It is our great pleasure to announce the ACAA sponsorship to the 3rd annual celebration of the Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival that will take place on October 30th at the Barnsdall Theatre and Art Gallery in LA (see enclosed press release for more details).
The Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival (LAAF) celebrates its 3rd year under the leadership of its founder Helene Hagan, a long time proud ACAA member, a fierce advocate of the Amazigh culture and the President and founder of Tazzla Institute for Cultural Diversity, a non-profit, 501c(3) California charitable and educational organization that was founded in 1993. Some of its activities can be viewed on its web site at www.tazzla.org. In 2007, Tazzla Institute initiated a new project in keeping with its commitment to educate American audiences about the Amazigh (Berber) culture.
The Festival, sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs, city of Los Angeles, the Amazigh Cultural Association in America (ACAA), and the Hagan Law Firm of Palo Alto and Los Angeles is rich in content and some of the major events that will take place are summarized below:
1. Two documentaries:
4. Asshak: Tales of the Sahara” a film (110 minutes) by U. Koche, Catpics Productions, in Tamashek with English sub-titles. The film was made possible by the collaboration of Tuaregs of Northern Niger.
5. A Concert of traditional Amazigh music of the High Atlas of Morocco by two talented musicians, AZA performers Fattah Abbou and Mohamed Aoualou, North African band from Santa Cruz.
The main speakers will be Helene Hagan (President of Tazzla Institute and Organizer of the Festival) introducing the event, and Aomar Benslimane (President of ACAA) speaking on ACAA contribution to the Amazigh culture over the years and its strong support to the Amazigh film festival and its intent to strengthen its commitment with Tazzla Institute for the purpose of educating the American audience on the Amazigh culture and finally Rachid Bouksim, Director of the Issi N’Ourgh Film Festival of Agadir, Morocco who will speak about the Amazigh Cinematography of Morocco
An ACAA booth will be available that will display some of the major publications that ACAA published or helped publish over the years (books, magazines, CDs, card games etc…).
Let’s show our support to the festival by gathering there over that week end. It will be a nice week end to support the festival, visit the west coast and re-connect our fellow imazighen of the west coast.
This is a unique and rich program of film, food and music celebrating the AMAZIGH culture of North Africa and the Sahara.
Mark your calendars, and do not miss this event on Saturday, October 30th, 2010. Tickets ($15.00– Adults and $10.00 children under 12) will be available for early purchase on http://www.laaff.org where you will find more information on the LOS ANGELES AMAZIGH FILM FESTIVAL 2010. Information will also be available on www.tamazgha.org.
Those from the East coast who can make the trip, please get in touch with Aomar at email@example.com or call him at 201 388 1586 so we can get organized to make arrangements for discount airfare and lodging accommodations.
Click on the file below to download the festival flier.
The following petition (in French) calls on Air Algerie to introduce Tamazight in its customer service. Air Algerie caters to many Imazighen who live in Canada and who regularly use their direct flight Montreal-Algiers. Air Algerie makes use of Arabic and French manly on its flights and ignores the fact that it carries many Imazighen who would like to be spoken to in their language. It also blantantly ignores that Tamazight is ow a national language of Algeria. This petition has been started by Amazigh residents in Canada.
Click this link to access the petition and sign it
Introduction de la langue tamazight dans les services à la clientèle d'Air Algérie
À Monsieur le Président Directeur Général d'Air Algérie,
Je suis citoyen algérien résident au Canada. Ma famille et moi sommes très contents de l’ouverture de la ligne Alger – Montréal ; Ce qui nous a rapprochés de notre pays et nous évite de transiter par d’autres aéroports (par exemple, Casablanca ou Paris). Depuis l’ouverture de cette ligne, nous voyageons régulièrement avec « Air Algérie » et nous sommes globalement très satisfaits des services offerts.
