitute the largest homogeneous cultural-linguistic-ethnic Amazigh community in Algeria. They are estimated to constitute around 40% of the Algerian population, although the exact figures are disputed. Their homeland, Kabylie, is the mountainous region of northern Algeria, just 100 kilometers east of the country’s capital, Algiers, which stretches along the Mediterranean coast.

The Kabyles have perhaps been the indigenous Amazigh people of North Africa (from Morocco to Egypt) who have most spoken out in opposition to the “Arabization” of their homeland and culture. While other countries like Morocco have taken steps to recognize the rights and acknowledge the cultural renaissance of their indigenous Amazigh population, Algerian regimes have seen this as a challenge to their legitimacy. It was not until 2002 that the Kabyle language (dialect of Tamazight) was made a “national language” by the Algerian Constitution. However, it only became an “official” language, alongside Arabic, in 2016.

Algerian government cracks down with arrests and disappearances

In May 2021, the Algerian government declared The Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylia (MAK) a terrorist organization and issued an international arrest warrant against the President of the Kabyle Provisional Government in exile, Ferhat Mehenni, who resides in Paris.

The Algerian government accused the Kabyle independence movement of deliberately starting the fires.

A few months later, in August 2021, while offering no evidence to support this claim, the Algerian government accused the Kabyle independence movement of deliberately starting the fires. He then launched a new wave of arrests and detentions, including 27 suspected MAK members after an attack in two northern towns.

Algerian police kidnapped, disappeared and detained activist Kamira Naït Sid, co-president of the Amazigh World Congress, an international NGO that defends the rights of the Amazigh people. Her family learned a few days later that she had been arrested on or around August 28.

On September 12, police officers from Tizi Ouzou arrested Mohamed Mouloudj, a reporter for the local independent newspaper Freedom, and raided his home, according to a statement from his employer and dispatches. Two days later, an Algiers court charged him with spreading false news, undermining national unity and belonging to a terrorist group. Since then, he has been detained, pending an investigation.

[Algerian Hirak Makes Comeback Despite Government Maneuvers]

The MAK against the “propaganda machine” of Algiers

In response to the Algerian government’s allegations, Mehenni called two press conferences, on August 31 and September 24, 2021 in Paris. At first, he claimed that the Algerian government was attempting genocide by burning large swaths of its people’s homeland, Kabylia. He also condemned the Algerian government for setting the fires in an attempt to stifle the independence movement.

He recited a long litany of accusations, including:

“I accuse Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune of threatening my life.

I accuse the Algerian regime of torture and crimes against humanity.

I accuse the government and the army of burning Kabylia and refusing to put out the fire and block international aid.

“I accuse the Algerian regime of torture and crimes against humanity.”

He accused “Algeria of lying about all these things”, and the government’s strategy to “demonize the Kabyle people” and “influence international public opinion to think that the MAK was behind the fires”.

Mehenni also condemned the brutal lynching and burning of the body of Djamel Ben Ismail, 37, a young activist who had traveled to the Kabylia region to help put out the fires. The savage murder happened in the presence of the police who did almost nothing to stop the assault. Mehenni said the assassination was filmed on cellphones and shared on social media and was so gruesome that it “can never be invisible”.

“I feel moved in my flesh and in my soul by the Algerian propaganda machine,” he concluded. Regarding his arrest warrant, Mehenni said, “I hope France will refuse to extradite an innocent person.”

Arrest of Kamira Naït Sid, co-president of the World Amazigh Congress

Asked by Inside Arabia during the press conference on what had happened to Kamira Naït Sid and on the veracity of the reports that she had been tortured, Mehenni declared that she had been kidnapped “without witnesses and without any legal procedure”. He said it’s been ‘almost a week, and we still don’t have an account of the charges against the woman who is the president of an NGO… At the moment there is complete opacity about her whereabouts. and on the PDA charges”. He added that “the lawyers will have to meet her to find out if she was tortured”.

Human rights organization Front Line Defenders (FLD) later confirmed that Naït Sid was abducted by Algerian security forces from her home in Draa-Ben-Khedda, near Tizi Ouzou. She had been reported missing by her family for eight days before security services finally confirmed she was in custody in Algiers.

Naït Sid had been abducted by Algerian security forces from her home in Draa-Ben-Khedda.

Naït Sid was brought before an investigating judge at the Sidi M’hamed court in Algiers on September 1 on eight counts, including “undermining national unity and state security” and “belonging to a terrorist organization”. She faces ten years to life in prison and/or the death penalty.

Her sister, women’s rights defender Zina Naït Sid, was also arrested by security forces without a warrant on August 29, 2021 but was released the next day without being charged.

FLD published on its website that Naït Sid is “targeted for her legitimate and peaceful work in defense of human rights”.

The Association of Mountain Populations of the World (APMM) based in Paris [Association of World Mountain Populations] released a statement on November 27, saying the terrorism charge against Naït Sid is “totally far-fetched and not based on any credible factual basis.” He claimed she was being arbitrarily detained “in violation of international standards” and strongly denounced her “wrongful incarceration”.

The accusation of terrorism against Naït Sid is “completely far-fetched and not based on any credible factual element”.

Lounès Belkacem, the secretary general of the CMA, declared Inside Arabia that in terrorism cases, Algerian law provides for “a four-month pre-trial detention, renewable five times, but it is up to the judge to decide whether or not to extend the pre-trial detention”. He added that for the purposes of the UN and the African Commission on Human Rights, Nait Sid’s status is that of “prisoner in arbitrary detention”.

