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Summer 2007

Volume 16 Issue 1

Taect Tamazit
Tasunt n Tiddukla Tadelsant
Tamazit deg Marikan

The Amazigh Voice


A magazine published the Amazigh Cultural Association in America

3959 Welsh Rd. #320, Wilgrove, PA 19090, USA Phone/Fax (215) 886-5063

Inside this issue:

by Arezki Boudif

Echoes from North Africa

sur Hsen Umeftah

Amazigh Story Telling

by Samia Kebir

Mutual Aid in the Kabyl

Society by M. Feraoun

Teaching Tamazight:
The Canadian Experience
by Karim Achab


UCLA Lecture on Ancient Berbers

by Helene Hagan


The Ethnologist
by Tarik Yacine


Womens Poetry during

the Algerian Liberation
by Ramdane Lesheb


Ttad n Yugurten


sur Salluste
Tadyant n Siyd At Ccix
sur Remdan Lesheb


Tamedyazt n L. Lmasri
Tasuqelt spur Brahim.


Web News


Arezki Boudif
Once more, the present issue of Amazigh
Voice may convey to its readers a puzzling
picture: from the bright side, one can
appreciate the momentum gained by the
production of written materials in the
different varieties of Tamazight and in
different arts and literature. Artists in North
African countries, as well as in the
Diasporas, steadily continue to widen the use
of Tamazight and strengthen its potential as a
language capable of entering the fields of
science, technology and the new media.
Indeed, we are announcing in this issue the
creation of Wikipedia in Taqbaylit, a Kabyl
version of Wikipedia, the free and
collaborative encyclopedia on Internet.

duty to translate the huge commitment in a

political, social and economic agenda.

Among other positive notes, it is worthwhile

to mention the renewed commitment of
Amazigh movement for universal values
such as democracy, tolerance, freedom of
speech and the virtue of non-violence as a
way to defend our rights to live in
accordance with our culture.

You will find in this issue reports on a

harsh repression to which Amazigh
militants are subjected on the campuses of
Moroccan universities. In Algeria, after
failing to impose the Arabic (some would
say Aramaic) scripts for Tamazight, the
government announced the creation of an
Amazigh Academy, nothing less!
But, lets not turn our sight away from the
guiding star. While doing that, lets learn to
channel our energies, learn to work with
each other, and hopefully; we will reach the
top of the hill that will reveal the light of the
rising sun.

On the other side, the institutional status,

development and the promotion of Amazigh
culture and identity suffer from the lack of an
efficient and independent organization that
can serve as a junction between the grassroot
movement and the intelligentsia who has the

As a consequence of this situation,

governments of the North African states
have the easy role. They promise without
delivering. They impose (or they try to) the
scripts that Imazighen should use to write
their language. They create empty-shell
institutions for the Amazigh culture and
they appoint as head individuals of their
obedience who exclude from the decision
process Amazigh activists. And, when they
can not control the grassroots movement,
they strike, harass, jail, repress, destroy
andforget all about their promises.

Page 32

T he A m a zig h V oice

The Amazigh Voice (ISSN

1526-5730) is a quarterly publication of the Amazigh Cultural
Association in America Inc.
All Rights Reserved 2006
ACAA is an international nonprofit, cultural, and scientific organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of the Amazigh
(Berber) culture in the USA and
Chief Editor
Arezki Boudif
Rabah Seffal
Akli Gana
Hsen Medkour
Sarra Seffal
Hsen Larbi
Arezki Boudif
Layout and Production
Hsen Medkour
The Amazigh Voice welcomes articles, columns, reviews, editorial correspondence, and poems in
Tamazight or English. Contributions should be sent to:
amazighvoice@tamazgha.org or
Amazigh Voice
PO Box 265
Malden, MA 02148
Phone/Fax: (781) 322-0965
Opinions expressed in The
Amazigh Voice are not necessarily
those of ACAA representatives
and do not reflect those of
ACAA. Material may be reprinted
only with permission.

V olume 16 , I ssue 1

Echoes from North Africa

Tilaalin si Tmaza
Moroccan Consulate in France refuses to register a child with an
Amazigh first name
The consulate of Morocco in
Lille, France, refuses to register a little
girl with an Amazigh first name " Numidia Tin-Ass ". Ironically, Numidia
Tin-Ass has already been registered by
the civil administration of the city of
Roubaix, in the North of France. The
officer at the Moroccan consulate argued that the first name in question is
not authorized.
The Amazigh Voice team and the
Amazigh community in the USA is outraged by this discriminatory behavior
and urge the Moroccan officials to cancel the listing of authorized first
names which is nothing less than a discriminatory tool against Moroccan
Amazighs. In this occasion, we would
like to assure M. Lhoussain Azergui, the
father of the child, of our solidarity.

An Amazigh activist indicted by the

Moroccan justice after a talk given at
a conference.
Speaking at a conference organized by
the Amazigh World Congress (AWC)
and the Amazigh League for Human
Rights entitled The land and the related
rights, M. El-Wazzani has stated that
During the tribal era, problems could be
resolved, even with violent means sometimes. Today, the force of law is unable
to achieve the same thing. He added
that The Moroccan sovereignty is questionable.
M. El-Wazzani is the president of the
Association for the Development of Ait
Ouzgan. Following this conference, representatives of the local administration,
known for their hatred of the Amazigh

culture and identity, and independent leaders of the civil society have found the opportunity to sue M. El-Wazzani.

A wave of anti-Berber aggressions in

Since December 2003, recurrent assaults
and aggressions targeting students, members of the Amazigh Cultural Movement
(MCA), within Moroccan universities have
been reported. Indeed, students known for
their obedience to the Arab-Islamic ideology, and supported by groups of outsiders
have perpetrated attacks against militants
of the MCA, at Imteghren (Errachidia).
Worse, the phenomenon has spread to all
Moroccan universities where members of
the MCA are present.
What is disturbing is the fact that no one is
prosecuted; no investigation by neither
Universities nor by Moroccan authorities is
conducted. Therefore, involvement of the
Moroccan administration and the police is
a plausible explanation.
The Amazigh community in the USA condemns these despicable aggressions against
Amazigh students on Moroccan campuses
and supports their struggle to promote their
culture and identity.

New Movies Produced in Kabylia

Two movies have been produced in Kabyl
language this year. One is a fiction about
the life of the late bard and activist Lounes
Matoub , produced by a young moviemaker by the name of Mokrane Hemmar .
The other one is about the phenomenon of
fake marriages facing the Kabyl society
(continued on page 31)

Volume 16

I ssue 1

T he A m a zig h V oice

Page 3

Sur sen Umefta

iwet n tikkelt , yenna-yi yiwen n iminig:

Nekni s yeqbayliyen, amaris-ne deg tmurt
kan. Ekkes Pari d taddart, ur telli tmurt ne
tamdint nidden nessen.
Atas d aseggas tura yezrin deg ass-nni. Asmi i yi-tettef
tegnitt ur li ara kra n lekwaed, turza er tmurt d
awezi; wd e atas d tamurt: Telyan, Kanada, Beljik,
Porto Rico d tiyad. Seg imi iten i d-hella, yal amarisiw deg tmurt. Yual uwezi-nni mai d tamurt, d
timura niden. Tual-iyi tarzeft er tmurt am tgella, ma
ulac-itt, tafekka-w ad tt-yeffe izier, ad tezzem, ad
teqqar, ad tual am ufurk n tzemmurt.
Aherkel fell-as mai d ussan ne d imalasen, d
agguren, tikkwal d issegassen, acku d tacematt ma
teddid er taddart-ik s ifassen d ilmawen. Dayen i dan imezwura, mai dayen i d-yennulfan. Cfi asmi
lli d agrud, am nekk am tizyiwin-iw, nettgani iminigen,
acku nessaram sur-sen kra n tuntict: acett id ne tizidanin. Ih i muqqret tumert-nni ma ar a-d-yettunefk
kra! Tura hulfe am akken th ettem fell-i ad d efre abridnsen; ayagi yual d ansay. Daymi seg imir ara ad uale,
issefk ad bdu ad zdi taxridt i tikkelt i d-ittedun.
D ayagi kan i ywulmen, imi iyi-terra twenza-w ula d
nekk d iminig; tessawd-iyi-d almi d Marikan. Anwa ara
as-yinin akk ara ad tedru! Wizran i a-yettraun er
Maca tasebba nig akk tiyad i iyi-ttawin ar tmurt d
imawlan-iw i i wesren. Lemmer dayen i yra wul, ad
illi yid-sen, er tama-nsen, ad herbe fell-asen am
akken hurben nutni ef wid-nsen.
Arum yekkes-ap tissas; nger di tatut i nhettem i
yimanen-ne. Allaen-ne nfan tidett, acku nugad-itt am
akken it-yewwi Mohya deg awal-is: Tidett iuba yismis, ttagaden-tt yemdanen. La nettekellix deg imanenne, nugi ad namen ad yawed yiwen wass, taqriht i ayegunnin, tamettant-nsen, ad rzu er-ne. Ass-nni win ur
nettawi ul-is deg zagur-is, att yerr i ymetti, ad yezzay
wul-is, as yual umegrez d takemt ara at yesdegdeg-n.
Ih! Akka i d tudert-ne, seg zik, mai n wassa. Wa
yqubl-itt yerna-tt, wayed yekna-yas, ngum tefra fell-as
yiwet n taluft, rzant-ed mraw fell-as.
Llan wid yebran i tbel deg aman, yeqqaren er yillu
frant akk!

Aseggas-a, jbi per tmurt deg furar. Ngum ad wde er

dinna, zri sin wussan deg Pari er wletma, imi tamurt
nea-tt-id akk. D tagnitt deg i d-mekti issegassen-nni n
temzi i dre dinna, tallit-nni deg i ur ssine ara ahebber
ne ahezzeb.
Mi rse deg unafag n Lzzayer, tamuli-w tamenzut d
imdanen s iqendyar d iumar; nni deg ul-iw: Ad
twalem, ttfen tamurt. Nnuni mai d izli. Cwi adeffar,
nnan-iyi d ih eaen.
Mi ttgani iqraben-iw, mlale yiwen wemdan n At
Wagennun. Netta it-yewwin ar tmurt d tamettant n baba-s.
Rri tabladt i wul-iw, zemme tiwwura i walla-iw, nfi
deg-s axemmem ef tmettant: Ad a-yenu Rebbi!
Uzi er tewwurt n tuffa, la sekkide anda ara yilli baba.
Muqle, ulac; nnuni cwit. Tagara, sli: Wa Hsen!. Tt
urce, cbi adarus ma ara beddent tmezzuin-is d tjehnidtis. Tura zi yewed-ed. Gre tamuli tannegarut, ha-atan s
tcacit taberkant, yettwahi-iyi-d; yedda-d yid-s yiwen n
ilemz i n taddart, win i d-inehren takerrust.
Tignewt tufrar, maca d asemmid. Nemsalam s temawlit,
nessuli iqraben er tkerrust, nekcem. Nekkar ad neddu,
yewded-ed yiwen, yesteqsay-a-d, wizran d acu s tarabt,
amenhar-nni yerra-yas s teqbaylit. Zien mai d nekk
kan, llan wiyad i yunzan tutlayt i ran ad sbibben fell-ne
s tmara. ef win i yecban d tumert. Adeffar, ad affe
mai d yiwen akken.
Newwi abrid s unecrah, xas takerrust d tasemmadt.
Nekcem akal n Yiflissen Umellil, asigna yebda yettbeddil.
Muqle idurar, wala-ten man s wedfel. Nekcem Tizi n
Wuzzu, xas ulac ageffur, aman lehhun d tiregwa. Nezger
asif n At isi, iqqubl-a-d wedrar n at Yiraten irreqen d
amellal almi yestullus allen. Tura zri taddart ur tugag
ara. Cwit kan, nekcem akal n At Frawsen; Meqle tessa s
wedfel. Semmal nettali er idurar, semmal irennu.
Deg taddart, ufi azal n sin iallen. Nezzuer iqraben s
axxam, kecme, gri-d nnehta. Tura d tidett, aqli deg
axxam-ne, anda tde izzir-iw amenzu, ef tierert ef i
mmurde, tinna mech e yal tikkelt ma ara mderkale.
Qqime caxe la sekkide iraben, allunen, idekkanen
Seksu yers-ed yakkan d ahmayan s irragen.
Atas seg imi i seksu am inna, tizedt-is ulac-itt deg inig.
Azekka-nni, mi d-uki, sekked- taddart, tizeqwa selent

Page 4

T he A m a zig h V oice

s wedfel, izeblac uglen fell-asent, tizegwa redxent,

tissedwa n isekla knant. Rzi er wid akk i iyi-ttillin, yal
wa s tuntict-is. Deg ussan-nni i d-yernan, wde er
tferkiwin ne, anida leqde azemmur, ksep tibexsisin,
neqce, ferse, ksi akraren
Taddart tura tbeddel. Ixxamen iqburen gran-d d imexda,
yernu ur ttwazdaen ara. Wa yedrem, wa zan yerabenis am wefwad n weyul an wuccanen. Atas n twaculin
i tt-yefen er yinig. Iberdan-is xlan. Seg asmi i dualen waman er yexxamen, ula d tilawin ant tikli
er tala. Zik, cfi, tala tezga teur d tilawin d igerdan,
er tama-s tissirt tzedd azemmur. Ass-a tala ugten deg-s
idumman, akud yesseftutus iuraf n tissirt-nni cituh cit
uh. Yernu anda tessakded d ixxamen imaynuten. Tuddar
n at Yiraten njebadent am yildi, izuar n at Jennad ur
en d tinezduinDeg id, yal tama tsa d tiftilin, ad astinid fukent tfarkiwin. Deg kra n issegassen, uga ad
netdent tuddar ta er ta. Awal n taddart n yeqbayliyen ad
yegri kan deg idlisen n umezruy. Cfut a yimusnawen!
Hemma a wid i yerha yimal n tmurt n yeqbayliyen!
Ekkess ibayriyen imdanen ur crihen ara am asmi i
tamurt. Xas kubren-iyi, hulfe i yiman-iw d awerdani.
Tilawin dhant d umahil n yexxamen d yeqwiren,
irgazen,deg lqahwa, tturaren tikardiwin ne dduminu.
Ameslay-nsen ef tsersit; zik taddart tebda d iderman,
ass-a d ikabaren. Ufi taddart tettherkil i taccurt. Imalas
-nni amezwaru, at taddart gumman ad tt-gen ef sebba n
wedfel. Gunan imalas it-d-idefren. Nekk fell-i d tagnitt i
gerzen, atas aya, ur hdire i taccurt.
Seg kra kan issegassen i d-heddar taccurt deg taddartiw. Zik nettcebbih tafaska-yagi i taddart niden n yimr
abden. Ttawin-d imezwura awal dakken yella yiwen n
uxuni n taddart-agi n yimrabden yettwassen. At taddartiw qudren-t nnig n wid-is. Yeeh fell-asen, yeggul ad
yemd el deg taddart-ne. Asmi yemmut, bnan-as
taqubbett deg akal n taddart-ne. Yal assegass dukkulent
i snat n tuddar akken ad gen taaccurt. D acu kan taxridt
ttawin-tt nutni, nekni qqaren-a-d nettawi lbaraka i ylan
azal nnig n texridt. Ini kan nniya-nni n zik tekfa, tura d
tadamsa i yesselhuyen timsal.
Tella yiwet n tqaett deg anda tettas-ed zik yiwet n
txunit i wumi qqaren Lalla Hlima tacrift. Tga deg-s
taxelwit-ines, taddart-is tqerb-ed nezzah er tin-ne. Deg
umezruy i d-yeqqimen deg imi er tmezzut, ixedb-itt-id
ccix Muhend wulhusin, nettat tugi-t. Asmi tedda d tislit,
yugad ad as-terwel, ihebs-itt deg texxamt. Tameddit n
wass , tual d titbirt tesraffeg almi d taddart-is. Mcawar
en, ufan taqaett twulem i taccurt, yernu daen wa yufa
deg-s izimer, wa d izem, wa d agenduz, xas zran akk d
Deg tamnadt n at Frawsen, ngum ass n taccurt, imdebr