Cependant, je voudrais soulever une question qui relève à la fois du respect de la clientèle d’Air Algérie et du respect d’une langue qui a un statut de langue nationale : je veux naturellement parler de l’absence totale de tamazight sur les vols d’Air Algérie.
Ma mère, qui réside avec moi, âgée de 74 ans, parle uniquement le kabyle/tamazight.
Elle voyage régulièrement entre l’Algérie et le Canada. À chacun de ses voyages, et elle voyage souvent seule, je suis dans l’obligation de demander aux passagers, qui parlent notre langue, de l’assister durant le voyage. Je pense, qu’elle a le droit, en tant que citoyenne algérienne et cliente payant son billet d’avion, de se faire servir dans sa langue.
J’ai vécu dans plusieurs pays qui ont deux langues nationales où ce genre de problème ne se pose pas. En Finlande, la compagnie «Finnair» fournit ses services en finnois et en suédois (les finlandais qui parlent suédois forment 6% de la population). Au Canada, la compagnie «Air Canada» fournit ses services en anglais et français (langue maternelle de 22% de la population canadienne). De plus, l’un de vos concurrents « Aigle Azur » offre la possibilité de servir les passagers voyageant vers l’Algérie en tamazight ; alors pourquoi pas « Air Algérie » ?
Avec mes remerciements, je vous pris, Monsieur, d’agréer en mes salutations distinguées.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Copié à :
• Ambassadeur d'Algérie au Canada (Mr. Smail Benamara)
• Représentant Général d'Air Algérie au Canada (Mr. Abdelaziz Laouar)
Pétition en ligne :
Click this link to access the petition and sign it
You can download the full report (in French only for now) presented by Tamazgha at the bottom of this communique.
Les versions françaises de ce communique et du rapport présenté par Tamazgha sont disponibles en bas du texte en anglais.
The Algerian State before the United Nations’ Bodies on human rights
44th session of the Committee for the economic, social and cultural rights
A Communiqué by Tamazgha Association (Paris) a non-governmental organization for the defense ofthe rights of Imazighen (Berbers)
During the 44th session of the Committee for the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) which was held 3-21 May 2010 in Geneva, the Algerian State was called to provide a report on legislative, judiciary and administrative measures taken to be acquitted from their obligations in reference to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
To this effect, the Algerian State, as usual, presented a text with the scenario of an apparently formal institutional structure, which is high protective of the public’s freedoms and the rights granted by the Covenant, but in total contradiction with the reality of the citizens’ daily life.
This upfront formality hides a huge systematic gap between the Algerian legality, which complies only on paper with international treaties on human rights, and the real application of these treaties and the effective protection of the very rights that are formally granted to the citizens. There is, here, an indisputably real disconnect between the assertions in the legal texts and the field reality.
One of the main contradictions is concerned with the way the State dealt with the Amazigh issue and the Amazigh speaking populations.
Tamazgha, an NGO that defends the rights of Imazighen (Berbers), presented at this occasion an alternative report titled “The Algerian State and the Amazigh Question”. In this report, Tamazgha outlined the hypocrisy and the incoherencies of the Algerian State, as well as the principal violations of the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In the same report, Tamazgha presented propositions to the Committee on an informative basis for the formulation of recommendations for the Algerian State to end the discrimination against Imazighen (Berbers).
Since 2002, the Algerian State has been boasting about declaring the Tamazight (the Berber language) in the Constitution as a national language. But, how can one believe the Algerian State, while the law on the generalization of the Arabic language is still maintained; a law that is still in effect and institutionalizes linguistic discrimination? What sense does the registering of Tamazight as a national language have while the Amazigh speakers still cannot make use of their language throughout the Algerian administrations, nor can they read official documents in their own language?
