Category: The Amazigh Natives

December 28, 2017

The Berber New Year of Yennayer will be recognized as a national holiday in Algeria for the first time on 12 January, it was announced yesterday.

The Council of Ministers met yesterday with President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and issued a statement announcing the new national holiday.

“By offering his best wishes to the Algerian people on the eve of the year 2018, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced his decision to devote Yennayer as a day off and paid as of January 12, the government being responsible for making the appropriate arrangements for this effect.”

The head of state “urged the government to spare no effort to generalize the teaching and use of Tamazight, in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the Constitution” and also instructed the government to accelerate the preparation of the draft law establishing an Algerian Academy of the Amazigh Language, according to the Council’s statement.

The idea behind this latest move is to strengthen “national unity and stability” at a time when the country faces threats from “multiple internal and regional challenges”, the President said.

In the last few weeks, Algeria’s Berber region has witnessed a number of protests after a proposed draft law making the Berber language compulsory in schools across the country was blocked by parliamentarians.

Tamazight was recognized as an official language of Algeria when the Constitution was amended in 2016.

Source: Middle East Monitor.



Libya’s Fathi Ben Khalifa will replace Algerian Belkacem Lounès as president of the World Amazigh Congress, El Watan reported on Monday (October 3rd). The election was held Sunday night on the Tunisian island of Djerba, at the conclusion of the 6th World Amazigh Congress. Delegations from Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and the Canary Islands, along with representatives of the Touareg community and the Amazigh diaspora in Europe and North America, attended the three-day event. Talks reportedly focused on the Amazigh movement in the aftermath of the Arab spring.

Source: Magharebia.



Delegations from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya are participating in the 6th World Amazigh Congress (CMA), which opened Friday (September 30th) on the Tunisian island of Djerba, Tout sur l’Algerie reported. Representatives of the Touareg community and the Amazigh diaspora in Europe and North America are also attending the three-day event, which focuses on the Amazigh movement in the aftermath of the Arab spring.

For Tunisia to serve as host country for the event would have been “unthinkable” under the rule of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, TSA editorialized  Even though the Amazigh population is between 5 and 10 per cent in Tunisia, “no place was given to the culture or language during the reign” of Ben Ali, the Algerian online daily added.

It is in Morocco, however, that “the winds of change in the region have paid off the most” for the Amazighi population, TSA remarked, pointing to the recent formalization of the Tamazight language, a measure that was introduced as part of the country’s constitutional reforms.

Source: Magharebia.