Volume 16

I ssue 1

en ttawin tallamt n taddart deg uxxam er wayed. Yal

axxam anda kecmen, ad awin tazwayt n uza wan s tbel d
lewadi, ad rnun cdeh. At wexxam-nni imir, ad asenfken isurdiyen ne timellalin. Isurdiyen-nni ad dduklen
er texridt n taddart, ma d timellalin-nni ad wwent i
ynebgawen ara ad yasen deg ussan-nni n taccurt, acku
er-ne taccurt tla qrad n wussan. Igerdan, daen,
teddun d tirebuya, s uzawan er yexxamen akken ad
sisen kra umesruf akked timellalin.
Ass amenzu, begse s iselsa zeddigen, wwi abrid er
tqaett n taddart. Ufi atas n yelmezyen i yetteherkilen
deg tanzit. Cit kan akka, la ad ttasen yemdanen, taqaett
teur, ulac anda ara trefded adar-ik. Nekk imi d iminig,
fkan-iyi amdiq er sdat, wissen ma uklale-t.
Bdan azawan, imdanen zhan, cedhen, tikwal d irgazen,
t i k wa l
t i k wa l
Deg taddart, ufi azal n sin
iallen. Nezzuer iqraben s axDeg teswit
xam, kecme, gri-d nnehta.
er tayed, ad
Tura d tidett, aqli deg axxam- h ebsen
ne, anda tde izzir-iw amenzu,
a d r e n
ef tierert ef i mmurde,
tinna meche yal tikkelt ma ara wigad yefkan
tiawsiwin i
taddart. Mi d
Qqime caxe la sekkide
udren ism-iw,
iraben, allunen, idekkanen rnan-d atas
Seksu yers-ed yakkan d ahma- ef
yan s irragen.
i wallenAtas seg imi i seksu am inna, Bri
iw er tmurt,
tizedt-is ulac-itt deg inig.
iman-iw, nekk
yean widiw geddac issegassen aya xas mai s lebi-w. Usan-d
yemdanen seg At Jennad, At Yiraten, At ebrI, Tizi n
Wuzzu, Idekkaren, Tizi n Wudi: udren-nten-id akk deg
sawad s tawsiwin-nsen. Usan-d yemdanen er usawad,
wa yewwi-d usefru, wa yennemred taddart ef taccurt i
ggerzen. Akud imekli, tagella tella i yal yiwen deg
tdefsit s seksu d weksum, wammag timellalin-nni d
tanalt kan ngum ne adeffar imekli.
Ass-nni annegaru, yal yiwen yual er wexxam-is ne
taddart-is, aben iban-ed deg udmawen n yelmezyen.
Ma d nekk umre atas imi ansayen-ne ddren ar tura.
Deg ussan-nni i d-yernan, taddart daen texla; yal yiwen
yedha d umahil-is.
(continued on page 32)

Page 6

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

Amazigh Story Telling Rituals

Samia Kebir

n traditional Amazigh culture, elderly ladies

(timarin) hold the monopoly for story telling. It's
an indisputable privilege. Women, through
generations, orally transmit Berber stories. Elderly
women collect and pass on stories to their children who,
in turn, pass them on to the next generation. This
tradition is, however, being abandoned because people
prefer to watch TV.
In families where traditions are still observed, story
telling follows very specific rules. Elderly women,
by the whole family, observe strict
traditional rituals before the story begins and after it
ends. Rituals are meant to cleanse the vicinity where a
story is being narrated.
Thus, you cannot tell a story any time you wish. You
can do it only after sunset for otherwise a curse can
befall on the listeners and the storyteller herself may
become mute. Usually, to start a story, Berber women
recite a ritual to chase evil spirits away and cleanse the
vicinity where listeners are gathered.
The ritual begins by invoking God's name. It is
followed by incantations and gestures to bring positive
energy to the family. After the introductory ritual, the
story teller sprinkles salt around to keep evil spirits at
bay. In Berber traditions, salt is used to protect people as
well as objects from malediction and evil eye. It is
believed that, when a room is cleansed, spirits of
ancestors as well other good spirits are assembled to
enjoy the story. The beginning ritual lets the listeners
settle into a groovy and magical mood while awaiting
for the true story to begin. The narrator creates a fairylike universe that ties the listeners with a magical thread.
It is customary to start a story with a preamble of this
Tamacahutt-iw amzun d asaru,
ebbi a tt-id-yessefru.
am usalas,
ad telhu.
ebbi a tt-id-yessefru.
which translates into:
This story is like a woolen belt
May God let it proceed in harmony
This story is like a master pillar
This story is beautiful

May God let it proceed in harmony

Similarly, a story ends like this:
Asif, Asif
Tamacahutt-iw sawle-tt
I warrac yecban imnayen.
Tamacahutt-iw am terga
Sawle-tt i wat yise d tirrugza
River, River
My story has been narrated
To warriors and noble children
My story is like a brook
I told it to great knights
Rituals, to begin and end a story, are discerned great
respect and uttered with a most serious tone. Beware
that these traditional rituals are duly invoked, for serious
misfortunes await the unsuspecting listeners.
Here is a short one, entitled: Am
ar d uqecwal (The
Old man and the basket)
Yella yiwen wemar yezde d mmi-s d tmeut n
mmi-s (ne tislit-is) akk d mmi-s n mmi-s. Tislit-nni
tekkat ad tessufe amar-is seg wexxam. Tekker tenna i
wergaz-is: Awi-t egge-it deg tegi (laba). Di
tazwara, yugi wergaz ad iegger baba-s. Imi tezga
tettai-t, yual yeqbel.
Ihi yiwen wass deg ussan n ebbi, yekker wergaz di
tafrara, yessaki-d baba-s, yegger-it deg uqecwal. Yerra
aqecwal ef waarur-is, yekker ad yebdu abrid. Mmi-s
amecu yesla-d i uerkel, yenna i baba-s: A baba ad
Ihi baba-s ye a-t yedda yides er tegi. an at
wexxam deg imeti d lezen. Lu ma ad telu armi
wen er yiwen wemiq deg tlemmast n tegi. Ibedd
wergaz, yessers-d aqecwal i-deg yella wemar, ye ga-t
din, yebda abrid n tualin er wexxam. Yeneq weqcic
er bab-s, yenna:
(continued on Page 9)

Volume 16

I ssue 1

T he A m a zig h V oice

Page 6

Mutual Aid in the Kabyl Society

by Mouloud Feraoun
Translated from French by Akli Gana

n their study on Kabyl

society in 1817, Hanoteau and Letourneux
said: The political
and administrative organization of the Kabyl people is
one of the most democratic
and at the same time one of
the simplest.
This is one of these succinct,
quick judgments that is accepted by laziness or
indifference but whose validity is questioned as soon as
some thought is required for
its understanding.
But in 1857, the curious
minded people in the Kal
mountains were straightaway
facing the following obvious
observation: the government,
the administration, the justice
did not cost anything and communities did not have
salaried civil servants. They were forced to admit that
this situation was a natural consequence of the spirit of
association and solidarity, which enlivened these mountain dwellers.
The Kabyl
The Kabyl society is built acbuilt according to the
cording to the principle that
emanate from this spirit; every- p r i n c i p l e s
that emanate
where one finds, at various lev- from
els, the spirit of association, be spirit; everyit in the affairs of private life as where one
finds, at variwell as in the relations of the
ous levels,
family, village and tribe.
the spirit of
be it in the
private life as well as in the relations of the family, village and tribe.

The village or taddart,

in Tamazight, constitutes
the political and administrative unit. This is an
entity that has its own life,
its autonomy; it chooses
its leaders, legislates and
manages its affairs.
The combination of two
or more villages, united
some affinity relations, often is a geographic area with its natural limits (mountain/hill
crests, rivers), constitutes
the tribe. The union of
several tribes forms the
confederacy, Taqbilt,
from which the word
qbail (Kabyl) is derived.
Alliances are born, then
perpetuate themselves or
disappear according to circumstances and necessities.
The federation can occasionally grow up to the union of
several groups of tribes. This is what must have happened in the distant past, during the multiple invasions
that the Kabyl society had to put up with or push back.
While remaining the corner stone of the Kabyl society,
the village was comprised of tikherubin. Takherubt
(singular of tikherubin) is generally comprised of a
number of families of the same ancestry, therefore
linked by the blood relation. Around them there are
families of outsiders, a sort of clientele, which transforms the takherubt into an adrum. The adrum outgrows
the blood relation clan and expands its political base to
progressively become the first entity of a political party.
But from one takherubt to another, and more generally
from one adrum to another, there exist relations whose
remembrance or trace is transmitted without failure
from one generation to the next. New relations are
formed, which tighten and strengthen the network, in
such a way that inevitably in the territorial entities of
villages, one hardly can find a person that is totally foreign to another.

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That's why the village remains the indestructible entity,

the administrative and social unit whose life is important to know. It is the single entity that is capable to
globally receive any impulsion of happiness, which in
turn brings evolution and progress.
The direction of the village belongs to the citizens
General Assembly ---women excluded. This Assembly
or tajmaat, in Tamazight, has all the powers, her decisions are sovereign and she sometimes takes care of
executing them herself. But to look after the daily
needs, the respect of its decrees, the execution of its
bylaws, she designates an executive among the best of
her members: the amin or the trusted one.
The amin chooses his aide in each takherubt; it is called
the tamen, the one, who guaranties that the decisions
are executed in the takherubt. The amin and his tamens
constitute both the village executive power and its
Committee of surveillance. These are not paid positions. The amins mandate length is not fixed and the
job is not well sought after. Not only it is costly but it
always causes enmity and dissatisfaction towards the
amin. Very often, as soon as an amin notices that his
popularity is falling, he hurries to resign. Sometimes he
also dies while in office, he is regretted by all, and his
memory is respected. Then his children become the
children of the amin , his grandchildren the grandchildren of the amin .
The formal written record keeping is unknown and the
tajmaats decisions are recorded in memories. In very
rare cases, they are recorded by the marabou, a sort of
religious teacher, who is also the secretary. This absence of archives and paper trail requires, certainly, a
lot of rigor in the execution of the laws. In fact the
Kabyl democracy joins together the extreme coarseness
and the extreme simplicity.
It is interesting to get acquainted with an extract of
quanuns or laws applied in the last century in a village
of Great-Kabylia:
1. The woman who becomes pregnant without being
married is put to death.
2. The one who is found guilty of adultery pays 20 reals
(real is unit of money) and is forced out of the village.
3. The one who is found guilty of 3 thefts is forced out
of the village.
4. The man who does not perform his prayers 3 successive days is fined one real.
5. The one who violates the fasting during the month of
Ramadan is fined 3 reals.
6. The one who hits an individual in the presence of his
wife, daughter or sister is fined 5 reals.
7. The one who fights with a man who is ill is fined 1

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8. The one who insults a woman is fined 2 reals.

9. A woman who insults a man is fined 1 real
10. The one who does not plant 10 trees in a year is
fined 1 real.
11. The one who burns down a harvest must indemnify
the victim and is fined 50 reals.
12. In case of war, the one who asks for the aman
(safety) is fined 10 reals.
13. The party which requests assistance from another
village is fined 100 reals.
14. The combatant who surrenders/collaborates with the
enemy is fined 100 reals in order to stay in the village.

Our purpose is not to examine the details of the communal institutions but it is
simply to indicate in passing the numerous
preoccupations of Tajmaat, which has the
right of dealing with the public life as well as
the private life of each.
Our purpose is not to examine the details of the communal institutions but it is simply to indicate in passing
the numerous preoccupations of Tajmaat, which has the
right of dealing with the public life as well as the private life of each.
For the needs of the administration each member voluntarily participates in paying two kinds of taxations and,
in this domain, Tajmaat is sovereign. Taxes are paid in
silver and in kind. They can be assessed per individual
or per household. The silver tax is uniformly the same
independently of the wealth of the taxpayer. The tax in
kind is assessed by household and is a function of the
known resources.
The payments in kind are established according to customs for certain jobs of public or peculiar utility. Every
time that it is legally required, the man, under the treat
of severe penalties---excommunication for instance---,
owes his personal labor, the labor of his animals of
value and the labor of his oxen. There are some categories of citizens who are exempt of taxes; always for legitimate reasons, often to compensate them for their
public service or for the accomplishment of a special
task of collective interest. These are: the amin, the
tamens, the marabous, the town crier (usually the caller
to perform community tasks), the performer of the
washing of the dead, the blacksmiths and masons, the
butchers, finally the sick and the elderly. Obligatory
work is required for the benefit of the village, the tribe
or individuals.
For the village or the tribe, it is necessary to construct

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For the benefit of individuals, the men of

the village have to intervene each time
that someone is engaged in a difficult
job such as: transport of the framework
for a house, millstones for the mill, impossibility of picking up olives or other
fruits, or harvesting the fields, or to
thresh the cereals (in general wheat and
Hence the mutual aid, which was originally a vital necessity, became very
quickly, it seems, an institution thoroughly codified, equal for all, accepted
by all even with its imperfections.
or repair roads, public places, fountains and to develop public lands.
For the benefit of individuals, the men of the village
have to intervene each time that someone is engaged
in a difficult job such as: transport of the framework
for a house, millstones for the mill, impossibility of
picking up olives or other fruits, or harvesting the
fields, or to thresh the cereals (in general wheat and
barley). Hence the mutual aid, which was originally a
vital necessity, became very quickly, it seems, an institution thoroughly codified, equal for all, accepted
by all even with its imperfections. But in parallel to
this official administration that everyone is subjected
to, willingly or not, the spirit of mutuality and cooperation plays freely with affinities within the tikherubin and families.
This free cooperation is called twiza or more exactly
tiwizi. The day of tiwizi is a day of celebration, which
brings together all the members of a collectivity, on
which intestine quarrels are forgotten. Some verses
sung during tiwizi are:
A yiwaziwen
O helpers!
Rebbi a ken-ioawen May God help you
Kemmelt-ap tirni
Continue your work
Akka d asawen
All the way to the top of the hill
A yiwaziwen
Ay at ccemla
Kemmelt-ap tirni
Alamma d laoca

O helpers!
With turbans
Continue your work
Until sunset.

