An Exuberant Awakening for Libya's Berbers

(Washington Post) Alice Fordham - In Kabaw, Libya, thousands of people danced in the streets waving the red, black and green flag of Libya's revolutionaries. But they also flaunted another flag, with green, blue and yellow stripes and a curious red symbol. "Azoul!" they shouted, greeting each other before bursting into song in a language that is not Arabic. Kabaw is home to 10,000 Amazigh people, also known as Berbers, who speak their own language, have their own customs and were intensely repressed by Gaddafi. More than 15 million Amazigh live in North Africa. Many consider themselves descendants of the original inhabitants of North Africa, a people who settled thousands of years ago and practiced Judaism and Christianity before Islam. Under Gaddafi, it was forbidden to speak, write or sing in Tamazight, on pain of arrest or beating by security forces.

2011-11-16 00:00:00

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