Libyan constitution draft must add Tamazight/Amazigh

  • Author:
  • Send To:
    To gain enough signatures to add these demands into the new constitution
  • Sponsored By:
  • More Info at:
The Amazigh people, known also as the Berbers, are believed to represent 5\% of the Libyan population. However, this estimation does take account only of the active speakers of Tamazight, the language of the Amazigh people. Indeed, they are not just a minority in Libya, since their is their language, culture and ethnicity, throughout History from Antiquity to modern times, are inseparable from Libya. Thus, the Amazigh identity is deeply rooted in the Libyan identity.

Imazighen were recognized by the United Nations as being the native people of North Africa and their language, the Tamazight, as an indigenious language. If Tamazight and Imazighen are not protected in their homeland, they would be protected nowhere else.

Under the brutal regime of the Colonel Gaddafi, from 1969 to 2011, the Imazighen were discriminated. Talking Tamazight in public spaces and teaching Tamazight in schools were prohibited and severely punished. The contribution of the Amazigh people to History of Libya was diminished, if not totally dismissed.

From the very beginning of the Libyan revolution of February 17th, 2011, the Imazighen took position against the Colonel Gaddafi. Alongside with the rest of Libyans, they fought for freedom, especially in the very strategic western part of the country, in the Nafousa Mountains. Imazighen believe that the New Libya shall be a state that grants equal rights to all its citizen, as well as preserves Libya as a historical and cultural entity.

Therefore, we, Amazigh people of Libya, we ask from the National Transitional Council to fully recognize and grant our rights. Meaning:

Although we are a minority in number, we ask to be recognized as an essential part of the Libyan identity and society.

We ask for Tamazight to appear as an official language alongside with Arabic in the Constitution of Libya, as well as in the Constitutional Charter for Transitional Stage.

We ask all measures to be taken to grant the teaching of Tamazight in schools of Libya

We ask for the end of the marginalization of the Amazigh geographic regions and a better integration in the economical and political life of the Libyan State.

We believe that our demands are fair and that they will benefit not only to the Amazigh people, but to Libya as a whole.