On the cultural side, Tamazgha denounced the way the Algerian State wants to lead the teaching of Tamazight to failure. In fact, the marginalization of this teaching, made optional and with no resources, can but lead to a slow burial of this language. Besides, how can one believe in the sincerity of the Algerian State pretending to want to recognize and promote the Amazigh language, while the Arabization project is being revamped daily? Several years after being in charge of the teaching of this “national language”, only 2.15% of students have access to the teaching of Tamazight, of whom 88% are Kabyle. In Algiers, the Nation’s capital where at least 50% of its population is Amazigh speaking, there are only three Tamazight teachers in three schools with a total attendance of 63 students.
Tamazgha also pointed out, in its report, the religious discrimination practice of the Algerian State. Tamazgha denounced the official politics wanting to make the Algerian State a Muslim state, where non-Muslims are excluded, marginalized and sometimes deprived of the most basic rights, such as adopting a child.
In short, the Algerian State maintains one of its founding principles: the eradication of Amazighness from North Africa. The State’s hypocritical attitude before international authorities concerning the Amazigh issue only confirms its determination to achieve its anti-Amazigh goal.
Tamazgha calls with all its wishes upon the members of the United Nations’ Committee on Economic, Social and cultural Rights to summon the Algerian State on its politics of Tamazight’s marginalization and exclusion, and to remind it of its obligations of respecting the provisions of the Covenant of which it is a member. And, in order to show its good will, the Algerian State must proceed promptly with the amendment of all the laws and the various legal instruments and legal acts, which contain discriminating provisions towards Tamazight. All laws, decrees, ordinances..., must be reviewed to comply with Article 3-b of the Constitution that establishes Tamazight as a National Language. The Algerian State must, of course, make Tamazight official as the Committee has already recommended in 2001.
Geneva, May 3, 2010
Masinisa Mezac d yellis Lwiza ad ikkin deg Earth Day Challenge (tazzla n Marathon) deg Gambier, Ohio - Ad d-ssuturem wid ara ifken afus
Masinissa Mézache, azamri, akk d yellis, Louisa, ahnad ad adikin deg timzizelt “Marathon n wass n tamurt” ( challenge marathon) ara d yeḍrun ass n 25 yebril 2010 di temdint n Gambier, awanak n Ohio di Marikan n ugafa (USA). Iswi nneɣ d akken ad d- nejmaɛ idrimen i Mass Noureddine Ladjadj, i yettemɛentaren akken teẓram ahat d waṭan n uxenziṛ (cancer) wer ken naɛni.
Mass Noureddine Ladjadj yuɣ Massa Sonia Ait Ahmed; I wid wer neẓr' ara, Massa Sonia aggi d nettat i d yesbedden asadrer (neɣ radio) numydia. Radionumydia tuɣal d ṛṛuḥ n imaziɣen di yal tama n umaḍal, abaɛda leqbayel. Ad d negger tiɣri i akk imdukal d imsefliden n radionumydia akken ad fken afud i tawacult Ladjadj ma nwan ad uɣalen d les sponsors nneɣ deg marathon/tazla y agi. Tzemrem ad recqem ayen wen ihwan n idulaṛen i yal yiwen n mile ara n illi nuzzel neɣ nelḥa i sin yidneɣ. Yal yiwen akken iwala yezmer d wakken yenwa. Tzemrem ad recqem ama $.50, $1, $2 ...atg i yal yiwen n mile ara n azzel neɣ ara nelḥun y sin yidsen. Amecwaṛ n Marathon aggi llan degs 26 miles. Amedya, ma Masinissa akk d yellis nesaweḍen ar tagara n timzizelt neɣ marathon agi (52 miles s wezdi), win tt igezmen d rray ad yerceq $1/mile ad s taweḍ ṭlaba ar wazal n $52;
Click here to see a photo of the marathonians on radionumydia's website
Tamesmunt tamettit tadelsant Tilelli
Association Socioculturelle Tilelli
Maison de Jeunes, Goulmima (Maroc)
BP 69, Goulmima
The Sociocultural Association Tilelli, while commending the courage and strength of these two political prisoners, firmly denounces these judgments as false and repressive Makhzenian policy against the Amazigh people.
introduce into the ranks of the young Amazigh activists.