Page 8

Iwaziwen are workers, but happy workers. Happy to be

young or happy in strength of age, happy to show off
this strength to the women who flatter them by their
singing, in sometimes audacious verses that they brilliantly extemporize, taken in their game, more excited
than men. And since the young women observe, sing
and, maliciously, are able to indirectly address one man
or another, to demonstrate a preference, flirtingly show
a kind of consent or vague promise, the work without
failure will be continued to the top of the hill and nobody will think of stopping until sunset.
This is what is tiwizi: a rural festival comparable to Dionysius, a pretext to express ones joy and health, an opportunity to glorify the gods of the earth, harvests,
melted since centuries in the mould of Allah the Unique
One, but being able to still manifest themselves individually in favor of the believers thanks to the old oaks
and oleasters that remain their traditional shelter.
When I was young, I participated in these spectacular
rural festivals. I remember them as a collective communion between people of my Takherubt: uncles, aunts,
cousins, sisters, more than hundred people, all together
in the field, from the morning till evening, to pick up
olives of the most fortunate among us. This field without limits that spreads over the whole mountain, from
the top to the bottom of the valley, we had the impression, we the children of the poor, that it was ours on this
day, while before, it was a kind of inaccessible paradise
where we boldly entered (without permission) to pick
up a fruit. Olives that my sister picked up, I had the impression that they belonged to me as much as my fortunate cousin, to prove it to him I wickedly trampled small
heaps to use them to draw on schist rock.
In the middle of the day, we gathered around the dishes,
in the sun on beds made of olive tree leaves and we
drank from the neck of the huge water jugs the fresh
water scooped out from the creek. Then the men restarted to hit the olive trees branches with long sticks, in
order to shake down the olives, the women picked up
the fallen olives and the children carted the baskets of
olives onto the courtyard made of beaten earth in front
of the hut.
Whether it is for the harvest of grain, the gathering of
olives, figs or grapes, the land lord reserves the best lot
to tiwizi (the group of voluntary workers). It is a rule
that no one can ignore, a compulsory concession to his
For all other parcels, he can do as he pleases, such as
hiring workers, choosing participants whom he would

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pay with a third or a quarter of their harvest, renting such

and such plot, that he cannot exploit, to less fortunate
people. And the same rule requires that those who have
worked for him, during the season, those who have relations, in one way or another, with him come to the day of
tiwizi. They come to work or to assist to the show, but at
least to participate in the meal and to enliven the day.
For the youth, the hardest workers and the agile workers,
they know that it is necessary to confront one another under
the mocking look of women, the strictest of referees. Nobody
evades the competition and one is sure that at the end of day,
the task at hand will be easily fulfilled

In principle, on the day of tiwizi, a portion of the harvest

is reserved to the participants. So, after having reserved
his best plot to the members of the community, having
fed them well, the owner distributes, to all the members
of the community, his symbolic give away, which is an
act of affectionate submission that strengthens the relations and is also a likely mean of stopping disagreements.
After an expensive tiwizi, the rich farmer could say that
No one can brag to not need others , but one should
not make such a mistake because tiwizi is not only a filial homage of the individual to the group, it is especially,
in all circumstances, an efficient and basic assistance that
the group offers to one of their own in difficulty. Being
able to give a tiwizi without a real need, is an affectation
of the rich man accepted by all with joy. Here is another
emotional form of tiwizi, the one that consists of relieving families from all the materiel worries at the time of
death or to provide food sustenance, by a spontaneous
and discrete collection, to those in need.
Finally, except for these special cases, direct mutual help
is part of everyday habits that we call timaawna. We
lend arms in the same way that we lend a plow, a pair of
oxen or braise that will make a fire in a home. All of this
is for the same good reason of being parents, living together and being neighbors. But truth be told, are such
customs peculiar to only the farmer of this country and
It is precisely because under any latitude, the peasant
resembles himself. What ever the peasant realized elsewhere in the field of agrarian cooperation seems in the
same way possible to be realizable here. And, if they
have the means, the questions of adaptation will only be
a minor one. This is at least our conviction.


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(continued from Page 5 )

Yeneq weqcic er bab-s, yenna:
A baba ilaq ad nerr aqecwal-a er wexxam-nne.
I wumi i s-nesra? Ur t-newa ara!

Awwah a baba, a t-newi! Acu i-deg ara k-id-rre

asmi ara tuale d amar akka am Jeddi? Argaz
yewhem deg awalen yesla. Imeyyez, yufa yessexse deg
wayen yexdem. Yezzi er baba-s, yessuter degs ssme,
yerfed-d aqecwal-nni akk d wemar, ualen-d di tlata s
Tamacahutt-iw tekfa..

Once upon a time there lived a man, his wife,

his son, and his widowed father. The wife didn't like her
father in law and wanted to get rid of him as soon as
possible. She ordered her husband to take him away to
the forest and abandon him there. The husband was
hesitant to do that at first but eventually gave in to the
strict demands of his wife.
Thus, one morning, he woke his father up and loaded
him in a big basket called aqeshwal or aqecwal. It
was a very sad day and there was a lot of crying.
The grandson, hearing all the commotion woke up and
inquired about what was happening. When his father
told him he was going to the forest he begged to go
along with him. His father hesitated at first but then
decided to take him along anyway. They walked deep
into the forest and then came the time the father
thought it was the right spot to leave his father. He
unloaded him down and was ready to head back home.
His son shouted: "Dad, aren't you going to bring the
basket back home?"
The father replied: "Son, we don't need the basket
The son replied back: "Dad, I need it so I can carry
you to the forest when you are very old like Grandpa!"
The father immediately realized the big mistake he was
going to make. He sincerely apologized to his father
and brought him back home.

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Page 1,

Teaching Tamazight :
the Canadian Experience
Karim Achab*

hree multi-level classes of Tamazight have

been opened in two Canadian public schools in
Ottawa since September 2000. These classes
are mandated under the Ministry of Education
of Ontario through its International Languages Program
within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
(OCDSB). Two of these classes are available to
elementary school-age children (Junior kindergarten to
Grade 8), while the third class is open to secondary level
students as well as to adults without any restriction of
age or origin. All three classes take place on Saturday
morning, from September to June. The present article
focuses on the experience regarding the secondary level
class, which I have been teaching since its inception, in
September 2001.
The International Languages Program
The International Languages Program, mandated under
the Ministry of Education of Ontario, aims at teaching
languages other than English and French provided there
is a cultural or linguistic community that speaks the
language in the attendance area administered by the
local district school board. Through this program, the
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has been
providing instruction in various languages in Ottawa for
over 25 years. This is just one of the numerous examples
that illustrate how Canada values and respects cultures
and identities whose roots lie elsewhere. We can read in
the website of the Ministry of Education of Ontario,
Language programs also introduce students to the
heritage of other societies, and so increase their
awareness and appreciation of other cultures. Through
the study of languages, students gain a greater
understanding of the perspectives of the different
peoples who comprise Canadas diverse society, and
develop a deeper appreciation of and respect for the
identity, rights, and values of others. Knowing the ban
and denial imposed upon Tamazight by the different
regimes in North Africa, these words certainly sound
more significant to our ears than initially meant by their
I remember very well how animated we all were -

We can read in the website of the Ministry

of Education of Ontario, Language programs also introduce students to the heritage of other societies, and so increase
their awareness and appreciation of other
cultures. Through the study of languages,
students gain a greater understanding of
the perspectives of the different peoples
who comprise Canadas diverse society,
and develop a deeper appreciation of and
respect for the identity, rights, and values of
others. Knowing the ban and denial imposed upon Tamazight by the different regimes in North Africa, these words certainly sound more significant to our ears
than initially meant by their authors I remember very well how animated we all
were - students, parents, community members, and teachers alike - the first day our
Tamazight program started.
students, parents, community members, and teachers
alike - the first day our Tamazight program started. It is
the aim of this article to share this somehow unusual
experience with the Amazigh community, and more
particularly with those concerned with the defense and
promotion of Tamazight.
Tamazight in the Ontario Curriculum
The secondary level Tamazight program contains four
distinct courses, corresponding to grades 9, 10, 11, and
12, in conformity with the requirements outlined in the
Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 and 10: Classical and
International Languages, 1999; and the Ontario
Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12: Program Planning and
Assessment, 2000. These courses are accepted as credits
in the students credentials towards a high school

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T he A m a zig h V oice

diploma. An additional fifth level has recently been

added, that is meant to give students the opportunity of
one more year of exposure to the target language in an
academic environment. These courses are not restricted
to secondary school students as they are also open to
adults within the community. The program aims at
developing the language knowledge and communication
skills of students.
On average, about 24 students register for the secondary
level course every year, while about half of them mostly high school and university students - attend on a
regular basis. This secondary class is multilevel because
the number of registered students is not high enough to
open more than one class. Therefore, the content of the
course sometimes needs adjustments so as to meet the
needs of the students. However, two main levels within
the course may be distinguished, which correspond to
native and non-native speakers.
Native speakers
The first class that started in September 2001 and
finished in June 2006 was essentially composed of native
speakers who had spent a period of their lives in
Kabylia, a Tamazight speaking region in Algeria, before
immigrating to Canada with their parents. Thus, when
they started the program they were already fluent in
Tamazight. Their needs therefore were not about
acquiring basic linguistic skills; the students were
instead interested in learning how to write the language.
This first year was therefore devoted to the notational
system based on the Latin alphabet in use among
Tamazight scholars. This instruction was given in
parallel with teaching the grammar of the language,
where the rules and the mechanisms governing the
language were revealed along with the different parts of
speech used in .
Tamazight including nouns, verbs, prepositions,
pronouns, adverbs, participles and adjectives. During the
first year, I had to make up the didactic material myself
from the different books and notes I had compiled while
I was a student of Tamazight at the Institut National des
Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris (INALCO).
For the following year, the OCDSB made available to us
25 copies of the book entitled Afus n Tmucuha, written
by the Amazigh linguist and scholar Madjid Allaoua.
Later on, thanks to a subsidy from the OCDSB a number
of books and dictionaries were shipped to us from
Algeria, with the help of the Amazigh-Cultural
Association in Ottawa-Hull (ACAOH). The Amazigh
Cultural Association in America (ACAA) also

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contributed dictionaries, as a reward to the most

assiduous students.
Once the basic writing principles were acquired, we
were then in a position to explore different texts from
various resources including the encyclopedic Fichier de
Documentation Berbre. The students showed
tremendous interest in all academic fields pertaining to
Tamazight, including the historical background of the
Tamazight language studies, the development of its
notational system, poetry, history, sociology, and
anthropology of the Amazigh, geography of the
Tamazight speaking areas in north Africa, oral literature
and so forth. All these topics were explored through
texts from various resources including the written
literature produced in the late 19th and early 20th
century by , among others, Said Boulifa, Belkacem Ben
Sedira, Renet Basset, Andre Basset, Hanoteau,
Letourneau, when Tamazight had its place in academic
institutions during the colonization era. The content of
the texts studied was so rich that they revealed to us
hidden facets of the Tamazight language, culture,
literature and civilization including such diverse aspects
as sociological, anthropological and psychological traits
of the Amazigh society. The students interest in all
these different aspects was so high that they contributed
with group-based research in the topics of their choice.
The result of their research was presented to the rest of
the class, in Tamazight.
The Saturday morning Tamazight classes also provided
the students an opportunity to meet, to share their
childhood memories, tell jokes and riddles in
Tamazight and listen to Kabyl music. The students also
took part in a cultural event organized every year at
Glebe Collegiate, the high school where secondary level
Tamazight classes take place; here, they performed
choreographic shows representing different facets of
Kabyl life in the village, at home, and working in the
fields. Two years ago we acted out the ritual Anzar, the
pagan god of rain in ancient Amazigh paganism who is
paid tribute when drought jeopardizes the harvests.
Luckily enough, it rained cats and dogs in the aftermath
for the whole weekend and we were all amazed at the
timing. The following Saturday, in jest, I apologized to
the administrative staff at Glebe Collegiate on behalf of
Tamazight students for causing such a deluge.
Obviously, they got the joke.
Non-native speakers
While most of the students attending between
September 2001 and June 2006 were native speakers, a

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new category of learners, namely those who left Kabylia

at a very early age, started to arrive after September
2006. These new learners had not been exposed to a
Tamazight speaking environment for a sufficient period
of time to learn the language. Given that the number of
students was not high enough to open more than one
class, non-native speakers who have little or no
knowledge in Tamazight are incorporated in the same
class as native speakers, which makes the class a multilevel one. Accordingly, the course has to be adjusted in
order to meet the needs of some students, although
grammar and spelling courses were common to both
categories of learners. Obviously, the needs as well as
the challenges of non-native speaker learners are
different from those of native speakers. Although it is
too soon to decide whether such challenges are being
overcome, we can identify some issues which have
arisen so far.
The first issue that imperatively needs to be settled is
what to teach at what level. In other words, we need to
determine the content and the concepts, including
grammar and vocabulary, to teach at each level. The
second issue is how to teach the level-specific content
once determined. We all know that the strategies used by
previous generations among Amazigh emigrants, mostly
in Europe, to transmit the Tamazight language to their
children are no longer valid as current generations of
parents speak less and less Tamazight to their kids at
home. Most of the existing textbooks devised for the
teaching of Tamazight are unsuitable, not to mention the
criteria required for teaching Tamazight as a second
language. As a matter of fact, from the language
acquisition perspective, Tamazight taught to learners
born or brought up in Canada has to be viewed as a
second language. Another challenge that needs to be
addressed is the one concerning lack of words in
academic and scientific domains. Thus far, discussions
in Tamazight have been confined to prosaic topics. As
soon as one starts talking about a scientific or academic
subject we feel the need to switch to another language
for lack of appropriate vocabulary.
All these issues reveal how underprivileged Tamazight
is as compared to other languages taught at the OCDSB,
notably in the exploration of the interdisciplinary
approach advocated by the International Languages
Program: The study of classical and international
languages leads naturally to the exploration of topics
related to the language under study and the culture of
which it forms part. Such topics include art, history,
geography, and social customs. Consequently, courses in
classical and international languages lend themselves to

Page 12

an interdisciplinary approach. Subject matter from any

course in classical and international languages can be
combined with subject matter from one or more courses
in other disciplines to create an interdisciplinary course.
The policies and procedures relating to the development
of interdisciplinary courses are outlined in the
interdisciplinary studies curriculum policy document.
All these issues raised above point to the urgent
necessity for the Tamazight language to be taken care
of by specialists working in such different academic
areas as linguistics, language teaching, and language
All in all, the experience of Tamazight teaching in
Ottawa is typical from many perspectives. Other than
the academic aspect mentioned above, this experience
also highlights the contrast between the regimes in
North Africa and Canada in the way states and
governments treat their own citizens with respect to
their culture and their identity. It helps Canadian
citizens of Amazigh origin to keep in touch with their
roots, and thus gives them the feeling of belonging
which responds to a basic human instinct. The Canadian
mosaic model of multiculturalism is praised worldwide.
Mosaic is not simply a metaphor, as we see its reality
every Saturday morning at Glebe Collegiate in Ottawa.
We see the name of Tamazight listed prominently
among international languages although the Amazigh
community is itself substantially modest in terms of
number. Therefore the Canadian model of multiculturalism protects and guarantees the visibility and the
promotion of the undersized. This undoubtedly is an
advantage over the US multicultural melting pot model,
let alone the French Jacobin model, at war against
multiculturalism disguised as anti-communautarisme
to make it sound more legitimate. As to the attitude
towards Tamazight adopted by the regimes in North
Africa, it is just another story.
* Karim Achab graduated from the University of
Ottawa with a Ph.D. in linguistics. He also holds a license
degree in Tamazight studies obtained from the Institut
National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO).
He is currently working as a part-time professor at the
University of Ottawa and as a postdoctoral researcher in

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UCLA Lecture on Ancient Berbers

