Published first in http://bokamosoafrica.org/2012/08/the-language-of-north-africa.html
Kenyan scholar Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has written extensively about the ‘language question’ in African literature, most prominently in his book Decolonizing the Mind where he famously rejected English as a medium for his writing. In fact, there has been a great deal of scholarship regarding the use of indigenous vs. foreign languages in Africa. However, it has almost exclusively focused on European colonial languages, either ignoring Arabic as a colonial language or even considering it ‘indigenous’, as in the case of Ngũgĩ! Ngũgĩ goes as far as to say that “Arabic is now an African language unless we want to write off all the indigenous populations of North Africa, Egypt, Sudan as not being Africans.” (Decolonizing the Mind, 30). This statement is particularly strange as it belies a complete ignorance of North Africa, where the indigenous people, Imazighen, are not Arab and do speak an African language, Tamazight, rather than Arabic. The Arabic language did not arrive in North Africa until the Arab invasions of the 7th century C.E., when violent conquest brought Islam and Arabic.
Ali Mazrui also lauds the “linguistic nationalism” of “Arabic-speaking Africa,” washing over the violence with which Arab nationalism is imposed on indigenous North Africans. Mazrui goes on to say that it is inappropriate to refer to ‘Francophone Africa’ or ‘Lusophone Africa,’ yet he inappropriately labels North Africa (Tamazgha) as “Arabic-speaking,” ascribing the colonial language as the – presumably ‘indigenous’ – language of the people.
Why limit our rejection of colonial languages, if we are to do so, to only European languages? Arabic has been used in at least as destructive and anti-African a manner as French, English, or any other European language in Africa. Just as Ngũgĩ describes the schism created by language policies in a colonial school, an Amazigh writer does the same:
You are not even able to speak Arabic, he told us… ‘You are savages. How will I ever manage to civilize you when I have to start from scratch?’…I was already considering how I was going to tell my parents who were unable to understand the teacher’s language. Should my parents see me suddenly deny the patrimony of my ancestors and my mother tongue? It would be far better to disappear along with that language. (Almasude, originally Oussaid 1989).
These discriminatory policies and practices continue today, at the expense of an indigenous African language. Despite this, Arabic is granted the status of “African” even while it acts as a colonial language, imposed by those who identify as “Arabs,” and as foreigners. Within scholarship about African languages, as well as African Studies in general, people seem to have forgotten that European colonialism is not the only form of colonialism to affect the continent.
When North African countries gained “independence” from European control, Arabization policies were implemented to create a false unity of the supposed “Arab” people of North Africa. These policies continue today, with the most recent example being the ban on Tamazight in the Moroccan Parliament after Fatima Tabaamrant, an Amazigh MP, asked a question in her native language. Amazigh parents who want to register their children with indigenous names are frequently rejected, a policy which has been criticized by human rights organizations. Children are often still physically beaten for speaking their mother tongue in school, as is the case in many African countries where only colonial languages may be spoken in school. Once again it does not make sense to reject European colonial languages but not a non-European colonial language which is equally destructive.
Given the colonial nature of Arabic in North Africa, and its forceful imposition on the indigenous people, there are significant reasons that Africans ought to reject the use of Arabic in favor of the indigenous language of North Africa: Tamazight. When we do this, we support the survival of African languages in opposition to the policies of former or current colonial powers.
The following link is that of a bibliography intended as a resource for research on Berber languages. The references are primarily devoted to linguistic research on Berber languages, but the bibliography may be of use to those interested in Berber literature, poetry, and music. The list of entries was culled from a variety of sources, most notably Applegate 1970, and it is constantly being updated.
Please send suggested modifications of the entries below and additions to:
via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
via snail mail: Department of Linguistics, Rutgers University, 19 Seminary Place, New Brunswick NY, 08901-1184
This bibliography was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (BCS-0104604).
Afet i wegsar iḥricen n usarag igerzen n Dr. Boussad Berrichi deg Montreal. Asarag yemmug s teqbaylit. Amusnaw Boussad Berrichi yemmeslay ɣef Da Mulud Mameri maca yefka tikti acu ɣer ilaq Imaziɣen ilaq ad uɣallen ar izuran nsen iwakken ad idiren. Txil nwen sellet i Dr. Boussad Berrichi.
Please find below the videos about Dr. Boussad Berrichi's talk in Montreal. It is in tamazight (taqbaylit).
Dr. Boussad Berrichi's talks about Da Mulud Mameri, but he also explains why it is very important for Imazighen to use Tamazight and to go back to their roots for the sake of Imazighen survival.
Aḥric 01 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2QDProTwUM&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 02 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcaChZLdsEQ&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 03 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyNHl9Gxopg&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 04 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcgQGMVMqaI&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 05 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHsa809TCDY&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 06 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwPG91AGYyc&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 07 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrCWopdqPsM&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 08 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XK1W8Hnhug&feature=youtu.be
Aḥric 09 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9CjDTIwuic&feature=youtu.be
An ACAA celebration of Yennayer will take place in Chicago, IL on January 12, 2013. For more information, please open the flyers in Tamazight or English.
