A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tamazight Broadcasting in Morocco

An interesting article — you'll no doubt realize that I'm catching up on my reading of The National this evening — on the launch of a Tamazight-language channel in Morocco. The article is of interest, I think, for its content but also for another reason: by my count the word "Berber" only occurs three times: once as an explanation of Tamazight, once in a direct quote, and once in an organizational name. Otherwise, the article always uses Tamazight for the language and Amazigh for the people.

Good. For more on Tamazight see this post and be sure to read the comments, since my Maghrebi commenters know far more than I do on Tamazight subjects. The comments are more informative than the post (not for the first or last time, either).

1 comment:

themoornextdoor said...

Great link and a smart move by the Moroccans. I spoke with some Moroccan Berber students (studying in the US) a couple of months ago. When I asked them about the language issue, they were skeptical of the government's drive to promote the language -- who's going to use it? What can we do with Tamazight? Why not teach us Arabic or French well? One of them thought it was am elaborate conspiracy to keep poor rural Berbers poor and ignorant. I was interested that these were rural people. This makes me wonder what their attitude might be on this -- is it, in effect, promoting illiteracy and therefore the continued dis-empowerment of the Tamazight-speaking communities? Just a peripheral thought....