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Gaddafi: "Amazigh no longer exist"

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Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said that the Amazigh (Berbers) were "ancient tribes who lived in North Africa and that they no longer exist," the Libyan agency Jana reported Wednesday.

  •    The Amazigh tribes "have disappeared and no longer exist," said the Libyan leader, saying the origin of the Amazigh was Arab, during a meeting with a delegation of journalists and intellectuals.
       He also believed it was "pointless to try (to use) the language of these tribes which have disappeared," criticizing the use of that language in "some radios," in allusion to the Moroccan media.
       "Whoever wants to use it at home is free but this must end," he said describing the people's demands for recognition of Amazigh identity and language of "propaganda of the colonizer and its agents as the (world) Congress of Amazigh.
       In Libya, Amazigh, "free men" in Berber, represent 10% of the population live and particularly on the heights of mountains west of Tripoli, where, as the Tuareg in the desert south of the country.
       They demand recognition of their cultural and linguistic identity and denounce their marginalization since the advent of the Libyan Revolution in 1969 and the accession to power of Colonel Gaddafi who wanted to develop a policy based on pan-Arabism.
       In 2007, he again denied any existence of an Amazigh minority in Libya, and threatened to "eradicate those who want to spread the poison of colonialism.
       But his son, Seif al-Islam, has been a champion of the Amazigh cause through the Qaddafi Foundation he chairs.
       The association had received in 2006 the removal of a measure of 1970 prohibiting Amazigh names, after denouncing "an aggression which can not pass over in silence."
       The Amazigh people, estimated at 26 million people, are an ethnic group indigenous of North Africa. It is spread over nearly five million square kilometers from Morocco to the west of Egypt in different cultural groups but share a common language (Berber or Tamazight).
        
    Ennaharonline/ M. O.

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Comments (6 posted):

J on 02 June, 2010 09:44:29
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Qaddafi is still crazy after all these years.
Dr. Hussein Ben Kirat on 03 June, 2010 06:51:07
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With all my respect for Gaddafi's frankness and forwardness, it is difficult to think that Gaddafi speaks Arabic and whenever I heard him speak with my Arab friends we needed to listen to the translator's interpretation, though the content was always hollow and blamed the translator for it. His articulation was far removed from any Arabic spoken in any part of the Arab world of Saud. Moroccans are mostly Amazigh as are most Algerians; Mauritanians are Moors, Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof and Bamabara; Egypt is Pharaoh, Lebanon Phoenician and Syria is Aramaic etc. I thought Gaddafi was African and spoke the vernacular Chad Arabic and other dialects of Chad?
Oxford, Dr Hussein Ben Kirat
Mohamed Bugaighis on 03 June, 2010 07:15:30
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According to Gaddafi, the only people worthy of any recognition, are himself and immediate dysfunctional family.

Omar Mukhtar, most renowned hero of Libyan resistance to Italy's occupation of Libya, had his remains removed from Central Benghazi to a desolate, and rarely visited location in Saloug. Any honors or recognitions of Omar Mukhtar were attributed to Gaddafi's father.

Muammar Gaddafi rarely acknowledges libyans or their accomplishments; he has even destroyed many of their historical sites.

The Amazigh is part and parcel of Libyan society regardless of any statements to the contrary; Muammar Gaddafi remains a thorne in Libya's side, and an impediment to its development and progress.
Dr. Hussein Ben Kirat on 03 June, 2010 08:20:59
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Gaddafi the African
With all my respect for Gaddafi's frankness and forwardness, however, it is difficult to think that Gaddafi speaks Arabic and whenever I heard him speak with my Arab friends we needed to listen to the translator's interpretation, though the content was always hollow and perhaps it was lost in translation so I blame the translator for it. His articulation was far removed from any Arabic spoken in any part of the Arab kingdom of Ibn Saud. Moroccans are 85% Amazigh as are most Algerians; Mauritanians are Moors: Hassani kind of Arabic and Amazigh, Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof and Bamabara; Egypt is Pharaoh, Lebanon Phoenician and Syria is Aramaic etc. In short, I thought Gaddafi was African and spoke the vernacular Chad Arabic and other dialects of Chad and Mali, and is he not the champion of Africans?
Oxford, Dr Hussein Ben Kirat
Lucinda Lavelle on 24 August, 2010 05:25:07
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Gaddafi's denial of the Amazigh People's culture, language, history and existance is a virtual genocide and indefensible and very different to his views on the Kurdish People when he campaigns for their rights to their self determination, their culture, their language and their history. Gaddafi's shows his hypocrisy once again. Gaddafi will support any rebel around the world - IRA, PLO, South Sudan, Chad, Sahara - unless they are in his own country and then they are smashed with an iron fist.
Sam on 27 March, 2011 08:07:55
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Gaddafi will soon be thrown in the garbage heap of history, only him and his sons worth to be recognized according to him.
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