official language – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:40:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://libyamazigh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-1-32x32.png official language – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ 32 32 Escalating Conflict in Kabylie (Part 1 of 2) https://libyamazigh.org/escalating-conflict-in-kabylie-part-1-of-2/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:40:38 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/escalating-conflict-in-kabylie-part-1-of-2/

**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.

]]>
Right-wing French candidate Zemmour praises Morocco’s former ban on foreign names https://libyamazigh.org/right-wing-french-candidate-zemmour-praises-moroccos-former-ban-on-foreign-names/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 16:10:40 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/right-wing-french-candidate-zemmour-praises-moroccos-former-ban-on-foreign-names/ 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”.

]]>
A long battle for acceptance for Morocco’s Amazigh community https://libyamazigh.org/a-long-battle-for-acceptance-for-moroccos-amazigh-community/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 19:16:27 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/a-long-battle-for-acceptance-for-moroccos-amazigh-community/ For decades, Morocco’s Amazigh community has advocated for official recognition of the new year as an official paid holiday, a symbolic recognition of the indigenous identity they hope to gain under the leadership of Amazigh Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch.

Every year, Morocco’s Amazigh community is on hot coals ahead of Idh Yennayer, the Amazigh New Year, as they hope for a last-minute official recognition of the indigenous holiday as a paid national holiday – a symbolic move the community has advocated for decades.

“The recognition of Idh Yennayer is an essential step for Moroccans to come to terms with their history and cultural identity,” said Abellah Badou, former head of the executive office of the Amazigh Network for Citizenship in Morocco. The New Arab.

“This would help strengthen their sense of belonging to the homeland and strengthen the values ​​of pluralism, cultural diversity and coexistence, especially since the Amazigh community has been marginalized and discriminated against over the past decades,” Badou added.

“The recognition of Idh Yennayer is an essential step for Moroccans to reconcile with their history and their cultural identity”

950 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar, the first day of the Amazigh calendar falls on January 13 each year. Other Amazigh communities in Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Egypt begin Yennayer celebrations on January 12.

Historians are also divided on the origin of Idh Yennayer between those who believe that the choice of January 13 symbolizes the celebration of land and agriculture, and those who say the day is a commemoration of the Berber king Chachnak on Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II.

A beautiful diverse party

Each year in Morocco, the various Amazigh tribes – numbering more than eight million people out of the country’s 36.9 inhabitants – celebrate the indigenous year with traditional meals and folk music.

“I remember helping my family make couscous and then going to my grandmother’s house to celebrate Yennayer at night while showing off our colorful traditional scarves and dance moves,” said Fadma, 50, who left her Berber village near Agadir to live in the city of Kenitra, where she tries to preserve her identity by partying with her daughters.

“Idh JYnnayer”, “Idh Skas” or “Hakouzah”, the names differ according to the regions and the plates too, which can include the dish “Orkemen”, the porridge “Takla”, “Imshikhen” or “couscous with seven vegetables” – each region has its own preferences.

In the Souss region, for example, the natives celebrate the day with Tagoulla, a kind of mash made from barley or corn, served with a mixture of honey and Argan oil or butter. The plate has become a “taste identity” of the day.

Imazighen (Berbers) wearing traditional clothes celebrate the New Year according to the Imazighen calendar in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria on January 12, 2021

“When I was young, we used to put agormi (date kernels) inside takla porridge before serving it to family members, because it is believed that whoever finds the kernels in eating the hot dish will be the luckiest person in the next year. , Fadma said laughing while stirring the couscous broth.

Tastes, rhythms and dance moves vary between Rif, Sous and Ishelhien but the concept of celebration is the same, commemorating land and identity.

“But we must not forget that Idh Yennayer is more than Tagoulla and folklore – it is a celebration of land, citizens and memory as essential components of multiple national identities and different regions without any exclusions”, said said Amazigh activist Badou.

No more broken promises of recognition

In this Amazigh year 2972, the indigenous community of Morocco had higher hopes of finally obtaining the longed-for recognition after the appointment of the Amazigh politician Aziz Akhannouch as head of the country’s government, following the massive victory of his party the National Rally of Independents (RNI). in the September 8 elections.