Inside Arabia reached one of her lawyers, Maître Allik, who confirmed that she had been in pre-trial detention for more than four months, without having been heard by the investigating judge until now. The main charge against her, he said, is “belonging to a terrorist organization”, although she “does not share the ideas of the MAK”.

He added that Nait Sid’s imprisonment is a violation of human rights because of “political conditions in Algeria”, in complete disregard of his affiliation with a non-governmental organization.

Allik, who is in Algiers, did not confirm reports of torture. However, according to Aksel Meziane, spokesperson for the government in exile, “torture has become a common practice in Algerian police stations, barracks and prisons”.

The MAK seized the International Criminal Court

During MAK’s second press conference held on September 24, 2021, the group announced that it had filed a human rights complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against the Algerian government, alleging the ” genocide” of the Kabyle people.

Long March for Öcalan’s Freedom – Medya News Mon, 14 Feb 2022 06:30:40 +0000

Activists from 21 different countries took part in the long march organized to protest against the captivity of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who is imprisoned in solitary confinement on the island of İmrali, in Turkey, since 1999.

The march, which was attended by more than 150 activists from internationalist groups, started in Frankfurt on February 6 and protesters marched 160 km to Strasbourg. The event, held for the sixth time this year, brought together members of various political groups from Catalonia, the Basque Country, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Scotland, England, Morocco, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, Netherlands, China, Ireland, Armenia and Ukraine.

Some of the activists spoke with Yeni Özgür Politika and explained why they took part in the march and what Öcalan meant to them.

From the United States to join the march

Mei Zhang (26) is a Chinese-American whose family immigrated to the United States years ago. She grew up in Seattle, Washington. She is active in labor unions and works for the American people to recognize and support popular solidarity in Rojava and Abdullah Öcalan’s call for freedom. She attends the march from Frankfurt to Saarbrücken with two of her friends.

“I am inspired by the philosophy of Öcalan”

She considers it essential to support Öcalan’s freedom march because she and her friends in the United States are very inspired by Öcalan’s ideas. Mei Zhang says, “Although the long march of the internationalists is under the slogan ‘Freedom for Öcalan’, people from different cultures and nationalities can share ideas here too. People have the chance to recognize the solidarity of the other. In this sense, internationalists have much to learn from this march. I think internationalists should thank the Kurdish liberation movement for organizing such an event.

“I will continue to walk with the Kurdish people”

Mei Zhang says that as a feminist and activist, she is very inspired by the solidarity of Kurdish women. She adds, “Our leader Mao, who led the Chinese revolution, also did important things for women. But Öcalan’s ideas and works are very different. Öcalan says that the freedom of women is the freedom of the people. As a woman, I respect the importance given to women by Öcalan and the Kurdish popular movement. I thank the Kurdish people for this opportunity. I had the chance to get to know the Kurds better during this walk. From now on, I will continue to walk with the Kurdish people.”

“We are grateful to Öcalan”

Marco Rovigo (27) is taking part in the march from Italy. Marco explains that he knew the Kurdish people because of the Rojava revolution and that he particularly studied the Kurdish movement at that time. He went to Afrin for three months in 2019 to discover Rojava. There he had the chance to know the Kurdish people. He explains that he knows Kurdish people to be warm, friendly and offended. He says he is really impressed by the atmosphere of the long organized freedom march in Öcalan.

“It creates a great atmosphere when people from different cultures come together in a different region and in a different culture for a worthy cause, and walk together for a week. I am grateful to dear great Öcalan for creating this opportunity. I read some of his books to learn his ideas before coming here. After coming here, I once again realized the influence of Öcalan.

“Let’s make the colonialists shiver!”

Yasmina El-Taouai (23), who is attending the march from Morocco, says Öcalan has been unjustly detained for 23 years and is attending the march to protest against Öcalan’s 23-year wrongful imprisonment.

She adds: “Such demonstrations are so important for the freedom of dear Öcalan and the Kurdish people. No one can close their ears to so many people from all over the world shouting: “Freedom for Öcalan! I believe that by shouting here today, we make the colonialists shiver in their shoes. That is why they tried to prevent us from meeting here today. But they failed miserably against our solidarity.

“We take Kurdish women as role models”

El-Taouai says the Amazigh people have long been fighting for their freedom, as have the Kurds.

“In this context, the Amazighs are those who best understand the Kurdish struggle for freedom. We share the same destiny. We must become partners in our fight as people of two different nations. I see that recently young Amazighs have been leaving for the mountains of Kurdistan out of solidarity and to improve their skills. The Amazigh people have a lot to learn from the Kurdish liberation movement and the Kurdish women’s movement. We particularly take Kurdish women as role models from an organizational point of view.

She adds: “The louder we shout our demands, the more our enemies will be frightened. The louder we shout, the sooner Öcalan will get his freedom.

Right-wing French candidate Zemmour praises Morocco’s former ban on foreign names Fri, 11 Feb 2022 16:10:40 +0000 Far-right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, who wants to ban Muslim names in France, hailed an outdated Moroccan ban on foreign names as “a great idea”.

Zemmour said he changed his Moroccan birth name to Eric for ‘love of France’ [Getty]

Right-wing French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour on Thursday applauded a now-obsolete Moroccan law that only allowed names “with a Moroccan character” for newborns.

Zemmour’s stamp of approval for the measure came in response to a tweet posted on Wednesday by Mohamed Louizi, a Moroccan essayist living in France.