Helene E. Hagan *

recently received an invitation to attend a lecture

entitled The Ancient Berbers which was sponsored the African Studies Center of the University
of California in Los Angeles, on April 27. I was
definitely intrigued by the short paragraph that promised
a new interpretation of the structures that supported the
existence of ancient Berbers. The lecturer, Dr. Ramzi
Rouighi, received his Ph D in history from Columbia
University and teaches medieval and modern Middle
Eastern and African history at USC, Los Angeles.
Dr. Rouighi opened his PowerPoint presentation with an
apology about the fact that his research is ongoing and
far from being completed and that the theory he was
about to introduce was a result of preliminary research.
He then introduced the topic by stating that Berbers
did not exist as such in ancient time, that there were no
Berbers at the time the Arabs invaded North Africa and
that the term Berber was a social category that
emerged out of Andalusian history in medieval times,
around the 9th century.
With the help of archaic maps, Dr. Rouighi proceeded to
demonstrate that the region of North Africa known today
as the Maghreb was known to ancient historians under
other names and that the existence of Berbers was not
recorded by those historians. The Greeks, he said, used
the word of Barbaroi to describe many groups outside
the Greek culture, and not necessarily and restrictively to
designate the inhabitants of that region. Indeed, the only
part of a Ptolemaic map that contained the word
Barbaria was located in eastern Africa and not in the
When the Arabs invaded North Africa, they found Romans and Byzantines, and essentially the Arab conquest
transferred the rule over the region from the Romans to
the Arabs. At this point, having refrained from making
any comments about the lack of information provided by
Dr. Rouighi on a Berber presence from prehistoric to
Roman times, I inquired of him what he made of the
Treaty of Barca. In Arabic documents on the conquest of
North Africa, the 1643 Treaty of Barca in Cyrenaica
(Libya) marks the first success of the invading forces
over Berber forces, and the imposition of a war tax on
the Berber people including several hundred heads of
women and children in annual payment. (1) The Arabic
record also indicates that this Treaty was a prototype for

the treatment of other Berber groups brought into submission during the next few decades, from Libya to the Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Rouighi stated that he did not know what I was talking about and had never heard of that treaty, but that he
would get back to these matters later. He never did, of
course. He went on rapidly covering the period of the
conquest of North Africa in a few words, passing almost
immediately into a time and place with which he was evidently more familiar, the medieval period of Al Andalous
that followed the conquest of Iberia. In Iberia, he indicated, ethnic identities were not immediately at issue. A
Latin Chronicle that covered the years 611-754 does not
mention any Berbers but refers to people originating
from Mauritania (presumably Mauritania Tingitana, the
Roman province of what is now northern Morocco.) It is
not until the 9th century AD in Al Andalus that a social
category of Berbers emerged as the original inhabitants of the Maghreb, to differentiate them from
Arabs. The semantic term Arab itself, according to Dr.
Rouighi, had a different meaning in that context from that
in the Middle East. To be an Arab in the world of Al Andalus meant to be part of an elite of Arabic descent.
Then, as Dr. Rouighi entered the domain of linguistics,
someone in the room immediately asked whether Berbers

He then introduced the topic by stating that

Berbers did not exist as such in ancient
time, that there were no Berbers at the time
the Arabs invaded North Africa and that the
term Berber was a social category that
emerged out of Andalusian history in medieval times, around the 9th century.
With the help of archaic maps, Dr. Rouighi
proceeded to demonstrate that the region of
North Africa known today as the Maghreb
was known to ancient historians under other
names and that the existence of Berbers
was not recorded by those historians.

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spoke Arabic or another language, and I quickly made

the comment that even now, there were over 30 million
people in North Africa speaking Tamazight, or some
form of Tamazight. I also mentioned that the very word
Berber was a word alien to the vocabulary used by the
original inhabitants of North Africa who call themselves
Amazigh, and that the word Berber was a label imposed by outsiders, not a term of self-reference. A
woman remarked that the period of history under study
was the 9th century and not the present, and I replied that
the present only reflected continuity with the past under
consideration. Dr. Rouighi then skimmed over the linguistic question entirely to summarize and conclude
the lecture.
In conclusion, he brought out a quote from The Berbers, the book by Brett and Fentress. The quote pointed
to the numerous dialects spoken by the inhabitants of
North Africa, sometimes incomprehensible to each other,
and how difficult it is to refer to groups of people with
disparate customs as a nation of Berbers. Similarly, he
concluded, there were no Berbers in ancient times, let
alone proto-Berbers in archaic times. The Berber
seems to be a semantic innovation introduced in medieval times.
An African American man made the remark that when
the Arabs invaded North Africa, they met people of his
skin color, black Africans, and those were the Moors of
medieval times. Another African American man made
the comment that it was useless to categorize people by
skin color or other physical features, anyway, since we
all come from Africa, and differences are all human invention. Dr. Rouighi protested that such a simplistic
approach merely states that we are all belong to the same
humanity, but that the subject of history is precisely to
investigate how human beings variously formulate ideas
and convictions, and that this work is a valuable one.
I remarked that indeed statements such as the quote he
selected point to the richness and diversity of elements
pertaining to an Amazigh culture with ancient roots predating the arrival of Arabs in North Africa, and that the
history of this culture has heretofore been mostly written
by non-Amazigh historians, but this may not be the case
in the future. I added that the book titled The Berbers
that Dr. Rouighi quoted is a very basic book and that
more sophisticated research has been conducted for instance by Dr. Malika Hachid and her team in Algeria,
and couched in her remarkable book Les Premiers Berberes.
In a near future, more works written by
Amazigh historians will be published. One is scheduled
for publication in the United States in 2007.

Page 14

I remarked that indeed statements such as

the quote he selected point to the richness
and diversity of elements pertaining to an
Amazigh culture with ancient roots predating the arrival of Arabs in North Africa,
and that the history of this culture has heretofore been mostly written by non-Amazigh
historians, but this may not be the case in the
future. I added that the book titled The Berbers that Dr. Rouighi quoted is a very basic
book and that more sophisticated research
has been conducted

In my opinion, such a lecture did not present the available

ample record that exists on Amazigh groups in North Africa, from the time of the Egyptian civilization to the end
of the Roman era. The lecture did not depict the nature of
the Arab invasion and its encounter with Berber resistance throughout North Africa, from Libya to the Atlantic
Ocean. Its emphasis on the emergence of the semantic
category of Berbers as a medieval phenomenon taking
place in Al Andalus to differentiate between an elite
Arab caste and the original inhabitants of the Maghreb
is in my view a contrived theory which attempts to revision history as if to fit a political agenda of some sort.
(1) In 642, an Arab general under the rule of Caliph
Umar I, by the name of Amr Ibn Al As , invaded Libya
from Egypt, conquered the province of Cyrenaica and
established his headquarters in Barca. There was fierce
Berber resistance in Tripolitania for years, broken by the
forces of a subsequent invasion under Uqba Ibn Nafi. In
his march across North Africa, Uqba Ibn Nafi applied the
same rule of taxing each subdued group with a heavy war
tax including an annual contingent of slaves as part of the
* Helene Hagan is an ACAA member and a regular contributor to the Amazigh Voice.

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T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

The Ethnologist
by Tarik Yacine
(Translated from French by R. Dahmani**)

Akli, the hero of this novel stated that the struggle for his culture was deadlier than the one for the liberation of his
country. This statement would be so prophetic if Aklis story were not a fiction. In a narrative style, mastered to perfection, Tarik Yacine takes us back into the Kafkaian atmosphere of the early militants for the revival of the Amazigh
culture, during the Algerian Liberation War. Akli was suspected of holding a subversive document because it was
written in an unknown alphabet to the French soldiers: the Tifinagh.
*Tarik Yacine is a French language teacher at a high school in Kabylia, Algeria.

hey have just brought a new prisoner. The

skull ploughed with a razor that left small
islands with thin hair in some places, and
barely healed scares in others. He had
blackened eyes from sleep deprivation, a tired head on
top of a thin silhouette.
Tapping on his shoulders, as one does to a friend, the
compassionate-looking sergeant made him move
towards the middle of the room where walls and floor
were perfectly organized in large blocs of cut stones,
which are relics of the ancient roman thermal baths
where the resisting Numides served as bait for the
starved morays. These stones, the humidity of the place,
and the resonating sounds that could be produced were
what was left of the decor used for these scenes, which
were almost identical to those of ancient times. In the
meantime, electricity and detergent were invented.
You see over there, little Akli? I know that you know
him, he is from the same region as you. People know
each other in the tribe, dont they? He is not a pleasant
sight, huh? You better talk then, says the sergeant to
the newcomer, while rubbing the back of his neck,
already saturated with sweat and the ambient moisture.
The one the sergeant was showing him, by making him
turn his head towards one area of the room, did not any
longer look like the Akli he knew before. The person he
was looking at in that moment was a wreck. He
resembled a piece of a man, huddled up in a corner of
the torture room, which used to be the ancient
purgatory. He barely perceived what was being said or
done around him. The poor idealist has just gone
through the whole panoply of the profession practiced
there. The quest for information stopped when pain had

no more effect on the body. To overcome his suffering,

his spirit reread some passages from La question, by
Henry Alleg, that he, fortunately for him, had finished
right before his arrest. At that moment, he had most of
the answers to that question. He thought that, perhaps,
the experience of a non-native would help him better
resist. Akli doubted that the Operation jumelles
would spare anyone. Even domestic animals were
suspected. Between his patriotism and the horrible
reality he was living through, the gap widened and time
expanded. During these moments, he only remembered
the last sentence from the interrogating officer: Kill
In another area of the room, this one well lit, seated
around a table to take a break were two hefty men, with
hairy arms and chest, reviewing the documents they
found at Aklis place after his arrest. When they were
shown to him, pressed against his face to the point of
choking him, he smelled the scent of his house, saw the
faces of his elderly mother, his five children, and his
pregnant wife. He almost forgot about his excruciating
pain. He hoped that later on his folks would understand.
He was not trying to forgive himself for the risks they
were taking. He was prepared. For him, destiny is not
written in advance, it is written when they take him by
his throat. Only the idea of separation, maybe too early,
made him sad. To love his country is his way of loving
his family.
Something that looked like a letter particularly
interested the two soldiers. It was a text written in
characters they had never seen. They knew some
Sanskrit, and heard about ancient Chinese characters. If
they were hieroglyphs, they had Champollion to

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decipher them. They spent hours trying to make Akli

confess to the coded nature of the message, destined for
the resistance. Deep inside, Akli started to believe that his
struggle for his culture was deadlier than the one for the
liberation of his country. They went on picking at this
paper, yellowed by the passing time and blackened by its
handling with dirty hands. With their eyes wide open,
pleated along the front, they strove hard for a hypothetical
key to this enigma.
Despite Aklis insistence that the characters had been
used in North Africa for a long time, they were not
convinced. The answer from the dominated was too easy
to be accepted by the dominant. The whole armada that
came to Aklis bedside was convinced that it was a secret
code. How could he explain to them that there were only
few, in this vast country, who could write with these
characters? That he was among the handful indigenous
who were trying to safeguard this heritage, under
colonization and in the middle of a war of liberation, for
which he was being tortured? He read and reread,
translated and retranslated many times the content of this
letter from an old friend and relative who helped him
discover the writings of his ancestors. My spiritual
father, as he liked to call him. On occasions they helped
him sit down, since he could no longer do it on his own,
supporting him on each side and helping him keep his
eyes open so that he could coherently read this scrabble,
and tell the truth as he should have done in the first place.
That is, a coded message between the members of the
His stubbornness was suicidal. He already heard the
sentence that awaited him. He thought about his past, and
the first event that came to mind happened at some point
in his life, fifteen years ago, well before the beginning of
the war of independence. A phrase from an old colleague,
Georges, a civil servant like him, came to mind. It was the
day in his office, from which he was expelled because of
his subversive activities while he was a young clandestine
militant of the Parti du Peuple Algrien (Algerian
Peoples Party), also clandestine, when he was thoroughly
answering a letter from his old friend Da Mohand,
professor of Berber language and script. They were
proudly writing each other in this language, like
clandestine linguists. They were exchanging their
opinions on the consequences of the end of the Second
World War. Akli had almost been drafted. He was a
studious kid who knew that he had to persevere. Claiming
back their history was, at best, chimerical. But, there they
were, firmly convinced that they came from somewhere
and that the Gaulois were not their ancestors. Georges has
just come in and approached Akli to greet him. As he

Page 16

Wanting to impress the speaker, he looked at him from

the bottom up and answered: This is our script; it is
called Tifinagh, the script of the Berbers of all of North
Africa. Huh, because you have a script, joked Georges, who quickly added: you are not serious? But of
course we are! Here is the proof, replied Akli, pointing
towards the text he had yet to finish writing. Hence
Georges had this reaction that triggered off Aklis recollection. You know, Akli, you are doing an autopsy on
a cadaver.
Having lost his father prematurely due to silicosis he
contracted while working in the mines of northern
France, it was thanks to his uncle Ali that he had the
chance to go to school. With his indigenous education
certificate in his possession, his pronounced desire for
literature was his first means of research. His fondness
for history was the source of his essays that took him to
the writings of Ibn Khaldoun. He was a melon1 proud
of his melonness, as he liked to say at his political
meetings. When the village youth came to buy bread
from the bakery that he run with his cousins, he enjoyed
talking to them about Hannibal, Jugurtha, and Tariq Ibn
Zyad. It was with a preachers fervor that he preached
about his heroes who wrote about those rare times when
his fellow-countrymen were not pariahs. To explain to
them that they were not born to be submissive, he
could, with the ease of a historian apprentice, go back
all the way to biblical times, including Noah, if necessary.
During these history lessons, at the entrance to the bakery, it happened that on the opposite sidewalk a Cad 2
would walk by followed by his flock licking his white
burnous. With the ritual salamalec of allegiance,
stooped for a moment, and, being aware of their indoctrination of dissent, starred on top of his oiled moustache at these youth who never greeted him, and almost
disdained him. With his look he signified to them that
he was not a fool. One day he told Akli, who was surrounded by his comrades: If the path you are trying to
follow at this time were to get you somewhere one day,
I would have been the first one to follow you, before
anybody else. This handful of rebellious youth was not
sensitive to the words of the one who represented the
opposite of their aspirations, and the negation of their
self-affirmation. These were rather scrutinizing this
olive oil flowing from his mustache, thinking that it
could only be a gift or a bribe against a more bearable
life of these poor peasants for whom the Cad became a
representative of God here on earth. This has almost
been legitimized when the Cad made the village religious representatives say in a perfect Kabyl that: the

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T he A m a zig h V oice

state is in the image of God, we owe it our obedience.