Born in a small Moroccan Berber town near Agadir, the 61-year-old businessman built his political identity and his party’s electoral platform on representing the concerns and problems of the Amazigh community, winning the approval indigenous people in the country’s last elections.

Members of the Moroccan Amazigh Berber community sing as they celebrate the Amazigh New Year’s Eve near the parliament in the Moroccan capital, Rabat [Getty Images]

Once in power, the party has repeatedly echoed demands from the indigenous community to recognize Amazigh heritage, language and celebrations, but has so far failed to deliver on its promises.

The long-awaited real-time Amazigh translation during the parliamentary session was suspended, while government spokesman Mustapha Baitass dodged questions from journalists about the lack of official recognition of the Amazigh New Year that the RNI had been promising for a decade .

The country’s former cabinet, led by the Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party, has repeatedly said that recognition of Idh Ynnayer belongs to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

The biggest victory for Morocco’s indigenous peoples in their decades-long struggle was the recognition of Tamazight – the indigenous Amazigh language – as the country’s official language, following the 2011 constitution.

Released by the palace, the constitution has stifled the Arab Spring protests that have taken the country by storm, with young protesters waving the Moroccan flag alongside the Amazigh flag in massive demonstrations.

“The weak policy of establishing Tamazight as an official language reveals to us that we are facing a great collective “maneuver”, in which all political parties, without exception, have participated to varying degrees, to absorb the anger of the street. Moroccan in February 2011,” added Amazigh activist Badou.

Despite the recognition of the Amazigh language a decade ago, Tamazight is still limited to official signs of public administrations and institutions, while administrative formalities, the media and school curricula are still largely dominated by the French. since the years of colonization.

Nevertheless, with the new year comes new hope, and as the Amazigh community celebrates Yennayer, their struggle for recognition in Morocco persists.

Basma El Atti is New Arab’s correspondent in Morocco

Follow her on Twitter: @elattibasma

]]>
Will Libya adopt a federal or non-centralized constitution? https://libyamazigh.org/will-libya-adopt-a-federal-or-non-centralized-constitution/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 16:29:56 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/will-libya-adopt-a-federal-or-non-centralized-constitution/

Episode 36 of the Al-Ad Al-Aksi program series (The Countdown) addressed the most appropriate constitutional dossier for the Libyan status quo, Libyan wealth and the way it is managed in all Libyan regions. , in addition to the issue of which groups boycotted the drafting of the constitution when it was drafted with the guests of the episode, members of the Constitution Drafting Assembly, Mustafa Dallaf and Mohammed Al-Jilani.

Dallaf said the constitution-drafting assembly has held 74 sessions to date, stressing that it has many experts and includes a number of legal experts.

Dallaf added that the flag and the anthem are two topics that have yet to be discussed with members of the assembly, and stressed that the draft constitution states that local government is based on expanded decentralization, calling this term of “coward”.

He noted that the Tebu formally boycotted the assembly, unlike the Amazighs, and stressed that the quorum required to approve any article is an approval vote by 41 members. He stressed that the distinction between the members of the assembly on the basis of the regions is not a positive issue, and that the form of the state in the constitution is not clear because this point was not discussed so far.

Al-Jilani said the assembly communicated with all parties and regions except Derna and Benghazi due to the security conditions, stressing that the draft constitution is the only way out for Libya from its crisis, and that constitutional amendment is currently difficult in light of the current circumstances.

Al-Jilani added that the House of Representatives has the power to change the flag and the anthem by a two-thirds majority, noting that the Tuaregs have their representation in the assembly with a total of 5 members, and that the language Amazigh is constitutionally protected and considered a national language, claiming that it is difficult to adopt four or five languages ​​as an official language in the country.

Al-Jilani concluded by saying that there are points which cannot be constitutionally resolved and must be referred to other parties, stressing that the members of the assembly represent the Libyan people and are democratically elected.