Louizi highlighted the 2002 law governing Moroccan civil status, which orders parents to choose first names with “Moroccan character” for their children.

The law “protects Moroccan national identity”, Louizi said.

Responding to Louizi’s tweet, Zemmour hailed the Moroccan law as “a great idea”.

“Long live Morocco and Moroccans!” he said.

Zemmour told French radio CMR last year that he is of Moroccan origin, and that he changed his Moroccan birth name to Eric “for the love of France”. He refused to reveal his birth name.

In September last year, before announcing he would run for president, Zemmour called for a ban on non-French first names like Mohammed, saying foreign first names threaten French identity.

Zemmour’s comments on immigration, Islam and minorities have landed him in legal trouble on numerous occasions. In February 2019, a French court found Zemmour guilty of “inciting racial hatred” and ordered him to pay thousands of euros in fines.

According to the latest polls, more than 14% of French citizens said they would vote for Zemmour in the presidential elections scheduled for April.

Morocco passed the ban on non-Moroccan names in 2002, provided that parents and guardians choose names from which to choose.

The lists did not include names in Tamazight, the language of the indigenous Amazigh people, even though they make up about a fifth of Morocco’s population.

The Amazigh community fought against the discriminatory ban for years until Morocco allowed Amazigh first names in 2013, two years after recognizing Tamazight as an official language.

In 2021, the term “Moroccan character” was removed and replaced with the simple clarification that the first name “must not undermine morals or public order”.

Tunisia: in brief | New Internationalist Wed, 01 Dec 2021 19:31:06 +0000


December 1, 2021

Outside the Medina of Tunis. CLÉMENT ARBIB

Earlier this year, outside a local cafe just off a busy street in one of Tunis’s sprawling neighborhoods, a group of teenagers talked about their country’s affairs. They hated the police, who beat and arrested their friends. They felt, on the whole, lost and hopeless. “Once I’m 18 I’ll try to cross over to Europe with my friends – at least there’s money there,” one said.

How is it that 10 years after the Tunisians ousted the autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali – at the origin of what has often been hailed as the only democratic achievement of the Arab Spring – they still feel so dejected? ?

Tunisia visibly bears the imprint of its various occupants and civilizations. Traces of its indigenous Amazigh people can be found in its dialect and its cuisine. Carthaginian and Roman ruins are scattered across the landscape, from the Punic port of Tunis, shaped like a crescent moon, to the impressive Roman amphitheater of El Jem. The Muslim Arab conquest of the 7th century converted many Tunisians to Islam, while Ottoman rule shaped its buildings and towns. The French established a protectorate in 1881, which again transformed the culture, language and economy of Tunisia.

Since obtaining its independence from France in 1956, until the revolution of 2011, Tunisians had lived only under two presidents: Habib Bourguiba and Ben Ali. Both were ruthless strong men who suppressed dissent.

Bourguiba carried out sweeping reforms – many of which benefited the poor and women – that kept the debate over his legacy alive today. When Ben Ali came to power in 1987, he said his leadership would usher in a new era. He organized elections and needed to take a gentler approach to religious fundamentalists.

However, in 1991 he banned the Islamist Ennahdha party. Human rights violations escalated as Ben Ali further strengthened the national security forces. Although the middle class prospered under Ben Ali, economic inequalities have widened. He would win every election in the next 24 years with an overwhelming majority of votes.

It is this dysfunctional state and this economic misery that pushed Mohammed Bouazizi, a fruit seller in the inner city of Sidi Bouzid, to set himself on fire in December 2010, triggering demonstrations across the country. On January 14, Ben Ali fled the country with his family – and suitcases of gold and silver stolen – to Saudi Arabia. He died there in 2019.

In the years following the revolution, Tunisia experienced its first free and fair elections, sweeping the ruling Ennahdha party. In 2014, a new constitution was drawn up which ensured a careful separation of powers and made Tunisia a secular state.

Ennahdha supporters demonstrate in Tunis on February 27, 2021. HASAN MRAD / SHUTTERSTOCK

But the last decade has also seen assassinations of political figures and horrific terrorist attacks, while attempts to migrate across the Mediterranean Sea have increased. In the midst of successive chaotic governments, the Tunisian dinar has devalued considerably and purchasing power has sharply reduced. Tunisia is currently negotiating its fourth IMF loan in a decade.

It is in this context that an unlikely populist candidate, Kais Saied, was elected president in 2019. His image as a “clean”, “uncorrupted” law professor has won over voters – especially young people – unhappy with the political elites. .

Over the past year, Covid-19 has exacerbated political and economic unrest in Tunisia and shattered the country’s health system. On July 25, Saied invoked an emergency article of the constitution: to remove the government, suspend parliament and assume all executive powers. While the move was hugely popular, critics called it a “coup” and many fear it could open a darker new chapter in the region’s latest democracy.

LEADER: President Kais Saied

ECONOMY: GNI per capita $ 3,100 (Algeria $ 3,550; France $ 42,330).

Monetary union: Tunisian Dinar

Main exports: Insulated yarns, textiles, crude oil, pure olive oil.

Tunisia’s trade balance is structurally negative and the country imports ($ 21.6 billion) more than it exports ($ 14.9 billion). The main trading partners are France, Italy, Germany, China and Algeria.

POPULATION: 11.8 million. Annual population growth rate: 0.75%. Persons per km² 73 (United Kingdom 281).

HEALTH: Under-5 mortality rate 17 per 1,000 live births (Algeria 18.9). HIV prevalence: less than 1%. The Tunisian health system was already under strain due to underfunding and the large working-age population.