Our rebellious youth in turn knew how to use the best
arguments from this same religion to recruit their faithful.
During these albeit short rambling moments, Akli
thought about long stretches of his own history. Faces
and scenes rapidly paraded, in a total chaos, in this skull
that could bear no more. Images that his memory wanted
to project to him, to comfort his loneliness and dismay.
As if to save them from a physical death. The main summary of this lived life, as predicted by common destiny,
when all this little world would be gone up there, it
would come back to life with its proofs. Because, in the
interlude of these successive sequences, he could not
avoid thinking to what awaited him, or ignore this last
sentence from the officer that became a master of his
destiny and that still resonated like a death knell which
would have participated in its own death. That sentence
always brought him back to this reality from which his
spirit has always tried to escape.
The projection of these images continued in this spirit
over which he has no control, to the liking of another
Akli nestled deep inside him who just got full freedom to
talk. The decor caught up with the characters and events.
From within his head, he was holding on to the old stone
houses and old red roof tiles, he walked along the cactus
hedges, crossed the olive groves, cheered up by the yellow color of the blossoming broom under a blue sky, felt
the taste of sainfoin (tasulla) stems in his mouth, and
listened, with an exceptional enjoyment, to the frou-frou
of the fig leaves, as they were moved by the see breeze.
There existed in this endearing nature that he embraced
with his guts, a harmony that did not exist in his fellow
humans. Suffering returned to him anew, as he thought
that he could no longer gaze at, smell, and feel this
mother nature.
The door at the entrance of this roman site, which was
grossly rehabilitated for the same ancient needs,
squeaked. It was a thick and heavy metallic door that
was rusted by the marine air. Shafts of light emerged
around a man as he entered. The people present came to
life with straight faces and tightened their posture to

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I ssue 1

stand at attention, while the imposing character closed the

door with an identical squeaking noise that closed off the
daylight. For the captain who was there for the news, the
information is what mattered. The manner was left for the
inventiveness of his subordinates.
The sergeant approached his captain to read the report.
Sir, we found a coded message with the guy from Tigzirt. We could not extract any information from it. The
lieutenant thinks that we should sent it to Algiers. He said
that there, they have had more experience with this stuff.
Show me that, requested the captain. As he handed the
piece of paper, the sergeant resumed with the same pep:
This scum is talking nonsense since this morning, and he
speaks our language very well. The captain, whose face
we could say that it was illuminated, became surprisingly
interested. The sight of this piece of paper produced sparkles in the eyes of this unsuspected researcher. He approached Akli to address him: You who knows how to
write Tifinagh? Knowing that the word was pronounced
incorrectly, Akli could turn his head for the first time and
lightly acquiesced, with a slightly stunned look. He felt a
sensation of relief. At last an ethnologist, he thought,
now they will know that I speak truthfully. If I have to
die, at least it will be in the name of all truths.
The captain who was waiting for a verbal response then
noticed that Aklis tongue was tumid under the effect of
electricity. He understood that it was hopeless to continue
to make him talk. Looking a little embarrassed, the military man at this instant ordered: Take him back to his
cell!Another short sentence that produced a different
destiny. Akli will live again slowly in a prison camp in
southern Algeria, until independence. He will see his family again, and will discover the last one he did not see being born.
Today, his grave is the only one in the cemetery, where he
is buried, that carries an epitaph in Tifinagh
. aazaa
** Rachid Dahmani is a member of ACAA. He is a regular
contributor to Amazigh Voice

Nickname given to indigenous Algerians

Administrator for indigenous poeple

by French

A comment by Ahcene Medkour

If, in this time of confusion and mistrust, Akli were arrested and tortured by the French army in ignorance of the
Amazigh language and scripts, many young Kabyls were imprisoned for the same reason in post independence Algeria .
In a country that was liberated from foreign domination, young people were punished for their attachment to their
mother tongue and their culture and accused of being a threat to the unity of the new nation. Ironically, some government officials declared Tamazight a legacy of the French colonialism.

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Page 18

Womens Poetry from Kabylia during

the Algerian Liberation War ( 1954-1962 )
by Ramdane Lasheb
(Translated from French by Arezki Boudif)
doubt that oral literature is changing,
evolving. Some inefuring
fective traditions are
the Aldropped (). Conger ia n
versely, other genres
l ib er a of oral literature are
tion war (1954being developed that
1962)1, poetry was
adapt better to the
one of the most
evolution of the modcommon forms in
ern societies seen towhich oral literaday around the world.
ture was expressed.
Besides we can conIt was the expressider that the radio,
sion of women as a
television, advertisesocial group, as
ment, and computers,
well as of the comthe multimedia of
munity as a whole.
tomorrow, are buildA group of Kabyl women singing the traditional poetry
During those years
ing and conveying
during the ceremony
and afterwards, ponew oral forms rangof henni, at a wedding party
etry was a mirror
ing from of the eduthat reflected the
cational (interviews,
concerns, the needs, the dreams, and the values of the
debates, talks and cultural programs) to the more popupeople. Those who investigated this field are
lar (songs, shows, games, concerts, sport, theater, huunanimous to say that it was the heart where the deep
soul of the people flourished" . One can add that this
genre of poetry preserved the memory of the community,
The end of the war that led to the independence of the
through the years and generations. The depositories of
country in 1962 has interrupted the social, anthropothis heritage, whom Rabia3 refers to as the spiritual
logical, as well as political conditions, that allowed the
heirs, can be seen as living libraries4 and a priceless
poetry-of-the- war to thrive, to spread, and to be pretreasure for the researchers (ethnologists, anthropoloserved. Today, only those who participated in its creagists, linguists and others). Unfortunately, these heirs
tion and in its spreading can still sing or recite their powho knew how to immortalize their art, living with it
ems. For this reason, these poems could only be coland by keeping it alive, are leaving one after another,
lected from those women involved in their production,
and taking everything with them. Since the first reduring the war. The compulsory education for the chilcording of these poems in 1992, some of our contacts
dren and the access of women to outside work created a
passed away, taking with them pieces of the treasure we
new situation in which "the mothers role and status
were unable to save.
changed, they are no longer in charge of passing on the
traditional knowledge. () As a consequence, the
Confronted with the modern ways of expression, many
knowledge that was the prerogative of women is lost
genres of oral literature are on the fringe of extinction.
little by little, and the same is happening to oral literaAs stressed out by Chadli, oftentimes, it is just a mutature6. Therefore, its preservation becomes a necessity.
tion to new forms of expression, and he added: " No

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T he A m a zig h V oice

In order to insure the safeguard, the development and the

promotion of our culture, moving to a tradition of written
literature is the best option: " apparently, recording in
writing literary works has been instrumental in the evolution of the major literatures in the world such as Russian, French, Arabic, English, Spanish, etc7
II - Women and the war
Unlike men who often worked outside, women, wives,
were in charge of the home and the education of children. The Kabyl proverb " Tame..ut d llsas$ argaz d
ajgu alemmas" the woman (or the wife) is the foundation, the man (or the husband) the main supporting
beam, describes very well the place the woman holds
within the household and in the Kabyl society in general
(a family is built around a woman). Consequently, she
represents the main channel through which the transmission of the language, the traditions and the oral literature,
in all its components, is achieved.
For the first time, the passion for independence and freedom, led to an armed conflict that involved the entire
society and lasted about seven years. The commitment of
the women in the liberation war was instrumental. The
following numbers will give you a sense of womens
involvement in the region of Kabylia known as the
Wilaya (province) number 3, "In Wilaya III figures of

In Wilaya III figures of female participation.were very high They amounted to 35 %

of the total number of female activists nationwide whereas the population of the
province represented only 17,4 %
Although their handling of weapons was
limited, they certainly were involved in
equally important activities such as logistics for the resistance fighters, intelligence
and communications. They were also at the
forefront in activities such as nursing, supply and management of the shelters. More
importantly, they participated, unknowingly
in the propaganda of the FLN(10) (acronym
for the National Liberation Front) through
their poetry . Women, were then, both the

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female participation were very high. They amounted to 35

% of the total number of female activists nationwide
whereas the population of the province represented only
17,4 %8,9. Although their handling of weapons was limited, they certainly were involved in equally important
activities such as logistics for the resistance fighters, intelligence and communications. They were also at the forefront in activities such as nursing, supply and management of the shelters. More importantly, they participated,
unknowingly in the propaganda of the FLN10 (acronym
for the National Liberation Front) through their poetry .
Women were then both the authors and promoters of this
The executions, the bloodshed and the tears inspired these
poet-activists. In front of this tragedy, these women composed a number of poems telling the village life, the various clashes, and battles with striking details. Naturally,
the resistance fighters were honored and the collaborators
with the French army vilified. The following is an example of such sentiment:

Win yellan d axabit

Ncallah leqder-is yeli
Cfant ula d lxalat
Lba.el ixdem idelli
Ma yemmut yeba yisem-is
Ma yedder leqder ur t-isi
The Traitor
He who is a traitor
May God disgrace him
Women will also remember
The harm he caused yesterday
Dead, his name will be forgotten
Alive, he will be a subject of shame.

This poetry was born in the context of, and for the war of
liberation. It was a collective work of illiterate women.
There is a legitimate question to ask: who are the authors
of these poems? The women involved in composing this
poetry are unanimous to say (d nekenti ak), all of us! Although those among these women who have some natural
inclination for poetry recognize some pieces as theirs,
they all assert gladly that they contributed to its spreading
by singing them on occasions: They were a broadcasting
Every village had its repertoire of poetry. Its zone of exe-

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T he A m a zig h V oice

cution rarely exceeded the geographical boundaries of

the village. Pieces of this poetry were sung or declaimed
in solo or in a chorus. The public was in perfect communion, and the poems were well appreciated and endorsed.
We have noticed that the audience of that period was
sensitive only to one theme, that of militancy which was
in a perfect accordance with the political role of resistance. Moral support for the resistance fighters reached
levels that these women were unable to imagine or conceptualize. An officer cadet (Aspirant) by the name of
Aissa Blinde made this stunning confession, saying: "
When I hear womens dinghies (Tiratin), I lose my
mind and I run straight ahead, firing at the enemys positions. In general, by listening to the poems of the war
and/or women dinghies, our fighters turn into tanks capable of returning the most desperate situations11. That
is the reason why, women poets performances were
sometimes used for political propaganda purposes, and
to enhance national awareness. These poems also provided moral support for the families of the resistance
fighters, as exemplified by this one:
Tilawin n yemjuhad
Tilawin n yemjuhad
Berkamt iciddi n lfuva
Irgazen-nkent deg wedrar
Lmitrayuz a tesqaqay
Rebbi ad kem-isebba\r a yemma-s
Ad am-d-yawi luriya
Resistance Fighters Wives
O wives of the resistance fighters!
Stop your coquetry
Your husbands are in the mountains
Firing machine guns
May God comfort their mothers
Whom they left for the sake of freedom.
III - Historic approach:
Today more than ever, it is obvious that the poetry of the

war played a major historic role. Not only were the poems remarkable by their number, but also by what they
represented as historic evidence that will be an instrument in the writing of the history of the war " The Kabyl
oral poetry of resistance is a historic poetry because it
takes its origin from a genuine historicity that arose from
factual historic events12. The poems were exclusively

Page 2,

When I hear womens dinghies (Tiratin), I

lose my mind and I run straight ahead, firing
at the enemys positions. In general, by listening to the poems of the war and/or women
dinghies, our fighters turn into tanks capable
of returning the most desperate situations
collected from the women who composed them during the
war. As previously stated, rare are those women of the
after war generations who preserved them.
Even today "these poems managed to keep a special
status as they are recited and sung only to evoke a striking
historic situation" wrote Ben Brahim. As if they were suspended in some timeless space, far from any falsification,
they remained authentic; what makes them an inescapable
element for the writing of history of the war of liberation.
In other words, the oral literature generally and the poetry
of the war in particular, thus become an unexplored field
waiting to benefit history: " not only, can it be a historic
document, it can also be, a historic production of a history
molded by its producer13, wrote Lacoste Dujardin. It was
a powerful tool that allows the description of events the
way they were witnessed, as shown by the following

La.ak ikkren di ssaa

Ay teqwa lmuta
Kul yiwen isriddim izri-s
Yiwen yuli tazemmurt
Yewwet-d er tmurt
Di ssaa idda lemr-is
Yelsa abernus n lubar
Aqrab yeur d lakis
Wwin-t er Larba ttqelliben tamurt-is
The battle was sudden
The dead were many
Everybody was moved
From an olive tree, a survivor
Counterattacked vainly
He succumbed shortly after
Dressed with a camel wool burnous*
Carrying, in a bag, the funds of the front
The enemy took him to Larbaa*** to be identified14

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I ssue 1


*Burnous = Kabyl clothing in the shape of a cape.

** Front = relates to the National Liberation Front.
***Larbaa = a city in Kabylia.

COURRIERRE YVES ; 1992 La guerre dAlgrie, le temps

des colonels, Rahma,Alger.
DEJEUX JEAN ; 1983 La posie algrienne de 1830 nos
jours, Paris, Publisud, Alger.


A/EVENO P et PLANCHAIS J ;1990 La guerre dAlgrie, dossiers et tmoignages, Laphomic Paris .

FERAOUN MOULOUD ; 1989 Les isefra de Si Mouhend ou Mhend, Bouchne Alger;
GUENOUN ALI ; 1999 Chronologie du mouvement
national, Casba, Alger ;
KEDDACHE MAHFOUD ; 2003 Et lAlgrie se libra, 1954-1962, EDIF 2000 Mditerrane, Paris.
contre les femmes, La dcouverte, Paris.
AMRANE DJAMILA ;1991 Rpartition gographique des
militantes de la guerre de libration nationale (1954-1962)
in Revue Awal N 8, Awal, Paris.
AMROUCHE JEAN; 1988 Chants Berberes de Kabylie,
LHarmattan ,Paris.
tude ethnologique, La Dcouverte, Paris.
ATTOUMI DJOUDI ; 2004 Le colonel Amirouche,
entre lgendes et histoire, Edit compte dauteur ,Tizi
ATTOUMI DJOUDI ; 2005 Avoir 20 ans au maquis, ,
Edit compte dauteur, Tizi Ouzou.
BEN kHEDA B ; 1989 Aux origines du 1er novembre 1954,
Dahlab, Alger.
BEN kHEDA B ; 2000 Aban Mhidi, leur apport la
rvolution, Dahlab ,Alger.
8 BENBR AHIM MELHA. ; 1979 Posie orale Kabyle de rsistance,
1830-1962 , in Actes de la table ronde, Littrature orale, CRAPE .
LACOSTE DUJARDIN C ; 1982 Littrature orale et
histoire , in Actes de la table ronde, littrature orale,
OPU, Alger.
BENJAMIN STORA, 1993 Histoire de la guerre dAlgrie,
repres, La Dcouverte, Paris.
BOUAMARA KAMAL ; 2004 Si Lbachir Amellah
(1861-1930), Pote Chanteur de Kabylie, Tatlantikit
Bejaia ;
MAMMERI MOULOUD ; 1969 Les Isefra de Si Mouhend ou Mhend, Franois Maspero, Paris ;
MAMMERI MOULOUD ; 1988 Pomes Kabyles Anciens, Laphomic Alger;
MAMMERI MOULOUD ;1990 Yenna-yas Ccix Muhend,Edit compe dauteur.
CHADLI EM ; 1977 Le conte populaire dans le
pourtour de la meditranne, EDISUD, Paris.
CHAKER SALEM ; 1982 Structures formelles de la
posie Kabyle , in Actes de la table ronde, Littrature Orale,
OPU, Alger.