]]>
“Chant Amazigh” Brings Modern Traditional Sound of Majid Soula to New Listeners https://libyamazigh.org/chant-amazigh-brings-modern-traditional-sound-of-majid-soula-to-new-listeners/ Wed, 08 Dec 2021 19:02:27 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/chant-amazigh-brings-modern-traditional-sound-of-majid-soula-to-new-listeners/

CHARACTERISTICS
“Chant Amazigh” Brings Modern Traditional Sound of Majid Soula to New Listeners

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni December 08, 2021

“Every time I set out to write a love song,” explains Majid Soula, speaking through a translator on a Zoom call, “it unfortunately turns into a song about justice. in place.”

For Soula, a singer-songwriter / guitarist who has spent most of his life in a kind of gentle exile from his hometown, romance and resistance go hand in hand. If you judge strictly by his music (or, say, the title of his 2001 album Kabylie my love), one gets the impression that Soula’s love of life was not a person, but rather the North African region of Kabylia. Occupying about a fifth of the Mediterranean coast of present-day Algeria, Kabylia stretches inland through a series of mountain ranges. The inhabitants of the region, the Kabyles, a Berber ethnic subgroup who founded one of the oldest civilizations in the northwest of the continent– have withstood multiple waves of invaders for over 2000 years.

Indigenous settlers from a vast expanse of North Africa stretching from Egypt to the Canary Islands, the Berbers collectively refer to themselves as amazigh (pronounced ah-mah-ZEER) and speak a range of dialects of the Tamazight language. Their communities and customs tend to be linked to an Arab presence and influence that dates back to the start of the Arab-Muslim conquest of North Africa in the 7th century. Today, the Kabyle people continue to struggle against marginalization in a postcolonial Algerian society dominated by Arab culture, language and political power, the central conflict that has defined the history of work and life of Soula for almost a half-century.



Since releasing his first single “Eyfouk Achehr Athaaazizth” in 1972 via the late Algerian label Disque Oasis, Soula has expressed feelings of separation, nostalgia, homesickness, alienation and being caught between two worlds. While “Eyfouk Achehr Athaaazizth” addressed the plight of immigrants all over the world, a crucial distinction is that Soula experienced these feelings even before leaving Algeria, finding himself displaced and struck by culture shock when he moved to the capital Algiers in 1969. There he fought against the inability to speak the local dialect of Arabic, the country’s only official language at the time.

Since then, Soula’s work has largely been a response to what he calls the “Arabization” of Amazigh culture. In the late 1970s, amid widespread political unrest and repression of Kabyle artists, Soula found it untenable to stay in the country and moved to Paris, where he has been based ever since. His production during the period before and immediately after this move is summarized and presented again on Amazigh song, a compilation of Habibi Funk label that features songs from several cassette releases that Soula released (mostly independently) during the 1980s.

As Soula’s music aligned with the secular insurgent spirit of Kabylia, what Amazigh song most clearly shown is its openness to a variety of influences. For someone who intended to expose the world to its native customs, Soula was never inclined to purism, drawing rather loosely from West African highlife; Saharan Tuareg scales; American blues and funk; and the Arab disco wave of the 70s and 80s. As a proto-lo-fi artist, Soula was also willing, when the need required, to play roles on the ajouag (shepherd’s flute) and bendir (frame drum) itself.



“Kabyle music”, affirms Soula in the cover notes of the new album, “must imperatively become universal if it is to survive”.

To listen Amazigh songFor example, the single “Netseweth Sifassan Nagh” by “Netseweth Sifassan Nagh”, with its skin-tight charleston guiding a groove intended for the dance floor, one has little sense of the world Soula describes with so much nostalgia when he talks about women. locals singing Kabyle folk songs he first heard as a child, or his memories of attending midnight performances by figures like Slimane Azem and, subsequently, being inspired to sing himself at Kabyle weddings in ceremonies that lasted after 3:00 a.m. Elsewhere on the album, “Lgira” seems to start off as a pensive, atmospheric piece in a traditional mold before a new wave-style electronic beat takes over.

