Sidenote for Najia, while looking up barbarian stumbled across where Berber probably came from. The Arabic barbar which was derived from the Greek word. (:
Their cause and struggle continues to be ignored by many around the world. In fact many who are familiar with the word âBerberâ associate it with some kind of carpet when it refers to an entire civilization. So, let us cover some basics about who the Amazigh people are. They are people of no particular race who are considered to be the native people of North Africa. Their presence in that part of the world dates back to some 5,000 years B.C. Their biggest and strongest asset is their language and their common value system. Although they were largely forgotten by modern history, the Amazigh people are now awakening to the sounds of democracy and freedom in one of the most troubled regions of the world.
The task of introducing the Amazigh people to the world is not an easy one and would certainly require an exhaustive essay that covers a healthy dose of historical and cultural information. Nonetheless, although somewhat simplistic, my approach is to describe the Amazigh people within the societal context of the intended audience. Here I try to introduce the Amazigh people to the American reader. As such, I find it useful to engage in a what-if exercise that implants the Amazigh people in America and defines their likely political affiliation given their present values and practices. This is an easy way for American readers to relate to the information thus presented about a civilization that is foreign to them.
The Amazigh people would likely vote for the GOP if they were in America. They are largely pro-business and pro-free trade. Indeed, throughout their history, the Amazigh people have always been known for their entrepreneurial savvy and their penchant for commerce. In Morocco, they are often envied for their business sense and their successful know-how of wealth creation despite limited opportunities and discrimination. At the center of their value system are trust and honor. Trust is always on deposit and honor is an inviolable virtue. Any breach of trust can condemn a relationship to eternal oblivion and any breach of honor can give rise to fierce resistance.
In business, they are enterpreneurial in that they seek to mitigate risks all while increasing the likelihood of success, but they still rely on trust as a gold standard. It is not at all unusual for an Amazigh shopkeeper, for instance, to trust a fellow citizen with the differed payment of purchases without any binding legal instruments. Simply put, to the Imazighen, deferred payment is preferable to deferred business. However, far from being naÃ¯ve, Amazigh entrepreneurs engage in such conduct only when they perceive a state of shared values and personal integrity. It is, hence, no surprise that they are more inclined, at least initially, to trust their brethren rather than outsiders.
The Amazigh people would likely vote for the GOP if they were in America. They are conservative in that they are people of deep faith and wield a strong code of ethics. The Amazigh people of Morocco are mainly followers of a mystical form of Islam. The shrines of their local saints are revered and frequently visited. They heed calls for moral revival with great enthusiasm. On God, Gays, and Family, the Amazigh people would give Karl Rove a standing ovation. They do not, however, wear their faith on their sleeves and do not proselytize. This is again due to their belief in personal responsibility. They largely believe religion to be a personal relationship between God and his creation. Once I asked a respected Amazigh religious leader what he thought about jihadists. In a direct reference to UBL, he calmly replied: âSince when has the length of oneâs beard reflect the depth of oneâs faithâ."