An Academy and a High Council for Tamazight

in Algeria?

ccording to Algerian newspapers, the Algerian government examined and endorsed two
presidential decree projects related to the
Amazigh language and culture. The bill creating a National Education authority (Academy) and High
Council for Tamazight, is presented by the Minister of
Education. Allegedly, the objective of these two institutions is the promotion and the development of Tamazight
in all its linguistic varieties used in the country "*
Few months ago, questioned about the number of
Tamazight teachers in the capital (Algiers) not exceeding
two, the same Minister of Education answers in a rather
provocative manner: " I cannot urge people to learn
Tamazight "as if people of Algiers refuse to learn

Here is a comment from Professor Abdellah Bounfour

( INALCO, Paris) that summarizes very well the reason
of our skepticism.**
There is a striking resemblance between the Moroccan
initiatives and those of the Algerian regime. It lays in the
decrees creating institutions in charge of the promotion of
the Amazigh culture and the preparation of the ground to
the teaching of the language. The H.C.A (High Commission for the Amazighity) in Algeria, the I.R.C.A.M (the
Royal Institute for the Amazigh culture) in Morocco are
both institutions put under direct control of the President
of the Republic for the first one and the king for the second. The same will to take over a domain they do not
want to leave in the hands of independent institutions
such as universities; Almost the same wording defining
their status and their missions and also the same definition
of the Amazigh dimension as "national heritage" so no
group (not even the Amazigh people)
(continued on page 26)

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T he A m a zig h V oice

Page 22

Ttad n Yugurten
(Aric amenzu)
Sur Francois Richard
(Tasuqelt si tefransist sur Karim Achab)

Wagi d aric amezwaru si tsuqilt n ttad n Yugurten. Ttad n Yugurten d yiwen n wedlis i yura Sallust di le wahi n
useggoass - 40 (weqbel Oisa) ef ttad i yedan ger um d Yugurten deg iseggasen -111 d -105 (weqbel Oisa). Maca
Sallust d ajinini n loaske n um, ittekka di ttad-nni. Amezruy n ttad -agi yura-t akken yeba ad t-isinen medden.
Nekkoni mar a ne ayen yura, ilaq ad nerr di lbal-nne belli tamacahutt-a tettunefk-a-d kan si yiwet n tama.. D
win i tt-ixedmen, i tt-ireben, i tt-yuran.
Tasuqilt-a yerra-tt-id Karim Achab si tefansist La Guerre de Jugurtha , akken i tt-id-yerra Franois Richard, si
tlainit, di GF-Flammarion, Paris, 1968. Dpa yebda tasuqilt-a seg tsedda\\\t (paragraph) tis 5 imi tiseddain timezwura (1rut alamma d tis 4) deg wedlis n Salluste ur aonint ara ttad n Yugurten.
Adlis akken i t-yura Sallust s tlainit isem-is Bellum Jugurthinum

V. Ad awen-d-ini tura acu i yi-d-yewwin ad awen-dmmeslaye ef ttad i yeran ger wegdud n rum d
Yugurten. Bi ad awen-d-mmeslaye fell-as acku, tamezwarut, ttad-nni yezga-d yewoa aas aas ; yerna,
per tazwara, ur a-d-iban ara ad t-neleb amecwa kan
akka. Tin yernan er-s, d tikkelt yakko tamezwarut deg
umezruy i d-yekker yiwen, yaoffer, yeba ad d-yekk
wawal-is nnig wawal n imeqranen-nne. Amennu-nni i
d-yellan gar-a yid-s ihewwel akko ddunit. Ihewwel
ddunit n ebbi yerna tin n loabd. Tewwe taluft armi i
tende ula ger wegdud n um, sekkren taluft ula garasen, armi cwi i snegren ula d elyan. Maca uqbel ad
d-bdu ameslay ef ttad n Yugurten, yessefk ad dsmekti amek tella taluft, i wakken ad tfehmem ayen
yedan akken i ywulem.
Ihi di lallit-nni n ttad tafniqt tis snat, tinna anida akken
i yefka anibal i elyan tirit-nni la yeqqaren d nekk
aya, Agellid n Imazien, Massnsen, yella yaodel netta d
Sipyu1, winna i wumi qqaren Sipyu Aferkiw (Scipion
the African). Massnsen inehl-d ef um, yennu akken
ilaq, ibeggen-d iman-is mai d yiwen n webrid. Asmi i
teli Qeraj, yekker um yefka-yas i Massensen kra n
temdinin d wakal i d-iella netta s yiman-is seg Ifiniqiyen. Ihi neqqim akken naodel yid-s, acemma ur yelli
Maca asmi i yemmut Massnsen, teli ula d tamurt-is.
Syen er zdat, d mmi-s n Massensen, Massibsen2,
i yualen d agellid imi atmaten-is, Mastanabal akko d
ulusa, mmuten. Massibsen er-s sin warrac, Aderbal
akk d emvsal. Ma d Yugurten, d mmi-s n gma-s s babas kan, winna i wumi qqaren Mastanabal. Yerna Masta-

nabal ur t-yesib ara yakko baba-s seg yigelliden imi

er tme..ut tayed i t-id-isoa, mehsab mai d tame..ut-is
n tidett, ur tt-yu ara. Ihi as akken Yugurten maci d
mmi-s, Massibsen igga-yas leqar, yessekr-it-id, iebbat-id akken i ylaq, am akken d mmi-s.

VI. Asmi i yewwe Yugurten d ilemi, d acu d l ehd,

d acu d zzin, d acu d lfehama, ur ye a ara ad t-yede
cci, ne zzhu, ne iimi. Yedfe abrid n imezwura: d
amnay n tidett, yufrar-d nnig tezyiwin-is, yerna yugariten di yal tapawsa. as akken yif-iten, emmlen-t yakko. Rnu yettseggid aas: ad yewwet izem d amezwaru,
yerna d netta i d aneggaru per zzux.
Ihi per tazwara, Massibsen yefe s mmi-s n gma-s d
ayen kan. Yenwa ad izux cwi yis. Maca mi i ywala
Massibsen iman-is la yettiwsir, arraw-is meiyit, ikcem
-it webel, lada imi Yugurten yettali ccan-is. Yual-as
d abel n yal ass, izde-it yiwwass.
Akka, abel tamara: tamezwarut, Yugurten yugar atmaten-is, yerna imdanen smenyafen win meqqen,
emmlen akko medden temoer, ban akko ad awen er
-s. Tis snat, agerruj n Massibsen mai d yiwen kan ar a
yessemao. Taneggarut, yugad ma yena Yugurten ad
ttewoa fell-as acku Yugurten hemmelen-t Imazien
mai d kra.

VII. Asmi i ywala ur yezmir ara ad yekkes Yugurten

ama s tin n yiil ama s tin n tieci, yeggora-yas-d kan
ad t-yazen er lfinga, s imeni. Ammer ad yemmet dinna Yugurten, ad frunt tlufa n Massibsen.
Da tettunefk-as tegonitt mi d-yede ttad n Numance,

Page 23

di tmurt n penyul, anda

yettna um. Massibsen
iceggao imnayen d iterrasen i wakken ad iwnen
um, yerra Yugurten d
imebbe fell-asen, ddan
er tmurt n penyul. Deg
wul-is yessaram ad dyemmet s yenna Yugurten.
Maca mai akken i ttyeba i teffe. Yugurten
yefhem tikli n P. Sipyu,
imebbe n loaske n
um, yerna yefhem tikli n
yaodawen-is. Yual yufrard di ttad n Numance,
hemmlen-t ula d loasker n
um imi yesdukel tirrugza
d tmusni.

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

tebratt-nni,ha-t-a wayen i
Di ttad n Numance
Yugurten yufrar-d nnig
akko wiya, yessebgen-d
iman-is d ayen kan. Annect-a zri d ayen i yess
ar a tfehed a.as. Yugurten yuklal sur-ne
leqde d ameqran. Nekk
sur-i ad xedme tazmert
-iw i wakken ad yimur
wazal-is deg wegraw4
akko d wegdud n Rrum.
D abrid-nwen ke d
Massnsen i yu.

Yufa-d lal isal-agi i dyefka Sipyu i Massibsen

di tebratt yu akko tamurt
n Imazien s umata, ala
fell-as i ttmeslayen laci.
Da Sipyu ur-s kan i yetIhi Massibsen yewwitarra, yal taluft yellan ffruyas-d kan ad ibeddel tikli
tt ke a Yugurten. Yual
Massnsen, agellid n Imazien
-s er Yugurten, yual
d ameddakel-is, ttmezran
Idder seg 238 - 148 (weqbel Oisa)
iteddu-yas s tin n lxir,
yal ass. Yerna Yugurten
yerra-t am mmi-s, yaozeddig wul-is, d aya i yasqed-as tamurt i wakken
d-yerran a.as seg Iumyen
Ioadda acal d asegd imeddukal-is.
goas, Massibsen iwala iman-is yewwe er tizi n lmut,
yessnejmao-d arraw-is, imeddukal-is d wigad akko i sVIII. Di tallit-nni, igen3 n um ggoten deg-s wid yesyettilin; eden akko mi i s-yenna i Yugurten aya:
menyafen idrimen ef tirrugza, rran-tt ala i tandit deg
temdint n um. D wigi yakko i yas-yesseman abenX. Tezri a Yugurten, asmi i fki laoqed i wakken ad
dayer i Yugurten. Zgan qqaren-as: d ke kan ar a
iyi-twerte am ke am arraw-iw yufa-d lal meiye
yualen d aqerruy ef tmurt n Imazien asma ar a yemaas,
ur tsoa la baba-k, la ttrika, ur yelli wayen i er ar a
met Massibsen, tuklale, yerna deg temdint n um kulci
. Tura nekk aqli wwe er tagara n tmeddurtyettnuz.
iw. Ad elbe deg-k ad tbedde i warraw-iw i wakken a
Asmi i teli temdint n Numance, P. Sipyu yerra loaskek-afen er tama-nnsen, i wakken d nitni ar a tafe er
nni i t-ioawnen er tmura-nnsen, netta yual er um.
tama-yinek ula d ke, mai d wid akkoed ur tecrike
Yefka-yas i Yugurten ayen yuklal, icke-it akko zdat
aza ne wid akkoed ur tei tagulla d lemla. Cfu d
ieskiwen-is; ssakin yewwi-t s aqiun-is iwea-t s tuftaddukli n tegmatt i d leqrar n tgelda mai d lwiz ne d
fra, yesfehm-as belli ma yeba ad tennerni lemibba-s
loaske. Mar a dduklen watmaten, yiwen ur yezmir ad ddeg wulawen n wegdud n um, ur ilaq ara ad yegg
yekk nnig-sen. Gma-k ma yella issekk fella-k lbael, ne
lemxalfa ger medden, ilaq ad iemmel medden d tirni,
tesseked fell-as lbael, ur yelli ubeani er ar a teccetki
mai ala kra n yemdanen kan. Yerna yenna-yas mai s
ne i er ar a yeccetki netta. Ilaq ad tezem belli tagelda i
tjual ara yessnerni lemibba-s deg wulawen. Inna-yas
yawen- i ass-a ad te hed ma yella tezam tagmatt gar
ma yella ikemmel kan deg webrid-nni i d-yewwi,
-awen, ad teli ma yella tezam gara-wen lebe d
temwer ad er-s yawe yiwen wass. Yesfehm-as d aen
lexsaa. Ma tessersem-d talwit gara-wen ad awen-ternu
belli ma yella yedfe abrid n tjual, d idrimen-is ar a
di tezmert, wad awen-tdum teswoit. Ma yella d ccwal i
yawin yiwen s asif.
gara-wen, a-t-an ihi d ccwal-nni ar a koenIX. Mi d yehder ad yual Yugurten er tmurt-is, yefkaiselen.
yas Sipyu tabratt i wakken ad tt-yawi i Massibsen. Di

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T he A m a zig h V oice

Ke a Yugurten tugare atmaten-ik ama di laome ama

di lefhama d tmusni, d ke i d-tewwi ad tnadi i wakken
ad teddu teswoit akken ilaq. Ma yella tennuem garawen d ke ar a selmen medden imi d ke i tenyugaren.
Ma d kenwi a emal d Uderbal, yewwi-yawen-d ad
tqadem Yugurten, ad as-tefkem azal, ad tdefem abrid i
d-yewwi i wakken ur as-qqaren ara medden win akken
rri d mmi yif wid i d-soap.


Yugurten iulfa belli imeslayen-agi yakko i s-dyenna Massibsen mai seg wul yefan i d-kkan. as
akken, yerra-yas s tin n leqde.
Massibsen yerna kan kra n wussan immut. Nelen-t warraw-is, rran-as tanelt akken i tt-ttarran i ygelliden n
Arraw n Massibsen - emal akk d Uderbal - akko d Yugurten nnejmaoen i wakken ad frun kra n temsal yaonan
tamurt. emal, d ameyan akko deg-sen, qesse yiles-is,
yerra iman-is yekka-d nnig wiya, yeqer aas Yugurten
imi mai seg igelliden i d-tectel yemma-s.
Di lweqt-nni er Imazien, ma ar a d-yili unejmao, d win
meqqren i yettiman di tlemmast, wiya ttimin deg
imukan i d-yezgan di leruf. Ass-nni, emal yaana talemmast, i wakken ur yettimi ara dinna Yugurten. Ur si i ara amekkan-nni armi i t-iawet gma-s Aderbal.
Deg unejmao-nni, mmeslayen ayen din ef temsal n tgelda. Yugurten yenna-yasen belli ilaq ad kksen akko leqwanen i yessoadda Massibsen di semmus (5) iseggasennni ineggura n tmeddurt-is, acku tefsed cwi bia-s si
tewser. Yerra-yas-d emal yenna-yas: Akken a Yugurten! Ihi ula d ke ad teddu acku kad (3) n iseggwasen
kan aya seg wassmi i k-d-yaoqed babat-ne tamurt.
Imeslayen-a urren Yugurten mai d kra. Yual seg
wassen, Yugurten yettqellib kan amek ar a yeel
emal s lexdao. Maca taluft ad tetteddu ddac ddac, Yugurten iar; ur yezmir ara ad ye u. Yual yeg men ad
ikkes ugur-agi n emal s imeni i wakken ad yawe
lebi-s, s ani i s-yehwa i taluft tawe.


Deg unejmao-nni i d-bedre llina, igelliden-nni

Yugurten, emal d Uderbal ur msefhamen ara amek ar
a feqen agerruj d ttrika i sen-d-ye a Masibsen, w ad
rren tilisa i wakken ad d-iban i yal yiwen deg-sen anida
ar a yekem. Zwaren-d qbel si temsalt n wedrim.
Ihi mi yefra unejmao, yal yiwen yerra er temdint i dyezgan di tlisa-s, maca daen yal yiwen yexta amiq i
yqerben amkan-nni anida akken yers ugerruj i d-ye a
Massibsen. emal yerra er Tirmida, s axxam n yiwen
n lliktur5 i yu lal ixeddem er Yugurten yerna yaodel
yid-s ayen din. Asmi i yesla Yugurten, yessume lliktur-

Page 24

nni i wakken ad yerzu s axxam-nni, ad yerr iman-is d

timziwt kan i yerra er-s ad t-ize, netta awelal i wakken ad d-yexdem tasarut tis snat n wexxam-nni. Akkenni, Yugurten ad yizmir ad iceggao loaske-is ad fetken
er emal mar a d-yede lawan i deg yeba a t-ine.
Ihi lliktur-nni yu-as awal, yexdem akken i s-yenna Yugurten, yessekcem aosekiwen-is s tuffra s axxam-nni i
deg yella emal, deg yi. Akken wwen er daxel,
aosekiwen-nni ttin akko ddunit anida ar ay afen emal,
nnan akko assasen-nni i yas-yettqaraoan axxam, nudan
ef emal ufan-t yeffer deg yiwen n umkan i fkan i yiwet n taklit yu lal txeddem dinna. emal oarqent-as
akko n wakken ur issin ara mli axxam-nni. fen-t
loaske n Yugurten, gzemen-as aqerru, wwin-as-t,
mesab xedmen akken kan i asen-d-inna ad xedmen.