Venturing even further, “Win Terram” begins with a strobe synth pulse dubbed an electric guitar that would have sounded home on Devo’s first two albums, before another line of synths caught fire. spotlight and only sends the song into home video game territory.

“We can integrate all kinds of music wherever it is,” says Soula. “From India, Japan, Russia, Germany, etc. The motivation for me has been to develop new sounds within the framework of the tradition, and my audience has been very receptive to the modern elements that I have brought to them. The modernization of Amazigh music has been a way to ensure that it can spread beyond its original borders.

]]>
Two Algerian ministries stop the use of French in official relations https://libyamazigh.org/two-algerian-ministries-stop-the-use-of-french-in-official-relations/ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/two-algerian-ministries-stop-the-use-of-french-in-official-relations/

Quick news

Amid mounting tensions with France, Algerian ministries are asking staff to use the Arabic language in official correspondence.

People hold a sign and Algerian flags during a rally to commemorate the brutal crackdown on an October 17, 1961 demonstration near the Pont Neuf on October 17, 2021 in Paris. (AFP)

Two Algerian ministries have decided to end their use of the French language in official correspondence in view of the growing tensions between Algiers and Paris.

On Thursday, the Algerian Ministry of Vocational Training issued a circular on behalf of Minister Yassin Merapi, asking staff to use the Arabic language in their official correspondence.

“I attach the utmost importance to the strict application of this circular,” added Merapi.

Likewise, the Minister of Youth and Sports Abdel Razzaq Sabbak also ordered the use of Arabic in the internal correspondence of the ministry from November.

With the exception of the Ministry of Defense, all Algerian ministries use French in their correspondence and statements, although the country’s constitution states that Arabic is the first national and official language, followed by Amazigh / Berber.

Over 130 years of colonial rule

The decisions of the two ministries were taken in light of the current crisis between Algeria and France following the words of French President Emmanuel Macron which were considered by many Algerians as insulting.

Algeria responded by recalling its ambassador to Paris and banning French military planes from using Algerian airspace on October 3.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron accused the Algerian authorities of stoking hatred against France.

The use of French spread in Algeria during 132 years of colonial rule by France between 1830 and 1962.

READ MORE: France remembers the massacre in Algeria 60 years later

Source: AA

]]>
Two Algerian ministries end use of French in official correspondence – Middle East Monitor https://libyamazigh.org/two-algerian-ministries-end-use-of-french-in-official-correspondence-middle-east-monitor/ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/two-algerian-ministries-end-use-of-french-in-official-correspondence-middle-east-monitor/

Two Algerian ministries have decided to end their use of the French language in official correspondence in light of growing tensions between Algiers and Paris, Anadolu News Agency reports.

On Thursday, the Algerian Ministry of Vocational Training issued a circular on behalf of the minister, Yassin Merapi, asking staff to use the Arabic language in their official correspondence.

“I attach the utmost importance to the strict application of this circular,” added Merapi.

Likewise, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Abdel Razzaq Sabbak, also ordered the use of Arabic in the internal correspondence of the ministry from November.

READ: France calls on Algeria to respect its sovereignty, following statements by the Algerian ambassador

With the exception of the Ministry of Defense, all Algerian ministries use French in their correspondence and statements, although the country’s Constitution states that Arabic is the first national and official language, followed by Amazigh / Berber.

The decisions of the two ministries were taken in light of the current crisis between Algeria and France, following comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, considered by many Algerians to be insulting.

Algeria responded by recalling its ambassador to Paris and banning French military planes from using Algerian airspace on October 3.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron accused Algerian authorities of stoking hatred against France.

The use of French spread in Algeria during 132 years of colonial rule by France between 1830 and 1962.