ENVIRONMENT: CO per capita2 emissions: 2.59 metric tonnes. Disposal of toxic and hazardous waste has proven ineffective, while water pollution from raw sewage and factory waste continues to be a problem. Tunisia has limited natural freshwater and has suffered from soil erosion and desertification.

RELIGION: 99% Sunni Muslim. Until the 20th century, there were also significant Jewish and Christian populations.

TONGUE: Arabic (official), French (trade language with Arabic, and spoken by about two-thirds of the population).

INDEX OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: 0.739, 95th out of 189 countries (Algeria 0.748; France 0.901).

The desert in Gabès

The desert in Gabès. CLÉMENT ARBIB


There is a persistent economic divide between the wealthy Tunisian coastal elites and the poorer inland cities. More than 40% of Tunisians work in the informal economy without access to a stable income, social security or compensation linked to the pandemic. 15.2% of the population lives below the poverty line.


Tunisia has a high literacy rate (79%) which continues to improve every year. After independence, President Borguiba made education a priority with an emphasis on modernizing the system. Education was free and compulsory for all.


77 years old (France 83, Algeria 77).


Tunisia is ahead of other North African countries in the fight against gender inequalities. Bourguiba introduced new reforms in the 1950s, banning polygamy and giving women the right to divorce. In 1973, birth control and abortion were legal – before France. But culturally, Tunisian women still face many obstacles.


Since 2011, Tunisia has experienced a transformation in terms of freedom of speech and expression. However, there have been recent arrests for social media posts criticizing the military and for blasphemy. Traces of the pre-2011 police state also remain, and some officers continue to torture and harass detainees.


Homosexuality remains criminal (according to an old colonial law) and there have been several cases of forced anal exams. Police regularly harass, target and detain LGBTQI + people. Tunisian trans people are particularly at risk.


Corruption became commonplace after Ben Ali’s marriage to Leïla Trabelsi, which ushered in a new era of mafia rule with power centered around Trabelsi’s brothers. The family stole billions of dollars from Tunisia over the next decade. After 2011, governments searched but struggled to tackle persistent corruption. The recent dismissal of the government by Kais Saied has been called a coup.

Cover of New Internationalist Magazine Issue 534

This article is taken from the November-December 2021 issue of New Internationalist.
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From rags and scraps to abstract works of self-expression Mon, 01 Nov 2021 20:19:00 +0000

Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason are authors, designers and founders of New York-based lifestyle and design brand AphroChic. In this column, they delve into the rich history of various objects and design motifs that originate from the African diaspora.

Moroccan rag rugs, better known as “Boucherouites”, are unique among the many rugs made by women of the Berber or Amazigh tribes of Morocco. While carpet weaving has been both an honored necessity and a great art among the Amazigh people for generations, the creation of Boucherouite rugs is a fairly modern art by an ancient people.

Members of the Lamtuna Amazigh founded Morocco in 1070 AD with the construction of Marrakech. From there they established the vast Almoravid Empire, which encompassed not only large parts of the Maghreb, but essentially all of Andalusian Spain, extending north as far as Zaragoza. Today, Amazigh tribes largely reside in the Atlas Mountains, far from the major cities of Morocco.

In the 20th century, various economic factors led to the reduction of nomadism among some Amazigh tribes and the transition to agriculture from traditional herding practices. As a result, the scarcity of traditional materials has made it increasingly difficult for Amazigh women to weave their usual rugs in their usual way. The Boucherouites emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in response to these inescapable realities. They quickly became a new form of artistic expression.

Unlike other Moroccan rugs, which are typically made from wool, Boucherouite rugs are made from scraps of any material available, including synthetic fabrics from old clothes or even scraps from other rugs. The name Boucherouite comes from the Arabic “bu sherwit”, which means “rag” or “leftover used clothing”. of patterns and colors they can contain.

Moroccan boucherouite rug

A Boucherouite rug from Secret Berbère.


Traditionally, Moroccan rugs are woven in very well established patterns, many of which are distinguished by region. In contrast, the Boucherouite weaving style developed into a form of creative liberation for the women who created it. Instead of well-planned geometric patterns, Boucherouite rugs are “spontaneous” compositions meant to express the feelings of the weaver at a particular time. As a result, designs can range from tight geometric patterns to limitless abstract compositions with rapid color changes, mixed shapes, and seemingly random angles.

While the style originated in the Moroccan towns of Boujad and Beni Mellal, it has since spread among the Amazighs in many places, and unlike traditional Moroccan rugs, Boucherouites are difficult to connect to a specific location by design and style alone.

Moroccan boucherouite rug

A carpet from Soukie Modern.


Moroccan boucherouite rug

A carpet from Secret Berbère.


Originally, Amazigh rugs were woven for use in the home and were not for sale. Because of this, for a time, Boucherouite rugs were beautiful secrets that were only seen in Amazigh homes. It took a long time for people to see beyond humble materials to recognize the art and craftsmanship required to weave such magical compositions from rags or scraps.

Today, Boucherouite rugs can be used to add color and pattern to an interior. Because they emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, the pieces have a modern feel and fit in well with mid-century furnishings. They can also be presented as playful pieces that help break up overly traditional pieces. Most are unique, so you can be sure that the Boucherouite you bring home will be unlike any other in the world. Think of them as art for your floors.

Our favorite sources for Boucherouite rugs:

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Berber tattoos on the decline in Morocco Wed, 27 Oct 2021 14:45:21 +0000

These two women are part of a minority who still have Berber tattoos.

