In the aftermath of Libya's revolution, Berbers there are openly expressing their culture
Although the Amazigh people, the traditional Berbers of northern Africa,
long predate the seventh century Arab-Islamic arrival in the country,
Libya's Muammar Qaddafi quashed their culture to create a new narrative
of a purely Arab and united nation...
Today, after the revolution, their striking blue, green and yellow flag
overlaid with a stylised figure is sold alongside the new Libyan flag at
stalls in Martyrs' Square in central Tripoli.
The language, Tamazight, with its Greek-like symbols, can be found in
the magazines of the flourishing new media and heard on new radio
After years of repression, Amazigh battalions - especially from the
Nafusa mountains - were quick to join the revolution. Some of their
brigades helped liberate Tripoli.
We still don't know, of course, what role, if any Amizight language and culture will play in whatever official narratives and institutions Libya develops. However, when paired with the new Moroccan constitution, which made Tamazight an official language in that country, it might be the the 2011 uprising represented a period when the Berbers could finally gain the recognition and rights denied to them as the legacy of a homogenizing Arab nationalism.
Labels: Libya, Morocco