]]>
The misfortune of words in Morocco highlights the larger struggle for Lin … https://libyamazigh.org/the-misfortune-of-words-in-morocco-highlights-the-larger-struggle-for-lin/ https://libyamazigh.org/the-misfortune-of-words-in-morocco-highlights-the-larger-struggle-for-lin/#respond Sat, 28 Aug 2021 11:26:04 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/the-misfortune-of-words-in-morocco-highlights-the-larger-struggle-for-lin/

(MENAFN – Syndication Bureau) AFP Photo: Abdelhak Senna

The new school year will start in Morocco next Tuesday. This year, unlike previous ones, schools will be able to teach certain subjects in French rather than Arabic, the usual language of instruction. In universities, where the language of instruction is French, some courses will now also be taught in Arabic.

The education reform law, passed earlier this month, stirred emotion. Is it a surrender to the language of the former colonizer of Morocco, France? Or does it strengthen the status of Arabic, the official language of Morocco (the other is Amazigh, the Berber language)? The objective of the reforms is to better prepare the workforce for the job market, where French is often required, especially since around half of university students never finish their studies, often because of a lack of fluency in French. But given the history of the colonial period, when French was compulsory in schools and Arabic sidelined, it became a delicate subject.

The misfortune of Morocco’s words is not limited to itself. Countries in the Middle East have struggled with which language their children should learn. But by caring so much about linguistic survival, Morocco is not taking measures for linguistic renaissance. Finding ways to promote the Arabic that the majority of Moroccans speak would be a better use of politicians’ time than marginalizing the language of the elites of the past.

Schools and universities in the Middle East use a mixture of English, Arabic and French as the language of instruction. In Egypt, it is mainly Arabic and English. In Lebanon, different universities use the three languages. The best university in the Middle East, according to this year’s Times Higher Education ranking, is King Abdulaziz University of Saudi Arabia, where the language of instruction is predominantly English, with some Arabic. Arabic speakers everywhere are worried that their children do not know their mother tongue well enough and that English continues to seep through television, film and music.

The question is, inevitably, political, given the history of foreign rule. Nationalist political parties like the Baath parties in Syria and Iraq have been explicitly part of their governments to ensure the primacy of Arabic, even going so far as to replace non-Arab scientific and technological terms with Arabic variants.

Arabic-speaking countries, nor for that matter the former colonies, are not the only ones to worry about the domination of foreign languages. The former colonial powers are too. In 2013, France witnessed street protests against a plan to allow the teaching of English in universities – ironically, in part to attract more students from Arab and Asian countries. Critics were outraged, arguing that it would undermine the French language. “Will we ever speak English in this French parliament?” thundered a politician. Yet the proposal was adopted.

For English speakers, linguistic nationalism, in France or in the Arab world, may seem outdated and too paternalistic. The language, surely, is evolving, and if English provides a better word for “e-mail” (e-mail in French, albareed al electroni in Arabic), so be it. After all, it also works the other way around: the English language has yet to provide a better alternative to Arabic al-kuhl or French omelette.

Such a laissez-faire attitude was born out of unchallenged domination. English is the lingua franca of the world (a term itself referring to a once common but now extinct Pidgin language), spoken by more people in more places than anything else, the common language of expats in Dubai and politicians in Brussels.

Yet language doesn’t work in a global market, where whoever has the best words wins. It is linked to identity, culture and even faith. Sometimes he needs a little help to thrive.

In the case of Morocco, there are specific things that can be done to help Arabic. The first is to blur the distinction between the version of Arabic taught in schools, modern Standard Arabic, and that used in everyday life, Darija, a mixture of Arabic, Amazigh and European languages. This happened on a small scale last year, when Morocco introduced textbooks that contained a handful of Darija words instead of classical Arabic. This sparked an uproar on social media.

But this process is, on the whole, positive, making a stronger connection between the words children use at home and hear all around them, and those they interact with in education. This is especially important because Darija is already commonly used in popular music and TV shows (but not political shows). It already surrounds most Moroccans. Using it at school means accepting a current reality.

The second would be to use Darija in public places to discuss serious matters; politicians should take the lead here. That would be controversial, to be sure, but Moroccan politicians would only follow in the footsteps of Muslim preachers, for whom the use of colloquial language was once much more sensitive. Now, however, the discussion of religious matters in Arabic spoken by a new generation of preachers is accepted.