Fatima Masoudi, 89, and Ighoudane Taguelmane, 86, live in Khemissat, a Berber town in Morocco.

Masoudi always wanted to get a tattoo, especially because it was a common thing to do when she was young.

“One day when we were transferred to town, I decided to do it. I was 14 years old, I asked my mother to do it but she refused, ”says Masoudi.

“At that moment, despite her refusal I decided to do it, I went to a tattoo artist, I did it so that I was beautiful, but unfortunately my mother and my grandmother did not accept this gesture.”

Despite his family’s disapproval, Masoudi has had tattoos several times, on his chin, neck and arm.

She chose different patterns which are symbols of Berber culture.

Taguelmane had a reverse experience with tattoos: she was forced by her mother to do one at a young age.

She was tattooed between her eyes and on her chin.

At that time, tattoo centers were considered beauty salons, a place that women used to go to look pretty.

But the process was painful.

“There were several tattoo designs and each one chose what they wanted, they used black charcoal, then sewed up the skin with a needle and placed the substance through those openings and wounds to stay inside the skin. skin “, explains Taguelmane.

” This operation was very painful, then I waited a week until there was a scab on my face, then I took it off, at that point you can see the final result of the tattoo.”

Tattoo artists also use salt water and herbs for sterilization.

Historically, the origins of such tattoos are difficult to pin down.

“There is no exact date, but what is known is that the Berber tribes, from the ancient drawings that were found in the caves, and on the basis of certain books and sources that spoke of the tattoos in Berber tribes go back thousands of years, ”explains Mohamed Es-Semmar, historian.

The Berbers lived in several Berber regions of North Africa and often lived in mountainous and desert areas.

Most of the symbols used in tattoos are inspired by nature.

“Amazigh people use many symbols, in various types of carpets, ornaments for women, as well as in tattoos,” says Es-Semmar.

The symbols were plentiful, such as triangles and semicircles. They are found in earrings, bracelets, anklets. These symbols are also found in many Amazigh dresses and costumes, whether for women or men. And also we find several symbols in the utensils of the house, and we also can not forget the architecture, for example, wood, gypsum, and also the stone engraving, always the same symbols that they used in The tatoos.”

Symbols can, among other things, have meanings related to strength, energy, fertility, healing, and protection from envy.

Berber tattoos were used to determine tribal affiliation and identity, indicate the marital status of women as well as whether they were ready for marriage.

They were also performed for aesthetic and therapeutic reasons.

“The Berber tattoo was totally different from what we see today, it had several meanings and several patterns, each one has its own definition, but today this modern tattoo that we see, is not mine, he comes from other countries and young people prefer him and do it too, ”says Masoudi.

Tattoos weren’t limited to women, but men were much smaller and inconspicuous.

Nowadays, if Berber tattoos are difficult to find, it is because of a larger phenomenon.

“Tattoos have largely disappeared among the Berber tribes due to the fact that the Berber tribes have disappeared. Is there still a tribe? Berber society has changed,” explains Es-Semmar.

Others also tend to have their tattoos removed for religious reasons.

“When I did the tattoo I didn’t know it was forbidden in Islam, when I went to the pilgrimage I asked about it and they told me there was no problem, because when I did it I didn’t know anything, but despite that I’m scared and I want to take it off “, says Taguelmane.

Tattoos have started to disappear since the 1960s, and with them a part of Berber culture.

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“Indigenous in Connecticut Universities” and the Need for Community Wed, 13 Oct 2021 10:00:00 +0000

In honor of Indigenous Peoples Week, the Native American Cultural Programs at the University of Connecticut have hosted a number of virtual events, each scheduled on different days. Tuesday’s event, titled “Indigenous in Connecticut Universities,” had a lot to do with discussing the value of Indigenous communities, as students from UConn, Yale University and Quinnipiac University gave their own perspective on how their Indigenous identities coincide with their academic environment.

Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

The panel was moderated by Zoe Blevins, vice-president of the Native and Native American Students Association at UConn, who opened the floor for the eight panelists to introduce themselves. In the middle of their introduction, Nolan Arkansas, a fifth semester American Studies student of Cherokee descent, recounted how an impromptu trip to the Native American Cultural Center prompted their decision to go to Yale.

“I stayed here for a weekend with another Native student… and I was still deciding, ‘Do I want to go here? Don’t I want to go here? ‘ Arkansas said. “We went to the Native American Cultural Center… and we were so tired and so [my friend] and i just sat on that little sofa in one of the halls and we both fell asleep around 6pm … when we woke up we woke up smelling rye bread because the students older ones cooked us dinner. Then we all shared food together and we were just making jokes and it was hot; it was inviting and I felt like I felt at home in the aboriginal community which is a huge privilege and such an amazing feeling because not everyone feels at home.

When asked about the research and development process of Indigenous and Indigenous communities within their schools, panelists Kiara Tanta-Quidgeon, Sage Phillips, Hema Patel and Evan Roberts offered their views on the issue.

Tanta-Quidgeon, an eighth semester health sciences student of Mohegan origin, spoke about her own personal struggles as the founder and president of the Indigenous Student Union of Quinnipiac, and how those struggles continued. to surface even after overcoming them. Despite this, she stressed the importance of having these communities readily available to prospective students.

“It has certainly been a challenge, but it makes me really happy to know that now when students will come here in the future – especially native students or native students or just students interested in culture and history indigenous identities – they will have that space to share that and they will have that sense of community that many of us did not have even when we arrived on campus and that many students before us did not ” , Tanta-Quidgeon said.