For the Executive Committee
Tiddukla tadelsant tamaziɣt deg Marikan tessaram-awen aseggas amaynu ifulkin. Wid iqerben ɣer Boston, tettwaɛrḍem ɣer imensi n Yennayer. Tekkit ɛef tewlaft agi akken ad teɣrem d acu d-tenna Tiddukla.
Tekkit ɣef ubuṭun "Buy Now" swadda agi ma tram a d-taɣem atiki ($15/amdan) ɣer tmeɣra agi n Boston.
Tameɣra n Yennayer a d-tili deg kra n imeḍqan deg Marikan. Uɣalet-ed ɣer wesmel nneɣ ma yella tettnadim isallen ɣef tmeɣriwin agi. Isallen yellan a ten-id-nerr dagi.
The Amazigh Cultural Association in America wishes you a very happy new year. ACAA invites you to join it at the celebration of Yennayer in Boston. Please click on the "Buy Now" button below to purchase a ticket ($15/person).
Other celebrations will take place in other places all around the country. Information will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
Sorry, the event ticket sale is closed. If still plan to attend, you may still purchase a ticket at the door the day of the event.
For Immediate Release
Civil Registrars Refuse to Record Newborns Whose Names Are ‘Not Moroccan’
(Washington, DC, September 3, 2009) – Morocco should stop interfering with the right of its citizens to give Amazigh names to their children, Human Rights Watch said today.
Numerous Moroccans living in cities and villages around the kingdom and abroad who chose Amazigh first names for their newborns have been refused when they applied at local civil registrars to record those names. Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the interior minister, Chekib Benmoussa on June 16, 2009 detailing five such cases and soliciting an explanation. There was no response.
“Morocco has taken steps to recognize Amazigh cultural rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “It now needs to extend that recognition to the right of parents to choose the name of their child.”
Morocco’s Law on the Civil Registry stipulates that a first name must have “a Moroccan character.” Local administrators apparently interpret that requirement to mean names that are Arabic-Islamic, even though the Amazigh people are native to Morocco. The law gives parents the right to appeal a refusal in court and to the High Commission of the Civil Registry. Over the years, the commission has ruled on dozens of Amazigh, European, and other non-Arabic-Islamic names, accepting some and rejecting others.
The five cases documented in the Human Rights Watch letter, involving both residents of Morocco and émigrés living abroad, resulted ultimately in victories for the parents. But they succeeded only after bureaucratic delays and lengthy appeals, sometimes enduring hostile or humiliating questions from Moroccan civil servants and the insecurity of having a newborn who, for months, had no legal identity.
“We are happy that these parents prevailed, but no couple should have to fight their government, at this special time in their life, to be able to name their baby,” Whitson said.
On August 26, a first instance court in Tahla (province of Taza) court approved an Amazigh name in a sixth case, allowing Abdallah Bouchnaoui and Jamila Aarrach, to name their five-month-old daughter “Tiziri,” which means “moon” in Tamazight, the Amazigh language. The victory came only after the couple, who live in the commune of Zerarda in the Middle Atlas, had endured months of uncertainty.
For a seventh couple, the uncertainty continues. On March 11, Rachid Mabrouky went to the civil registry in the Saâda district of Marrakesh to register his two-day-old daughter as “Gaïa.” Mabrouky told Human Rights Watch that the official on duty refused to accept the name, contending that it was “not Moroccan.” Mabrouky went to the civil registry at the city’s prefecture, only to be told the same thing.
When he explained that the name “Gaïa” was Amazigh and therefore Moroccan, the agent on duty persisted in his refusal, exclaiming, “You Amazigh are all fanatics,” Mabrouky said. Mabrouky and his wife, Lucile Zerroust, who is French, filed a case in administrative court, where the case is still pending. “Gaïa” is the name of an ancient Berber prince.