Reforming the Moroccan education system will not be easy. Neighboring Tunisia and Algeria are grappling with similar issues. Changing the language of instruction touches on questions of identity and history, but it is also a prosaic and pressing political question of how best to do it by the current generation of Moroccan students.

Stripped of its political and historical context, more direct answers emerge: if the government wants students to learn in Arabic, it must use the Arabic they live with. If he wants university students to study in French, he must prepare them before their arrival. As with learning a language, so with political questions: it is better to start from the first principles.

Faisal Al Yafai is currently writing a book on the Middle East and is a frequent commentator on international TV news channels. He has worked for news organizations such as The Guardian and the BBC, and has reported on the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

MENAFN28082021006092013261ID1102695748

Disclaimer: MENAFN provides the information “as is” without any warranty. We do not accept any responsibility for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this item, please contact the supplier above.

]]>
https://libyamazigh.org/the-misfortune-of-words-in-morocco-highlights-the-larger-struggle-for-lin/feed/ 0
Stateless ethnic minorities in Libya and the upcoming elections | Elections News https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/ https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/#respond Mon, 28 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/

Libyan expectations are high and candidates are starting to express their interest in running in the elections scheduled for December of this year.

These were delayed for three years following a military campaign in the capital Tripoli by the renegade government of military commander Khalifa Haftar, based in Tobruk in the east.

The New Interim Government of National Unity (GNU) is an interim government body that was sworn in on March 15. He was tasked with leading the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

Although many Libyans are eager to go to the polls, the country’s ethnic minorities risk being overlooked in the electoral process.

These include the Amazighs, the Tuaregs, and the Tebu. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is unable to provide an exact number of stateless people in the country, but the percentage of undocumented migrants remains high. Many are unable to acquire citizenship or other forms of documents that would allow them to vote both on elections and on a possible constitution.

By the time Libya gained independence in 1951, many non-Arab nomadic communities had settled in the country. But unlike the Libyan Arabs, many of these ethnic minorities suffered from discriminatory laws that excluded them from society.

Mohammed A’Sunoussy, member of the National Assembly of Tébou, declares: “After the independence of Libya, the government took steps to register and issue civil status papers to the Libyan population… As a result, many Tebu were left without any documents at that time. “

Some were also stripped of their Libyan nationality after the International Criminal Court ruled that the mineral-rich Aouzou strip in the south must be returned to Chad. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi issued a decree stating that any documentation issued in the strip must be revoked and, therefore, many Tébou have not been able to obtain documentation since.

Tuareg tribes cross the desert [File: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA]

Obstacles to human rights

Likewise, Tuareg tribes have faced discrimination with respect to citizenship rights.

Shortly after the election date was set, the Tuareg Tribal Council met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Agila Saleh, to discuss a solution to what they called “the obstacles to rights.” humans who [Tuareg] families live among those who hold provisional documents at the Civil Status Authority ”. Holding of temporary documents is common among the Tuaregs, which means they cannot obtain full citizenship rights.

When the revolution broke out in 2011, Gaddafi recruited Tuareg soldiers by promising them Libyan papers. These promises never materialized and to date, around 14,000 Tuaregs do not hold official papers, according to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples.

These official papers, like the “Carnet de famille”, are essential proofs of citizenship that are often difficult to apply in nomadic communities. Valerie Stocker, researcher at the European Peace Institute, said: “People with undetermined legal status currently cannot participate in formal political life because they are not eligible to vote or stand for election”.

In a statement, the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities hailed the GNU led by Abdel Hamid al-Dbaibah, and said the election was an “important step in the unification of Libya.” However, they also called on the interim government to include the country’s ethnic minorities in the upcoming electoral process.

Similar concerns were expressed ahead of the 2012 elections in Libya. To address this issue, a decree was issued allowing individuals to register to vote with some other form of documentation, including a driver’s license or national identity card.

Despite this, various human rights groups claim that some voters from ethnic minorities were barred from voting on the grounds that they were not “Libyan citizens”. Stocker documents more than 1,000 Tubu voters in the southeastern district of Koufra who were disqualified, some of whom were denied the right to vote on the basis of their Tubu names.

