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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


Rachid Aadnani-Part One

© 2002, NITLE

This clip is 1.53 megabytes in size

Running time is 6 minutes and 33 seconds

When speaking of the original inhabitants of North Africa, Rachid Aadnani uses the terms Amazigh and Imazighen. In this part of the interview he is asked why he prefers this term Amazigh to the word “Berber.� He begins by defining why he prefers the term “Amazigh� to the term “Berber� which might be more familiar to American audiences. He discusses the origins and evolution of the use of the term Berber and explains why many activists consider it problematic. He argues that it is the right of ethnic groups to name themselves, and objects, in particular, to the use of the term Berber by Western academics, discussing in some detail the rationalizations provided by those scholars to justify its use. Anglophone writers, he maintains, have become much more likely to use the terms Imazighen and Amazigh, whereas Francophone sources have tended to cling to the term berbere. He indicates that he is encouraged by recent positive developments in the official policies of the Maghrebi countries in addressing demands for greater rights.

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