XIII. Amecwa kan, lexba yaonan timenit n emal

yu yakko Taferka, yesseli-d lhiba ef Uderbal d wid
yeddan d Massibsen zik-enni. Imazien ualen ferqen ef
sin lefuf. Amur ameqwran yefe Aderbal, maca
loaske-nni mea i yfazen ddan d Yugurten. Yugurten
netta ifreq akko ayen i ysoa d lesla i wid i yeddan yides.
Din din kan Yugurten d loaske-is aanan yakko timdinin
n Numidya, kra s tin n lxir, kra s tin n yipil. Aderbal yuzen imazanen ad ssiwen lexba n wayen yedan i wegraw n um, ma d netta yeqqim ad ibges i loaske-is s
amennu. Maca uroad kan yebda umennu, iban-as-d i
Uderbal belli mai d ayen ar a yqabel, yual yerwel s
amiq6 n Iumyen di Tmaza, s yenna iu er um.
Yugurten, netta, yewwe er lebi-s, Numidya yakko
ikem-itt. Maca ikcem-it webel n um d wegdud-is.
Yeza ma fen-as ccena ala s wedrim d tjual i ymeqranen-nsen ar a t-isellken. Yerna kan kra n wussan, yuzen
ula d netta imazanen er um, yektal-asen ddheb d wedrim s umud ulufa. Inna-yasen ad d-zwiren qbel deg
imeqranen-nni i yessen si zik, d yemddukal-is, s-yenna
ad mmuqlen amek ar a d-zen tamusni tamaynutt d imeqranen nnien, ad rnun ad zzerwoan adrim i kra n win
ufan tella deg-s lfayda.
Mi wwen, imazanen i yuzen Yugurten er um bdan
qbel seg wid i ysteben yis-sen di twacult n ugellid,
rnan imeqranen-nni n wegraw n um i ysoan leqde er
laci. Imiren texsi cwi taluft: Yugurten yebes imeniyines, di um llan wid i yqeblen lekem-is, wa yewwi-t
usirem, wa yettwa s tjual, ddan-tt ef imeqranen n wergraw-nsen i wakken ur ttaafen ara ccena i Yugurten.
Asmi i walan imeqranen n wegraw n um taluft ters,
msefhamen gar-asen, fkan ttaud i Yugurten d Uderbal
ad d-asen er um i wakken yal yiwen deg-sen ad d-yini
ayen yellan. ef akken i d-ekkun, ha-t-a wayen i sen-d-

Page 25

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

yerna ufan-koen s idis-nsen di tizi n iq ad da a nekkoni,

taddukli ger twacult-nne nettat d wegdud n um tlul-d
XIV. Asmi qrib ad yemmet baba, iwea-yi akken ur di teswaot-nni n ttad k enwi d Qeraj, asmi teswa erwen lemanna akte n ttrika d wedrim. Ihi a Syadi imeqraettbe ara iman-iw nnig wayen swi er-wen: d awkilnen, ur cukke ara ass-a ad awen-yeffk wul-nwen ad teknwen di tgelda n Numidya, tagelda i ef tesoam izerfan d
sem tamiwent-nwen i tarwa i d-yufraren sseg-s, i mmi-s
lekoem. Iwea-yi daen ad xedme tazmert-iw i wakn mmi-s n Massnsen. Ad as-negg ur uklale ara tamiwent
ken ad ili s idis n wegdud n um, ama di teswaot n
-nwen, as ma s tin n lenana kan, as ma d aii kan a
ttad ama di teswaot n
koen-ia lmektubtalwit, wad rre di
agi amessas i deg dddehn-iw belli d
li ass-a, nekk i yu
kenwi i d imeddukallal ielli kan d ageliw, d kenwi i d imawlid bu-yiil, ama di
lan-iw; i ma yella
ccetla, ama di leqde
ddi deg webrid-a,
ama di ttrika; imi i dula d kenwi a kenggora ass-agi d
afe s idis-iw, taamebun, ula d ayen
musni d tezmert n
kesbe yettwakkes7
wemrig -nwen ad ttiyi, ihi ad d-ini ma
afe d llsas i tgeldayella tarbem fell-i
ass-a ad awen-dD lewiya-agi n
yegori d ise ama i
baba i yi-gan akka
koenwi, ama i wegdud
armi ass-agi, nekk s
-nwen, imi ef leq ar
yiman-iw, mmi-s n
a tewwtem, i wakken
mmi-s n Massnsen,
ad tekksem lbael, i
ameddakoel aqdim n
wakken ur tettoami um,
dem ara i tgelda ad
Yugurten, aqettal
ters ef llsas n lbael d
wer in nelli, si tgelda
tmenpiwt. Lemmer ad
-w d ttrika-w, ur k en
nual er tin n tidett,
-yugad ur ko enaql-i nnejla-d si
tmurt i tefkam koenwi
Ihi imi i d-g ri di
s Iumyen i lejdud-iw,
yir teswaot am ta,
i d-yekkes baba d jedlemmer ufi ass-a d
di, asmi i ddan yidlxir i wen-xedme
wen, i Siffaks d Yefnekk, mai d lxir i
niqen. Ihi d ayen i wen-yexdem baba d
Yugurten mmi-s n mmi-s n Massnsen
tefkam koenwi i yijeddi, ar a d-bedre i
Idder seg 160 - 104 (Weqbel Oisa)
ttwakksen ass-a a
wakken ad n-ssutre
Syadi imeqranen; s
deg-wen ad iyi-toawnem
lbael-agi i ssekken fell-i, am akken i koenwi i wumi i
di teswaot yecban tin n wass-a a syadi imeqranen. Lemkksen leqde.
mer ufi tilli ad as-ini ass-agi agdud n um ad iyiGoran-iyi-d yir wussan! A Massabsen a baba, atan tura
oawen mebla lemziya-s imi d lxir-iw i yezwaren. Maca
lxir i txedme: d win akken i twessa ad yefreq s lqis
fawa wedes ur tettfukku ara, yerna nekk ma i d lebtagelda netta d warraw-ik ar a yessnegren ccetla-k! I
iw ne d ay-iw imi yaobed Yugurten lebe d lexsaa.
melmi ar a nissin talwit? I melmi ar a tebes fell-a tazzla
D aya i yi-d-yessawen ass-a er laonaya-nwen a syadi
n idammen, I melmi ar a yekkfu fell-a imeni d neffu?
Meqqar assm akken d Qeraj nebna fell-as, terra tmara.
imeqranen, w ad ssutre deg-wen i wakken ad iyi-tilim
di temiwent-iw uqbel ad awen-ili di temiwent-nwen.
Imiren as akken aodaw iqerb-ane, as ma koenwi
Acal igelliden yellan zik d aodawen-nwen ualen d
tbaodem, nettkel ef yiallen-nne d lesla-nne. Asmi i
imeddukal-nwen; acal igelliden i d-yezzin er-wen
yekkes wugur n Qeraj, ters-d fell-a talwit, ur nesoa aoyenna Uderbal ass-nni:

Volume 16

I ssue 1

T he A m a zig h V oice

daw seg waodaw-nwen akkin. Ihi tura bitt yerna-d

Yugurten ur nebni fell-as, issers-d fell-a ddel, yena ula
d gma-s yerna yewwi tagelda-s d wayla-s am akken d
ccia. Lemmer yufi yegla ula yiss-i; asmi ur iyi-waoa
ara, yenfa-yi-d si tmurt-iw, seg wexxam-iw akka a
tettwalim, yessneg-iyi, yerra-yi d amebun, yessual-iyi
tamurt-iw d lfinga i deg ur zmire ad idire, nekk ille
imi ddaw laanaya-nwen i lli, yiwen ur yezmir ad iyi-dyawe!
A syadi imeqranen, sli tenna-m i baba as ma ayet
fell-ane tdukli yidwen, xersum akken yiwen ur yezmir
ad a-d-yawe. Tawacult-nne d lebda tezga s idis-nwen
di yal lgirra i tesoaddam ala ma yella d tazmert i s-ttyekksen.
Baba ye a-d sin warraw-is, nekk d gma, yerna
yejmao Yugurten, iesb-it am mmi-s; iil meskin ad
yecfu ef lxir i s-yexdem, ad a-d-yual d lxir i nekkoni.
Hat-a twalam d acu i yedan, yiwen yena-t d timeniwt,
nekk d ebbi kan i yi-imnoan. I tura d acu ar a xedme?
Anida ar a ddu? Wid ef i zemre ad ttekle uen: baba
yemmut lmut n ebbi, gma-nni i nil yeddura ugar n
medden nnien yena-t win akken akkoed i yecrek aza.
Imeddukal-iw d wid i yeddan yid-i, d wid i yi-ttilin, teda
yid-sen twait akken ma llan: wid yeef Yugurten wa
yena-t, wa yefka-t d imensi I lewuc. Wid ye a i dyemnoan idegge-iten er tesrafin, la ttummun deg
imeawen d lezen, goran-d di yir tudert i tif ula d lmut.
as ula ma ur iyi-ittwakkes ara yakko wayen soi, as
ula ma imeddukal-iw merra i soi zik-enni ur iyi-dualen ara d aodawen am wass-a, d koenwi kan, a syadi
imeqoranen, i wumi i zemre ad d-ssiwle i wakken ad
iyi-tfukkem ma yella kra i yedan yid-i; tettem fellawen tezmert-nwen ur tetta am ara leq ad yettwarke,
i wakken ma yella win yessekken lbael ad t-ixelle. D
acu ar ad d-ini da di teswaot yecban tin n wass-a: aql-i
nnfi-d si tmurt-iw, seg wexxam-iw, gora-d wed-i,
yekkes fell-i yise: anida ar a ddu? anwa i wumi ar a
ccetki? Ad ssiwle i ygellidan d yegduden-nni iyi-dyuqlen d aodawen di ddra-nwen? Yella s ani i zemre ad
ue mebla ma mmugre l ea. Zemre aani tura ad
i e wid-nni mea akko ed tennuem zik?
Iwea-ya Massnsen, a syadi imeqranen, i wakken ur
neddukul, ur nettemsenfal, ur d-nesnulfuy aan8, ur nessutur tamiwent si nnig wegdud n um akkin; ma yehwa-yas ay asif yewwin amenkud9-nwen yawi-ya ula d
nekkoni. S tissas-nwen d lebi n ebbi yennerna wazalnwen, waqel-akoen-id d inesbauren10 imeqranen; tetwaobojem di kullec, tekkam-d nnig akko wiya, ur iwoa
ara fell-awen ad tessiwem bab n lbael ad ixelle ayen

Page 26

Sipyu (Scipion) d yiwen n ujininar n um.

Ssina n um
Llusi di ddewla n um.
Amdiq n um di Tferka.

(continued from page 22)

can claim it. We see clearly the hidden idea behind these
initiatives, which is simply the exclusion of the Amazigh
activists with a multi-decade experience.
* Source: El Watan of June 20, 2007
** The comment of A. Bounfour is extracted from his talk
during the conference Flashback on the Berber Cultural
Movement and the Berber Spring of 1980".

Here is a selection of websites where you can find

information on the Amazigh Culture:
ACAA website/ www.tamazgha.org
Imyura/ www.imyura.com
Ayamun/ www.ayamun.ifrance.com
Monde Berber/ www.mondeberber.com
Racines-Izuran, a bilingual biweekly
Assoc. Tamazgha website/


Kabyle.com/ www.kabyle.com
Kabyles.com/ www.kabyles.com
Berberes/ www.berberes.com
Chleuhs/ www.chleuhs.com
Imazighen of Libya/ www.libyamazigh.org
Culture and Touareg societies/
You can find more site addresses at:
http:// www.mylinea.com/mgouna/mouvement_amazigh

Page 27

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

Tadyant n Siyd At Ccix

(Tullist 1)
ur R
em an
an Las
La heb

Tagi d tullist i d-yelqed Remdan Lesheb ger tullisin yettuqten deg tudrin n yeqbayliyen. Deg umegrad i dyezwaren wagi i wumi ysemma : Tamedyazt n tlawin di trad-nni n tmunent , yesbaned amihi yellan mai kan ef
tmedyazt maca ef yedles-ne s umata.
Ahat er kra gar-ane, tullist agi ur tla ara azal meqren, maca llant attas n tullissin niden i yzemren ad skeflent kra n temsal yeffren deg umezruy-ne, ne ansayen i negren, ne izumal-ne
D acu kan, am tmedyazt, tullisin ula d nutenti d ayla n kra n tsuta. Ma ant-a, ad glunt yis-sent. Daymi tira
ur-s azal meqren nezzah ; kra n wayen i d-leqden imusnawen d atas. Ma zikkeni, ayen yenna yimi, tettef-it tmezzut,
ass-agi imdanen dhan d wallalen atraren yecban amett af., tilizri. Timucuha, tullissin, ansayen, d cfawat n wagad
wesren, ma d nekni s wid iten i d-idefren ur negzi ara azal nsen. Tamusni i d-nemger deg uerbaz, texneq ayen i ya-dan imezwura almi nual nettsethi s wayla-ne . Ihi, a win yufan ad ugten imagraden yecban wagi.

Zik, At Tgemmunt Ukerruc ur-sen yiwen n ccix si

taddart n At Buyehya, isem-is si sayd at ccix. Ira er
ccix Muhend u Lmexttar deg wat Yenni u netta d si
Muhend u Mhend myussanen d imeddukal. Si Muh
Sayd-agi iqqar zik, akka i yihwa, imi d bab n ddra, yetteddi wawal-is. Yettwaqader nezzeh, d bab n lefsih u
Ircel seg wat Hlal, yu yelli-s n lha Ali u Sayd. Ssawalen-as Fetta n lha Ali u Sayd, agur deg yigenni nettat di tmurt. Qqaren-d, sut At Hlal mi ara hejbent ur
seunt ara dderya, d ddewa n jedd-nnsent. Seg tu
ccix tehjeb, ur tesi ara dderya. Myefken lahed netta
yid-s, netta yenna, ma temmuted tamezwarut, ur rni
fell-am tamettut; nettat tenna-yas, ur rni fell-ak argaz.
Assen, di taddart nni, yiwen uqcic kksen-as tamett utis, wwin-tt imawlen-is:baba-s n teqcict d baba-s n
weqcic nuen amennu ameqran. Nutni myeh malen seg
wul maca mxalafen imawlen-nnsen. Wigi ceyyen tajmaot ad tt-id-erren, wid-nni ugin. Wigi suturen tiririt,
widak berru, nutni mtawan, ban ad ten-bdun. Lhan
imrabden ad tt-id-erren, imawlen ugin.
Imiren si Sayd at Ccix hemlent nezzeh din, ttqadarent at
as. Ittef deg-s weqcic, inna-yas ad iyi-tt-id-terred. Iwwed ccix ihawet, ihawet, imawlen ugin. Iguni-t uqcicnni alammi d-yeffe, yenna-yas:Amek akka a ccix?
-Yenna-yas ccix: Beddel abrid a mmi, ugin
imawlen. Mi t-iwala ccix inuna, yentaq er-s, yennayas: themled taqcict-a!
-Wwah a ccix!ma hemle-tt! D tudert-iw !.