Parents of an infant who is not recorded by the civil registrar may face obstacles when applying for a passport for the child, reimbursement by state medical insurance, or other services. Parents who persist in demanding that the government record Amazigh names tend to be Amazighs who are politically active. They say that for every couple like themselves, there are others who avoid giving their children Amazigh names, fearing a humiliating refusal from local officials followed by administrative problems.
The Amazigh are the indigenous people of North Africa and are overwhelmingly Muslim. Today, the two largest Amazigh populations are in Morocco and Algeria, where some are actively engaged in seeking cultural, linguistic, and political rights. In 2001, King Mohammed VI of Morocco created a Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture and began a program to teach the Tamazight language in schools.
Several Moroccans who are Amazigh told Human Rights Watch that when civil registry agents are presented with uncommon first names, they consult lists prepared periodically by the High Commission of the Civil Registry. These lists include dozens of non-Arab-Islamic names, each one marked “accepted” or “refused.” Human Rights Watch has copies of some of these lists. According to the law, the commission is composed of representatives of the interior and justice ministries and the kingdom’s official historian.
International jurisprudence supports the freedom to choose one’s name. The United Nations’ Human Rights Committee ruled in the 1994 case of Coeriel et al v. Netherlands, “Article 17 [of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] provides, inter alia, that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence. The Committee considers that the notion of privacy refers to the sphere of a person’s life in which he or she can freely express his or her identity.... [This] includes the protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with the right to choose and change one’s own name.”
“Unless a first name is patently offensive or objectionable or harmful to the interests of the child, authorities have no business curbing the right of parents to make this very personal choice – especially not when the curb amounts to a form of ethnic discrimination,” said Whitson.
Human Rights Watch’s letter to Minister of Interior Benmoussa, seeking information about the cases involving the naming of five Amazigh children – Ayyur Adam, Massine, Sifaw, Tara, and Tin-Ass – is online at: http://www.hrw.org/node/85427 (English); http://www.hrw.org/node/85429 (Arabic).
For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Morocco and Western Sahara, please visit: http://www.hrw.org/en/middle-eastn-africa/morocco/western-sahara
For more information, please contact:
In Washington, DC, Eric Goldstein (English, French): +1-917-519-4736 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Abderrahim Sabir (Arabic, French, English): +1-202-612-4342; or +1-202-701-7654 (mobile)
The following (see attachment below in pdf) is the final French language version of the Amazigh Caucus Declaration as drafted by almost 13 Amazigh associations from around the world that took part at the 8th Session of the Permanent Forum of the Indigenous Issues at the United Nations. Tomorrow will be the last day of the session. The English version will be drafted soon. ACAA was among the Amazigh Associations that took part at this session and we will make it a tradition to attend every year. I personally was amazed and impressed by the level of info displayed at the forum and all the great people I met from all over the world. We will sure put that to good use in the future to serve our culture and our people. I encourage all Amazigh associations in America and elsewhere to get involved in the future. It is a great venue to expose to the world your culture and help in promoting it, interact and network with other indigenous cultures at various levels and build a better world by being a citizen of the world.
The permanent forum was created by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) mainly to discuss Indigenous issues within the Council, including Economic and Social Development, Culture, Environment, Educations, Health and Human Rights. The Climate Change and its impact on the Indigenous populations were one of the main topics discussed at the Forum.
The Amazigh Caucus was well represented and we will get more organized next year. We were glad to meet many leaders from the Morrocan and Touareg associations. Kamira Nat-Sid and Ferhat Mehenni were the ambassadors from Kabylia and made a great impact with their interventions by speaking up on the main issues currently happening in Algeria. This hopefully will help in expediting the resolution of the main issues and push the process of democracy forward.
For more details, please refer to http://www.un. org/esa/socdev/ unpfii/en/ session_eighth. html. All pertinent info are published. Cheers to all and God Bless
New York, May 28, 2009
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