Although Tuareg activists campaigned against the electoral commission ahead of the 2019 municipal elections, it did not come into effect in time. Southern towns such as Ubari, located in the southwestern constituency of Sabha and home to both the Tuareg and Tebu communities, were overlooked in the electoral process.

Many therefore fear that Libyan ethnic minorities will again be excluded from the voting process due to the lack of documents proving their “Libyan origins”.

In a statement earlier this month, 51 HoR members called for approval of the draft constitution, saying it is necessary to ensure security and stability ahead of the elections.

“Racist referendum”

Last week, the Amazigh, Tuareg and Tebu tribes rejected the referendum on the draft constitution, calling it “illegitimate”.

The 17-member Constitutional Drafting Authority (CDA) includes two members from each of the three minority communities and requires at least one member from each group to transmit the document. This, however, was until the Amazighs withdrew their participation from the CDA.

Since then, the Amazigh Supreme Council has called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to work to guarantee the rights of their groups, seeking instead an amendment to the 1951 constitution.

In the past, the council had expressed “a significant concern … mainly because of the provisions on decentralization, which do not give them the autonomy that some hoped”. Also known as “blind centralism,” the constitution would make decision-making about the problems of these communities the responsibility of Tripoli. Sultan of Tébou Ahmed Haki Musa also condemned the constitution, calling it a “racist referendum”.

No “meaningful public exchange”

However, some members of the editorial board believe this is a starting point for minority rights and a significant improvement over the 1969 Constitution, which defined Libya as an “Arab state”. with Arabic as its “only official language”.

Citizenship therefore remains somewhat of a controversial subject in Libya. As Stocker puts it, “Although some aspects are frequently discussed in media and social media platforms and in statements made by state officials, there has been no meaningful public exchange or dialogue on the issue. . “

Organizations such as La Lil-Tamiz continue to campaign to denounce the racism directed against ethnic minorities which ultimately prevents them from integrating into society.

But as the elections get closer by the day, it becomes essential to ensure that the non-Arab minority in Libya participates in the political process.

The elections aim to create a sense of national unity after years of a brutal civil war that has divided the country. Observers say national unity cannot be achieved in post-revolutionary Libya unless the country’s entire population – including its ethnic minorities – changes from stateless to voting.

]]>
https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/feed/ 0
Stateless ethnic minorities in Libya and the upcoming elections https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/ https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/#respond Mon, 28 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/

Libyan expectations are high and candidates are starting to express their interest in running in the elections scheduled for December of this year.


These were delayed for three years following a military campaign in the capital Tripoli by the renegade government of military commander Khalifa Haftar, based in Tobruk in the east.

The New Interim Government of National Unity (GNU) is an interim government body that was sworn in on March 15. He was tasked with leading the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

Although many Libyans are eager to go to the polls, the country’s ethnic minorities risk being overlooked in the electoral process.

These include the Amazighs, the Tuaregs, and the Tebu.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is unable to provide an exact number of stateless people in the country, but the percentage of undocumented migrants remains high. Many are unable to acquire citizenship or other forms of documents that would allow them to vote on both elections and a possible constitution.

By the time Libya gained independence in 1951, many non-Arab nomadic communities had settled in the country. But unlike the Libyan Arabs, many of these ethnic minorities suffered from discriminatory laws that excluded them from society.

READ | Haftar’s forces pound Libyan capital after losing towns

Mohammed A’Sunoussy, member of the National Assembly in Tebu, said: “After Libya’s independence, the government took steps to register and issue civil status documents to the Libyan people… but there are had little effort to reach out to Tebu in the desert. as a result, many Tebu were left without any documents at that time. “

Some were also stripped of their Libyan nationality after the International Criminal Court ruled that the mineral-rich Aouzou strip in the south must be returned to Chad. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi issued a decree stating that any documentation issued in the strip must be revoked and, therefore, many Tébou have not been able to obtain documentation since.