Phillips, a seventh semester double major in political science and human rights from Penobscot and president of NAISA, outlined the reasons for founding NAISA at UConn.

“I found out that the NACP itself, the title didn’t contain ‘Native’,” Phillips said. “So the native students weren’t comfortable here and that was a problem because we had requests from native students who were like, ‘Do I belong to NACP? As the students asked “Do you think I belong? And that’s when I was like ‘Okay, time out.’ Yes sure your place is here, but how are we going to go about changing that and making sure these students feel welcome here? That’s why we launched NAISA.

Patel, a fifth semester in the history of science, health, medicine and education, a double major of Turtle Mountain Ojibwe and Gujarati American descent, followed Phillips’ contribution with a similar sentiment, citing the need improvement of Yale within its Indigenous and Indigenous community.

“Even though we’ve been here since 2013 – so almost 10 years – it’s still moving forward so slowly, there’s still so much to do, [with] not enough people to do it, ”Patel said. “It’s very inspiring to see what you both did at UConn and QU because you have the word ‘Aboriginal’ in your band title and we still don’t have it, even though we have our bands. longer. ”

Regarding Phillips and Patel’s comment, Roberts, a fifth semester student in ethnic studies of Lingít descent, continued Patel’s conversation about the indigenous and indigenous communities of Yale.

“I was thinking about this because we were discussing our name and the exclusivity [our organizations] can appear to people who are not just indigenous to North America, ”said Roberts. “We have also counted and tried to fight anti-darkness in our community, as we begin to see how it plays a role in our community and in all Indigenous communities. So I think there will always be work to do to create spaces somewhere that [are] comfortable and welcoming and a place of joy for everyone. ”

The final question asked what advice the panelists would offer to potential Indigenous students seeking higher education, to which Samantha Gove, Rania Bensadok and Sofia Saul voiced their responses.

Gove, a double major in Sociology and Psychological Sciences in the third semester of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Secretary of NAISA, stressed the importance of finding indigenous communities and having the courage to build them when they are not found.

“It can be difficult to go through education feeling invisible and disabled, but most importantly you will find communities that see you and resonate with you, as we all here, thankfully,” said Gove. “And if you don’t, you can build that up and be a part of it for yourself and for others. It’s a difficult thing to do, but it’s really important to find these communities because they’re going to make it work better, not just for everyone involved now, but for everyone who will be involved in the future.

Bensadok, a seventh semester in Philosophy and Political Science of the Amazigh People under Tizi Ouzou, shared Gove’s point of view by adding a personal anecdote about his arrival at ISU in Quinnipiac.

“I was part of several organizations on campus before ISU became an organization, and I always felt that the community questioned my identity,” Bensadok said. “The ISU was the first place you could learn more about your background, research and understand the history of your people, as if there was no shame in it. So one advice I would give is never to settle down until you find comfort. And if that means working and building the community and group you need, so be it. ”

Saul, a seventh semester political science student of Puerto Rican Taino descent and president of social media for NAISA, then made a lasting comment on how to overcome doubts about integration and advised embracing spaces that allow indigenous identities to thrive.

“I definitely had this feeling of, ‘I’m not Native, I’m not Native, I’m Native; where do I fit in? ‘ – this struggle, ”Saul said. “But I think I would definitely like to give advice to [students]; as if you might not think it’s for you, but if you think about it, you will be welcome. I had these fears of “I’m not supposed to be here,” but it’s your culture, it’s my culture and it’s a place that should be open to find out more about it. ”

For more information on these organizations and other events during Indigenous Peoples Week, be sure to visit @uconn_nacp, @yalenatives, and @quindigenousstudentunion on Instagram.

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Definition and examples of cultural appropriation Mon, 11 Oct 2021 21:04:07 +0000

The term “cultural appropriation” has been used to describe everything from makeup and hairstyles to tattoos, clothing, and even eating and wellness practices. The phrase originated in the 1980s in academic discussions of colonialism and the treatment of non-white cultures. From there it has worked its way into the modern lexicon, but decoding what constitutes and does not constitute cultural appropriation can be tricky.

What is the definition of cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation, also called cultural putappropriation, occurs when a person of a culture adopts the fashion, iconography, trends or styles of a culture that is not their own. Some of the most damaging examples of cultural appropriation occur when the culture to be appropriated belongs to a historically oppressed group.

What is cultural appropriation versus appreciation?

The line between what differentiates cultural appropriation from cultural appreciation can be very thin, if not very controversial. Some say that ownership does not exist because no culture is completely original and not influenced by another. Others believe that creatives like designers and musical artists get a pass because their art is open to discussion and interpretation. The key to practicing appreciation rather than appropriation is understanding the culture you are borrowing from, including acknowledging its history of oppression and marginalization. It also helps support the creators of that culture, where possible.

How to avoid cultural appropriation?

If you’ve researched a crop, does that mean you have permission to use it freely? Not exactly. Good intentions do not automatically exempt us from the harm that cultural appropriation does to marginalized communities. Before “borrowing” from a culture, do an instinctive check: is what I’m doing a stereotype? Am I using something sacred to another culture – a Native American headdress, a religious symbol – in a casual or “fun” way outside of its intended use? Do I engage with a piece of old culture like it’s new? Do I neglect to credit the source of my inspiration? If you can safely answer “no” to all of these questions, you will probably be able to avoid cultural appropriation. Yet think of it this way: If you feel the need to ask yourself whether you are culturally appropriate, it may be safer to avoid the outfit or practice that causes you to ask the question in the first place.

