A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Amazigh of Tunisia

 Speaking of Tunisia in the runup to its elections Sunday, let me touch on another subject that we have visited several times since the beginning of Arab Spring: the Amazigh or Berber awakening that is also under way in North Africa. Earlier this month, the VIth World Amazigh was held in Djerba, the first to be held in Tunisia.Also, a new Tunisian Amazigh Culture Association has been established.

Here's another article on the revival of Amazigh consciousness in Berber Either due to a typo or poor editing, it seems to say the minority consists of 1000 people, but then goes on to say that one village has 200 families. The usual estimate of the number of Tamazight speakers in Tunisia is around 26,000, smaller by far than Algeria or Morocco or even Libya, but a significant linguistic minority. Unlike Algeria and Morocco, wher3 there are Berber poltiical parties and movements, and Libya, where the Jebel Nafusa became a stronghold for rallying anti-Qadhafi sentiment, the Amazigh peoples of Tunisia are not a political force, but their cultural identity does seem to be asserting itself.

apparently no longer speaks Berber. This would make 0.3% of the population.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Is there a reason you use the words "Amazigh" and "Berber" interchangeably? My understanding is that they have drastically different derivations.