Obstacles to human rights

Likewise, Tuareg tribes have faced discrimination with respect to citizenship rights.

Shortly after the election date was set, the Tuareg Tribal Council met with House of Representatives (HoR) Speaker Agila Saleh to discuss a solution to what they called “obstacles to human rights which [Tuareg] families live among those who hold provisional documents at the Civil Status Authority “.

Holding of temporary documents is common among the Tuaregs, which means they cannot obtain full citizenship rights.

READ HERE | UN notes “tangible progress” on Libya, demands departure of troops by end of week

When the revolution broke out in 2011, Gaddafi recruited Tuareg soldiers by promising them Libyan papers. These promises never materialized and to date, around 14,000 Tuaregs do not hold official papers, according to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples.

These official papers, like the “Carnet de famille”, are essential proofs of citizenship that are often difficult to apply in nomadic communities. Valerie Stocker, researcher at the European Peace Institute, said that “people with undetermined legal status currently cannot participate in formal political life because they are not eligible to vote or stand for election.”

In a statement, the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities hailed the GNU led by Abdel Hamid al-Dbaibah, and said the election was an “important step in the unification of Libya.”

However, they also called on the interim government to include the country’s ethnic minorities in the upcoming electoral process.

NOTICE | Nobel laureates are not so noble

Similar concerns were expressed ahead of the 2012 elections in Libya. To address this issue, a decree was issued allowing individuals to register to vote with some other form of documentation, including a driver’s license or national identity card.

Despite this, various human rights groups claim that some voters from ethnic minorities were barred from voting on the grounds that they were not “Libyan citizens”.

Stocker documents more than 1,000 Tubu voters in the southeastern district of Koufra who were disqualified, some of whom were denied the right to vote on the basis of their Tubu names.

Although Tuareg activists campaigned against the electoral commission ahead of the 2019 municipal elections, it did not come into effect in time. Southern towns such as Ubari, located in the southwestern constituency of Sabha and home to both the Tuareg and Tebu communities, were overlooked in the electoral process.

Many therefore fear that Libyan ethnic minorities will again be excluded from the voting process due to the lack of documents proving their “Libyan origins”.

In a statement earlier this month, 51 HoR members called for approval of the draft constitution, saying it is necessary to ensure security and stability ahead of the elections.

“Racist referendum”

Last week, the Amazigh, Tuareg and Tebu tribes rejected the referendum on the draft constitution, calling it “illegitimate”.

The 17-member Constitutional Drafting Authority (CDA) includes two members from each of the three minority communities and requires at least one member from each group to transmit the document. This, however, was until the Amazighs withdrew their participation from the CDA.

Since then, the Amazigh Supreme Council has called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to work to guarantee the rights of their groups, seeking instead an amendment to the 1951 constitution.

In the past, the council had expressed “a serious concern … mainly because of the provisions on decentralization, which do not give them any of the autonomy that some hoped”. Also known as “blind centralism,” the constitution would make decision-making over the problems of these communities the responsibility of Tripoli. Sultan of Tebu Ahmed Haki Musa also condemned the constitution, calling it a “racist referendum”.

“No significant public exchange”

However, some members of the editorial board believe this is a starting point for minority rights and a significant improvement over the 1969 Constitution, which defined Libya as an “Arab state”. with Arabic as its “only official language”.

Citizenship therefore remains somewhat of a controversial subject in Libya. As Stocker puts it, “Although some aspects are frequently discussed in media and social media platforms and in statements made by state officials, there has been no meaningful public exchange or dialogue on the matter. “.

Organizations such as La Lil-Tamiz continue to campaign to denounce the racism directed against ethnic minorities which ultimately prevents them from integrating into society.

But as the elections get closer by the day, it becomes essential to ensure that the non-Arab minority in Libya participates in the political process.

The elections aim to create a sense of national unity after years of a brutal civil war that has divided the country. Observers say national unity cannot be achieved in post-revolutionary Libya unless the country’s entire population – including its ethnic minorities – changes from stateless to voting.

]]>
https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/feed/ 0