What are the examples of cultural appropriation?

Certain Halloween costumes, such as a ‘gypsy’, rastafarian or geisha are considered cultural appropriation because these outfits play on stereotypes that have led to the abuse or misunderstanding of a group of people. . But they are far from the only ones. Here are a few more examples of what not to do.


Washington football team

Sports teams have a long history of cultural appropriation, but some have started to do the right thing. Washington football team changed name in July 2020. Other teams, like the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves, still retain their names, even though they may be considered offensive to Native Americans.



The popular recording artist raised eyebrows for her February 2020 Rolling Stone cover in which she was criticized for wearing a traditional headdress from Cambodian and Thai cultures. “If it were appreciation, the story would support the culture that is portrayed. But it is only for the black community. I’m all for your culture, but don’t use someone else’s to talk about yours, ”one Instagram commenter replied.


Kim Kardashian West

Kim Kardashian has received a lot of criticism over the years for styling her hair in Fulani braids, or cornrows, a traditionally black hairstyle. In 2018, Kardashian West responded to the controversy over her by calling her blonde braids “Bo Derek braids.” “I know where they came from and I’m totally respectful of that,” she told Bustle. “I’m not deaf… I understand. She was also criticized again in 2019 for naming her shapewear line Kimono.



For Halloween 2013, Rihanna dressed in classic chola style – thin arched eyebrows, a button-up flannel shirt, gold hoops, loose khakis – paired with a modern subculture of Mexican American women. “Privileged people want to borrow the ‘cool’ disenfranchised people of color, but don’t have to face the discrimination that comes with it,” wrote Julianne Escobedo Shepherd. Rihanna, who repeated parts of the look in the September issue of Vogue UK, said she thought it was “feminine but punk.” Her outfit on a 2019 cover of Harper’s Bazaar China in which she wears traditional Chinese clothing drew similar criticism.



The Queen of Pop has been pushing buttons since the ’80s, and her outfit for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards has brought her back to the headlines. Madonna took the stage in an ensemble inspired by the Amazigh people of North Africa. Some accused her of disrespecting the culture, while others said it was an honor. Madonna did not respond to criticism, but has repeatedly dismissed accusations of cultural appropriation. “I don’t own anything,” she said. “I am inspired and I refer to other cultures. It is my right as an artist.


Miley Cyrus

Over the years, Miley Cyrus has gone from Hannah Montana to someone sporting her hair in Bantu knots while twerking in front of Robin Thicke. Lately, it’s a Billboard interview in 2017 on his latest more rootsy style, which has been talking about cultural appropriation. Asked why she seemed to distance herself from black culture, Cyrus said: “It was too much” Lamborghini, I have my Rolex… “I am not at all.” Said a commentator on Twitter, “Miley Cyrus wore hip hop culture as a costume. Abandoned. The stereotype now.


Gordon ramsay

The Hell’s Kitchen chef recently got into hot water after opening his new Asian-inspired London restaurant, Lucky Cat. Food critic Angela Hui was not impressed with Ramsay’s choice as chef de cuisine for the restaurant, a man whose cooking research consisted of traveling back and forth to Asia for many months. Hui also pointed out the interchangeable use of Chinese and Japanese ingredients in the menu. “Chinese? Japanese? It’s all Asians who care,” she wrote on Instagram. Ramsey called her comments “derogatory and offensive.”


Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez donned a bindi, a colorful dot traditionally worn in the center of the forehead by Indian women from various religious and cultural communities, for several performances in 2013. The bindi can symbolize connection with the “third eye” or as a means of distinguish married woman. “The bindi is an auspicious religious symbol that should not be used freely,” said Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism. But Gomez is not backing down. “I learned a lot about the culture, and I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “I think it’s fun to put that into the performance.”


Karlie kloss

A Native American war bonnet is a feathered headgear traditionally worn by respected rulers. While she certainly isn’t the only person wearing the headdress in an out of context setting (here’s looking at you, festival outfit), the reaction to model Karlie Kloss at a Victoria’s Secret show in 2012 was swift. “Any mockery, whether it’s Halloween or Victoria’s Secret, they spit on us,” said Erny Zah, spokesperson for the Navajo Nation. Kloss later tweeted an apology. “I am deeply sorry if what I was wearing on the VS show offended anyone,” she wrote.

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Faculty and staff prepare for a new semester at Wesleyan Tue, 31 Aug 2021 18:56:15 +0000

After an unusual 18 months of blended education, distance working and navigating university life during a pandemic, Wesleyan faculty and staff are hungry for some normalcy this fall. In this News @ Wesleyan article, we tell several employees about what they look forward to the most in the fall semester of 2021.

Morgan keller

Morgan keller became director of international student affairs on August 23 after stints at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Santa Cruz and Clemson University. He heard about Wesleyan from his cousin, Adam Keller ’14, who spoke favorably about college during his time here as a film major.

“This fall, I am delighted to meet the new international students and those who are continuing and to get a feel for the different ways we can support them in a holistic way,” he said. “I would like to create extracurricular initiatives and opportunities to increase the engagement of our international students with their American peers and strengthen their sense of belonging to the campus community. “

As a newbie in New England, Keller also looks forward to experiencing the fall season in Connecticut and attending agricultural festivals and fairs with his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 9.