Below is the open letter by Prof. Salem Chaker to the Interior Ministry, and the Ministry of Higher Education of Algeria about his recent detainment by the Border Police (Police aux Frontieres) at the Algiers Airport.
The letter, which was published in the Algerian El-Watan newspaper on July 9, 2012, is also available at this following site:
Melmi: Ass n Sebt wis 21 deg Yibrir 2962 (April 21, 2012)
Seg 5 n tmeddit alami d 10 n yit.
Anida: Cuisine of India Restaurant
1163 East Ogden Avenue
Naperville, IL 60563
Akli : 630-728-3042; Karim: 312-479-8435
Ay imaslaḍen/tmaslaḍin, imdukkal/timdukkal n Imaziɣen
Tiddukla Tadelsant Tamazit deg Marikan (ACAA) tera awen t-ssawe. isali belli aseggas-a asmekti n tafsut 2962 deg tama n Chicago at-tilli ass n sebt wis 21 n Yibrir 2962 (April 21, 2012), deg Cuisine of India Restaurant deg Naperville, Illinois. Ihi atan tereṭmeṛṛa imaslaḍen/tmaslaḍin ines d imdukkal/temdukkalin n Tmazit i wesmekti-ya. Nessarem aṭas degwen ara d yasen.
Txil-nwen erret-d awal ar tilifun Akli: (630) 728-3042 ; Karim: 312-479-8435 ne azent-ed izen aliktṛuni ar email@example.com ma teram at-tasem.
Azal n tekcumi $20 i yal amdan. ilaq a nefk leḥsab n inebgiwen ara d yasen er usmekti i at Cuisine of India ef wakka txil nwen azent-d azal n tekcumi nwen er tddukla qbel n wis 17 deg Yebrir 2962.
Hatta teggeburt n usmekti n tafsut 2962:
- 5:00-6:00n tmeddit: Ansuf d temlilit n inebgiwen
- 6:00-7:00 n tmeddit: tameslayt ɣef tlufa n Tmaziɣt
- 7:00-8:00 n tmeddit: Imensi n Tafsut
- 8:00-10:00 n yit: Tigawin tidelsanin ef Tmaziɣt: awal ɣef tafsut, tauri n isefra, timucuha, cna s tmaziɣt.
Nessaram aṭas degwen ara d yasen er usmekti n tafsut 2962.
S wul zdigen
When: Saturday April 21, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 10:00p.m.
Place: Cuisine of India Restaurant 1163 East Ogden Avenue
Naperville, IL 60563
Akli: 630-728-3042; Karim: 312-479-8435
We would like to inform you that ACAA is commemorating Tafust 2962 on Saturday April 21, 2012. It will take place at the Cuisine of India Restaurant in Naperville, Illinois. All members of ACAA and friends of Tamazight are invited and we hope that many of you will be able to attend.
5:00-6:00 p.m.: Welcome and reception
6:00-7:00 p.m.: Discussion on Tafsut
7:00-8:00 p.m.: Dinner (Buffet including Couscous)
8:00-10:00 p.m : Talk on Tafsut, Poetry reading, Story telling, and Amzigh music.
The entrance fee is: $20 per person. We hope that you can join us at this commemoration.
To help us better plan for this event, please confirm your attendance by calling Akli at 630-728-3042, Karim at 312-479-8435 or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Because we need to provide the number of guests to the Restaurant in advance, for this reason please confirm your reservation by April 17, 2012.
See you on April 21, 2012.
The North America Amazigh Support Coalition has organized rallys to support the people of Azawad in Ottawa (in front of Parliement), Montreal (Carre Phillips) and Boston (Boston Commons). At the same time the Tamazgha association in Paris called for a rally in front of the National Assembly in Paris.
Below are slideshows of the rallys in Ottawa and Boston. Montreal will posted shortly. Also for the Paris rally, please visit www.tamazgha.fr
The message of these rallys is:
- For the reight of people to live free and secure
- Peace in the world calls for the recognition of a people right to be free and his identity be recognized
- Amazigh people unite!
- Tuaregs are not just for tourism
- Amazighs of America are with you (the Tuaregs)
- UN, USA, Canada, EU spare us another crisis.
- For peace and human rights in Azawad
- Support Tuareg secular culture to root out terrorism
- Support free people (Tuareg), Support their state Azawad
Parliament Hill - Ottawa, Canada
Boston Commons - Boston, USA
Rallyes are programmed for Ottawa, Montreal and Boston. At the same time there is also a rallye in Paris.
For more information on the rallye in Paris, plase visit tamazgha.fr
The Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival is back this year with a new selection if films focusing on Moroccan Imazighen. Once again ACAA is proud to be one of its sponsors. Thank you to everyone who keeps ACAA going and in turn helps keep such events going.
In another post we will bring you a short version of this festival to be held in New York City for the first time.
Bravo and thank you LAAFF and its organizers!
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