What is the difference between Berbers and Arabs and what is the relationship between them?

Berbers speak Berbers.Arabs speak Arabic.

Berbers are originally from North Africa.Arabs originally come from Arabia.

With the spread of Islam, Arab culture has also taken on a lot of North Africa, but in certain regions there are still many Berbers.

Those traditionally live a nomadic existence.

These Berber people feel suppressed by the Arab majority and elite, particularly because Arabs have historically tried to extinguish the Berber culture.

“Berber” Probably literally comes from the word “barbarian”, which the ancient Greeks have already used to denote uncivilized foreigners (who say just so-called “bar Bar Bar”).Therefore, some Berber people prefer that you call them Imazighen (singular Amazigh), which means free men .

Arabs often want to establish closer political ties with other Arab countries, and even build one political union (Pan-Arabism).Of course they want to do this under the Arab identity, which the Berbers do not see.

Many Berbers don’t like to confuse them with Arabs.

Berbers, or rather Imazaighen (plural of Amazigh), are the original inhabitants of North Africa.And today those who also have Berbers as their mother tongue. Because a larger group is arabized and considered itself often as Arabic. Not in an ethnic sense, but rather in a cultural sense. Or One speaks of house from an Arabic dialect and no Berber and therefore identifies themselves Arabs and the Arab world instead of Berbers.

Berbers are still a large group in Morocco and Algeria.A large minority. So Algerians and Moroccans who speak Berbers at home instead of Arabic. And in Libya a small minority of about 10%. In Libya and Algeria there is mainly 1 Berber minority with one and the same language and from the same area. Algeria is that Kabylie where one speaks Kabylisch. And in Libya are the Berbers from the Nefusa mountains in western Libya. The Algerian Kabylie Berbers, apart from Berbers from the elders, speak much French to this day, despite frantic attempts from the years 60 to arabize all of Algeria. One is often also set secular than the other Arabische-language Algerians.

In Libya, the Berbers to the fall of Khadafi in 2012 suffered serious cultural oppression of their Berber language and culture.It was not allowed to be taught and the whole “Berber identity, according to Khadafi, was an imperialist invention to divide the country”. The Libyan Berber people quickly joined the revolution to fight against Khadafi, and since then they have immediately begun teaching their language and culture in schools. Despite the great Arabization, one has not lost their language, and that is mainly because one lives quite isolated in the Nefusa mountains where all Berbers are. In spite of the fact that Berberse music and teaching of the language was forbidden in decades, they spoke on a daily basis in the area. In writings, Libyan Berbers have been compared to the Algerian so much more arabized.

In Morocco, you have the more unique situation that there are several types of Berber groups with their own dialects that are all about the same size and collectively comprise approximately 30 to 40% of the entire Moroccan population.Although estimates do vary. So those Berbers have as native language. All of them come again from mountainous areas where, because of isolated life, they have been able to evade arabization for centuries.

In the northern Atlas mountains you have the Riffijnse Berbers and in the southern Sous-mountains the Soussis.And then also the “Chleuh-Berbers”. Of these three, the northernmost riffine Berbers have historically seen a (very) difficult relationship with the Moroccan royal house. Ever pril had its own rifrepublic as a competitor of the King House for example.

And then you also have the Toearegs in the countries mentioned earlier.Although Berbers also have a truly nomadic people who are wandering around the Sahara and still have their own culture and way of life.

The situation of oppression of the Berber language and culture is now as good as normalised in all the countries of Morocco, Algeria and Libya.Only in Libya have they not been given legal recognition of the language. In spite of the fact that the Berbers have demonstrated in the capital Tripoli for some time in the years. But in any case, Libie has three governments and no rule of law. Perhaps that is still the same.

As far as separatism or independence is concerned, it lives in considerable numbers with Berbers in the previously three countries mentioned.

The only country in North Africa that knows virtually no Berber minority is Tunisia.Because of historical reasons, the Arabization has already been (much) earlier. Nonetheless, if you look at traditions it is also just a country where it “chokes of Berber habits and customs”. But the language as it is spoken daily is nothing more about it. 99% have Arabic as their mother tongue.

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