Abderrahman AïssaThis autumn, Abderrahman Aïssa, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Arabic, teaches Elementary Arabic, Intermediate Arabic, Advanced Arabic, and a new course from the Fries Center for Global Studies — Introduction to Tamazight: The Native Language of North Africa and Beyond. This course will introduce students to the language and culture of the Amazigh people, an ethnic group native to North and West Africa. The Tamazight language has been written for almost 3000 years.

“I look forward to being with my students in class and hopefully returning to a completely normal teaching and learning environment,” he said. “I am also looking forward to teaching Introduction to Tamazight for the first time, especially since this language is virtually unknown in American college curricula.”

Emily gorlewski

Emily gorlewski

Emily gorlewski, director of the Office of Studies Abroad, is delighted that at least 35 students will be able to go abroad again this fall, some of whom have applied for three semesters and have been prevented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been a long road to get here,” she said. “The students who go there have been through a lot and persevered, so they really are our intrepid souls. We hope that even more students will be able to study abroad in the spring of 2022. ”

Colin Smith

Colin Smith

Colin Smith, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, will be teaching his first year CHEM 143: Principles of Chemistry this fall.

“I look forward to having all the students on campus and being able to attend my lectures in person,” he said. “I will also be teaching on Zoom simultaneously for all students who are not comfortable / able to be in class, or who might have difficulty getting out of their dorm before the 8:50 am start time! I taught the same way last year and got great feedback from the students.

Instead of the 360-degree cameras available last year, Smith plans to carry an iPad and AirPods to capture himself and take notes on the board in the Exley 150 boardroom.

“The students found it very useful to have recordings of all the lectures,” he said.

Heather brooke

Heather brooke

For Heather brooke, Special Assistant to the President, being back in person with her colleagues and classmates (she’s also a Bachelor of Liberal Studies student!) is the most welcome change of the fall semester. “I’m taking undergraduate classes in person in a classroom for the first time this semester, so I’m very excited about it, but also very nervous. I already felt old doing this on Zoom last year, now they’ll be able to see all the wrinkles!

“It’s nice for all of us to be back in the President’s office at the same time. We had walked in and out before we were vaccinated, but the restrictions on how many people could be in physical space at the same time were tough, ”she said. “Even in May, as we approached Beginning, we knew who was coming in and when. Now we can all be together even if we have to be masked!

Brooke recalls the convocation on August 24, when all of the staff gathered again in the Mink Dining Room.

“It was very emotional to get together rather than meeting on Zoom,” she said. “I even met a colleague in person for the first time when I had already worked together for months!

Michel roth

Michael Roth ’78

In addition to serving his 14th year as president this fall, Michael Roth ’78 will teach FILM 360: Philosophy and films: the past in cinema.

“Although I taught in person last year, I missed so much to celebrate the achievements of students, staff and faculty in person,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the students participate in the full range of extracurricular activities, from athletics to theater, poster sessions to art installations, as we pick up the pace. “

Laura Ann Twagira

Laura Ann Twagira

Laura Ann Twagira, Associate Professor of History, will teach HIST: 267: Development in Question – Conservation in Africa and HIST302: Reproductive Policy and the Family in Africa this fall.

“Back on campus, I can’t wait to see the students of the online course I taught last spring. As a personal teacher for the fall, I am also delighted with the class discussions and group screenings of films in my two classes.

Outside of the classroom, Twagira is “delighted” with the reopening of the Ubuntu House. “This is a dedicated space for Africa, and one of the many places where students will build community on campus,” she said.

Jeffrey Gilarde

Jeffrey Gilarde

Jeffrey Gilarde, director of scientific imagery, is also Wesleyan’s chief golf coach. The 2021-22 season kicks off September 8 against Eastern Connecticut State in Middlefield, Connecticut, and September 11 at the Duke Nelson Invitational in Middlebury, Vermont.

“I am looking forward to the golf season,” he said. “We have a strong team this year and we should be doing well. “

Wesleyan is delighted to welcome our faculty, staff and students to campus this fall with a 95% vaccination rate for COVID-19. All campus services and activities will revert to pre-pandemic operations. Given the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant, even a vaccinated campus like ours will not be immune to infection. Please do your part to keep Wes safe.

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Algeria recalls Moroccan ambassador for consultation – Middle East Monitor Mon, 19 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Algeria has recalled its Moroccan ambassador for consultation, Anadolu reported. The government of Algiers does not rule out “taking other measures” to protest against the declarations of Morocco’s representative at the UN, which he describes as “aggressive” and in support of a local separatist movement described as “terrorist” group.

The Algerian foreign ministry said on Sunday it had requested clarification from Morocco. “In the absence of a positive and appropriate response from the Moroccan side, it was decided today to immediately summon the Algerian ambassador to Rabat, Abdelhamid Abdaoui, for consultation, and other measures could be taken depending on of the development of this case “.

The separatist movement in question, the MAK, demands the self-determination of Kabylia. It is based around the areas east of Algiers inhabited by Amazighs / Berbers.

READ: Algeria asks Rabat to clarify statements by UN representative on Kabyle people‘s right to self-determination

Moroccan media on Thursday quoted Rabat’s UN delegate Omar Hilal as calling for “the independence of the Kabyle people” in Algeria at a meeting of non-aligned countries on July 13-14.

This follows the announcement by the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra of his support for the right to self-determination of the inhabitants of Western Sahara. The territory remains disputed between Morocco and the Polisario Front, a movement supported by Algiers.

Algeria said on Saturday that Morocco is involved in an “anti-Algerian campaign” which will have an effect on the Amazigh people living in the Kingdom.

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