- Yenna-yas ccix: Ruh ! ma ur n-tbedd ara wehd-s, nekk

mai d si Muh Sayd.
Iwwed ccix s axxam, iddem-d azmam, yura-yas tah
erzett, ifka-yas-tt, inna-yas alqas-tt deg ubrid n tala u
ur-k wi k-id-i ttwalin. Aqcic ixdem akken i s-d-yenna
ccix. Mi d-tual teqcict si tala terra srid er wergaz-is.
Iffe lexbar di taddart, an-ten weh d-sen.
Lhan acu lhan, di lexrif, ssawlen-as i ccix ad d-yas, ad
yaru i tmudint. Yaf tamettut iwumi ara yaru,isem-is
Mehjuba. Iddem-d azmam, netta yettaru aqelmun
alammi d allen. Yiwen wergaz iqqim-d er tama-s, sin
ddurin-d di tkenna, wayed yedduri-d addaynin. Win diqqimen ef tama-s yered ad t-ixnaq s wemam. Yerra
-yas ixebbic ccix deg wudem-is. Rsen-d wid nni n
tkenna, yerna-d win n waddaynin, ddmen-d taqabact,
Armi d id, suffen-t-id di tcekkart, sersen-t di tezrutt n
Amar u Buyeh ya di ttnasfa n taddart. Deg id-nni, iffed yiwen, ad isefqed i ttarha-s, yufa-d tacekkart deg
ubrid, illi-tt, yufa d ccix i yemmuten. Yessaki-d lhag
Muhend u Sliman, imiren d netta i d lamin n taddart;
isekker-d taddart, azren fell-as. Azekka-nni, nudan,
ufan wid i t-inan .
Si Muhend u Mhend tu-it deg usammer n tmurt, iqqim
di lqahwa. Ufan-t-id ixeddamen ihzen, iggugem. Nnanas :d acu k-yuen? D acu i k-ixusen? Yella wi k-id

Volume 16

I ssue 1

T he A m a zig h V oice

Si Muh yerra-d nnehta, yenna:

Yewwed-iyi-d lexber d uswid
Ul-iw yettnehdil-d
Lfahem irekb-it lac
Tad-iyi tarrawt n sid
Si Muh Sayd
Tamtilt-is berra ulac
Ider-it lqum lyazid
Wwten-t s lhid
Qedren-t s uqabac
I awed, inna:
edren cbab
Ur t-iklal
Tamtilt-ik ur d-tettili

Ufan-ten uroad ukin, teli yemma-tsen, tefsex. Yers-d

si Crif, ibardiyen-is ran ak, thelj-it ak tmes.
Mi d-tefd en trumit-nni, tenna-yas: D acu i tebid?
Yenna-yas i si Muh Ccrif : d acu i bi! Akken tebid
arraw-im i ten- bi!.
Tenna-yas trumit: D tufa i tebid ad tefed! Ma ur
teffied ara! Ma ur uale ara deg umkan-ik! Nekk
mai d leflentega! Truh, tura fell-as, tenna-yas argazagi yena yiwen, icfa sin. Da suffen-t-id.
Tamettut-nni n si Sayd at Ccix truh-d s axxam n babas. La d-kkaten medden er-s akken ad tezwej, nettat
tugi. Tmekta-d lahed i tefka i wergaz-is. Seg la dkkaten ixxamen ilhan, inna-yas baba-s, ad tzewed
ne ad kem-selme. Ihers-itt, iwwet er-s
Belqasem, yu-itt:
A sidi lha= Ali
Nil-ik d argaz lali
Tefkid yelli-k i wakli

Asmi ixeddem deg yir lamal

Ilehhu s wuzzal
Anda i s-ihwa i yettili
Ma d tura itba lehlal
Ittwaxda deg uzal
Imzel timezla uhuli
Wwin-t-id s akal aberkan, imd el dinna. Ibedd gma-s, si
Muh Crif at ccix er uqerru-s, inna-yas: Fki lahed,
ffki-t i Rebbi, ur settl e tamart, wala acebbub, ur
ttekcime s axxam alamma rri-d ttar-ik ne rni-n urk.. Lfuci ef tayett-is, iffe d lmenfi. Iruh uqcic-nni
iwumi tettwakkes tmettut er-s, yeggul, yenna-yas, ma
==i-k, ara k- iwne.
Assen, ualen-d sin seg wid yenan si Tizi-wezzu, si
ccra. Rekben-d ef iserdyan deg wasif n lqennar ger
tezut d wat Mesbah, wa yewwet wa, wa yewwet wayed
. lin-d di sin. Aqci-nni, n Tgemmunt ukerruc yerwel d
asawen, yemna. Ma d si Ccrif, yerra d akoessar, er
tezza; ikka-d fell-as laoyad, tfen-t-id wid ikerzen din,
wwin-t er lqayed. Azekka-nni, wwin-t ixeyyalen yidsen, hekmen-as seba iseggasen. Ssyin wwin-t er
Kayan. Yewwed er Kayan, isedda xemsa iseggasen,
tamurt-is ak tekfa s lbi.
Yiwen wass tekker tmes deg uxxam n tmettut unemhal
n lhebs, ala tettuu, huzen-as sin warraw -is, aqcic d
teqcict tts en deg uxxam-nni i deg tekker tmes, wi ara dyekksen arraw-is. Yuzzel si Muh Crif, netta aryan,
yewwed, yufa-ten ttsen deg umetrah. Yenned-iten-id di
tfarsadit, iccud-iten-id s umrar, isers-iten-id.

Page 28

Asmi yesla si Muhend u Mh end, yewwi asefru, yennayas:

Awwah a lmutt d-yettassen
er lbaz mezziyen
Wagi d lwaed n rebbi
Zwa=-ik ara t-id-xettben
Idawen-ik ferh en
Kul wa ansi d-yed dili
A sidi Amar u Brahem
Aql-a netwehhem
Yereq ubrid ad nawi .
Teqqim er lha= Belqasem d acu teqqim, ssyin truh-d,
yu-itt Muhend at Allal, yiwen umarkanti n at Meh
mud. Teqqim d acu teqqim, dien truh-d.
Ar taggara yu-itt si Hmed u Larbi si taddart n At
Buyeh ya. Netta yemmut d amezwaru, nettat temmut d
tamart di lgirra nni n 54.

Tadyant n Si Sayd At Ccix akken i - tt-id yewwi Si Wyidir

si Taddart Ufella..

Page 29

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16


ur lalam lmesr
Brahim Tazaart)
(Tasuqilt sur


uzegzaw d uquran
n lfe\rh;-iw#

Tilawin am nekkini

Wis krad

Ur d-salayent ara ameslay$

Awal yettpimi yassent di tgerjjumt
Am tsennant
I yesseblaoent#
Tilawin am nekkini
snent kan ad runt$
ime..awen ixenqen$
akka kan$
tegrurucen-d$% tmirin-d$
am uzar igezmen#
Tilawin am nekkini$
Sebrent i yiceqqiren$
ur ttarant ara tiyita$
Tergigint seg zoaf
i yeskufurent#
Am yizem di lqefv
tilawin am nekkini$
ttargunt#.# ..
tilelli#.# ..
Wis sin
War ma necdep-tt-id$
trezzu-d fell-i$
Tettferfir nnig-i$
dpa tettupal$
am yizi aberkan
am yizi ucmit aberkan$
tettafeg sya$ tesneznuz dihin$
tettrusu di tleqqa;t n wul-iw#
DD tafunast tawessart
yettaran ife/

Ssakdep pur-s
Seg yineziz n tafat
I d-yenesren
Seg ..aq n lempi,at-iw#
Tafekka taoeryant
Izlen per yidis-iw
Telluz am nekkini#
Wehap i wufus-iw
Ad imize,
yedda yi di nneqma$
iqerreb s tergagayt n lqer;
n usami
n tfekka nni,en#
Wis uqus
Acku ur d-qimen ara gar-anep
Lmerqa ta;mayant neskaf
D umeslay imuzeplen nteffe/#
Acku ur d-qimen gar-anep
anagar ame.re;
Deg ur d-imeqqi ;ala wadal$
DD yi, ur iseff,en
Oeyyu n wass#
Acku ur d-qimen gar-anep
anagar dderya$
umi nettheggi
deg u,ebsi n tudert$
tirga nnep yedgedgen#
Acku nupal$
ugar n yiberaniyen$ le;hdaqa
ddaw n yicenga ao=ab#

I ssue 1

Volume 16

I ssue 1

T he A m a zig h V oice

Acku ur d qimen ara gar-anep

Ta,sa yetteneqniqen$
DD weslaf ineqqan
DD lbenna
N tament d ilili$
Pef yicenfiren nnep.
Acku$ ur d yeqqim kra$
Wis semmus
Gar tallit d taye,
Ileddi ..iqan$
Gar tallit d taye,
Tili-s tetteldi-it-id$
DDeffir n yisabaren# (curtains$)
Yettruh;u$ yettupal$
Yettmi/id$ yettwexxir#
Yessalay tapect n radyu
Akken ad year \rru;h-is s lmusiqa$ (a/awan)
Akken ad pilen l=iran$
Yettidir menwala#
Yettoeddi s tempawla$
Aqerruy di lqaoa$
Aprum ddaw n tepru.-is#
Ur t-yettraju yiwen.
Wis sdis
S leodez i yupal$
Ur yesernen ara am leowayed-is$
Iger tasarutt deg usekrun
Usu yeqqim akken yella$
Afen=al n latay
Pef .abla$
DD ifetfuten n weprum aquran$
Ulac zhir$
ulac l;hes$
Anagar lheffa n tikli-s$
DD nnefs-is#
Ulac rrih;a

Anagar rri;ha n tfekka-s$

Yegnen deg wusu#
Yekkes akebbu,-is
Ibda ifessi
tiqefilin n tqemjett-is tamellalt#
yupal yessaked sya u sya##
:Heznep fell-ak$
Ay argaz$
Wis ssa
Ad yeffep wergaz$
Akken ad inadi
Pef syada (lefrisa)
Ar a yesse\rwun lba,na n lebpi-s#
Ad teffep tme..ut
Akken ad d-nadi
Pef wergaz ar a tt-yerren
DD tagelli,t n wusu-s#
Ad yeddukel useyyad d syada$
Ad rtin$ (they will mix)
Nep ahat##
Ad mbeddalen timliltin# (roles)
Wis tam
YYesoa snat n tlawin$
YYiwet teggan deg wusu-s$
Taye, teggan deg wusu n tirga-s#
YYesoa snat n tlawin i t-i;;h;emmlen$
YYiwet tettimpur per tama-s$
Taye, tettak-as tem/i-s$
YYesoa snat n tlawin$
YYiwet deg wul n wexxam-is
Taye, deg wexxam n wul-is#

Page 31

Page 31

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

Web News
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
Will Tamazipt be able to make it into WIKIPEDIA?

The disastrous economic and political situation in Kabylia

is forcing many young people to flee their motherland by
any means necessary. The latter was produced by the
popular and humoristic singer Younes Boudaoud.
Best wishes to our new producers.

Kabyl Symbols Ruined

Wikipedia is a free collaborative encyclopedia on the

internet (www.wikipedia.org). The principle of this collaboration is that anyone can create a page in his (or her)
own language on a chosen topic. Full versions already
exist in the main languages listed below. How about our
dearest Tamazight ? ActuallyIt made it !
Ta qba ylit
Wikip edia .
Here is the address: http://www.kab.wikipedia.org

Statues of various Kabyl notorieties have been damaged

in the past months by unknown individuals or groups. The
most recent is that of Belaid Ait Medri in the village of
Ait Hichem near Michelet in Tizi Ouzou. Belaid Ait Medri was an Amazigh activist in the forties and belonged to
the group of young Kabyl militants responsible for the so
called Berberist Crisis, demanding the recognition of
the Amazigh presence in Algeria.
He later joined the forces of the FFS in the Kabyl rebellion against the Algerian Government, during which he
was killed.

Statues of Lounes Matoub and Mouloud Mammeri have

also been damaged in various locations.
As of now, nobody knows who the perpetrators are and
what motivates them to commit these barbaric acts.

Ihi anuf
an uf yisyis-wen er Wikipedia s teqbaylit
New Publication
E ng lis h/T ang lizit
1 848 000+ articles
Ger man/T almanit
601 000+ articles
515 000+ articles
394 000+ articles

C hi nes e/
T aci nw at t
383 000+ articles
313 000+ articles
311 000+ articles
S pani s h/ T as pe ny ult
245 000+ articles

With 277 articles (at the time when is article is prepared),

the Kabyl version is just a baby compared to the English
version with more than 1 848 000 articles (see the table
above). This is a modern tiwizi as Vermondo
Brugnatelli, an Italian Berber specialist put it. Tiwizi, we
know what it is! So, we have no doubt that Tamazight,
through one of her daughters, Taqbaylit, will thrive.
Hurry to your keyboards!

A book North African Mosaic: A Cultural

Reappraisal of Ethnic and Religious Minorities,
edited by Dr. Nabil Boudraa and Joseph Krause has
been published by Cambridge Scholars Press
i n
J u l y
2 0 0 7 .
This book, a compilation of research and works by several scholars, offers a varied points of views on the different aspects of North Africa, a region that has started to
attract the attention of the inter national
community in the past couple of decades.
Nabil Boudraa, a member of ACAA, is an assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Oregon State
University, Oregon (U.S.A.).
Joseph Krause is a Professor at Oregon State University,
Oregon (U.S.A.).

Page 32

T he A m a zig h V oice

Volume 16

I ssue 1

Taddart deg Tmurt n Leqbayel, deg temnat n At Wasif

(continued from page 4)

Imexda i d-yegran la teddun ttualen deg zenqan n
Ass-iw annegaru, qqime kan deg uxxam. Ata s i d-yusan
ad iyi-zren. Yeli-d ussemid d aqeshan. Keble deg ber
nus, la ttgani. Azekka-nni, nekk, baba, d umenhar, nettef
abrid er tmanat.
i kra n tlawin s imettawen, nekk ugi asen-d-bru.
Sersen-iyi deg nafag, ualen. Uri, rni, tagara zien
timsefrigtin h ebsent, ulac anekcum er Fransa; adfel yerra
ahuffu er-s d awezi. Nnan-iyi issefk ad aru alamma d
azekka-nni. Qqime theyre, ur zri d acu ara ga.
Nuda ef tiliri, maca idrimen n tmurt ulac ur-i, ille
ur asen-sri ara imi ara ad fe syinna. Tagara yiwen n
ilemz i ineddeh-d ur-i, zien iferz-iyi-d d aqbayli. Mi isulse abel-iw yefka-yi-d tiliri-s. Sewle, ufi baba d
umenhar-nni wden almi Mirabu, zzin-d. Rni id deg
taddart, azekka-nni zegre-d agrakal.
Ass-nni gguma at-ttu. Ul-iw yeur d tumert.
Fti imi lli d aqbayli, fti s wegdud-iw, s yedles-iw, s
tutlayt-iw, s kra n wayen yellan d aqbayli. Seg ass-nni,
gzi agdud-iw meqqar, d win yiffen igduden. Am akken

is-yenna dda Lmulud n At Caban ( Mouloud Feraoun ) :

Zemre ad mte azekka, bhara zri gmi-d deg ref
ameqqran, ara yezgun d ameqqran.
Atas i yettwalin kan ayen n dir deg tmetti-ne. Ass-nni
yelli-d allen-iw, tura zri d wid kan ur nla tissas i
yezzuren tidmi am tagi deg alla-nsen. Widak d wid i
yeqnen allen-nsen, ugin ad walin ayen yelhan deg-ne,
illen ufraren gara-ne, d wid yessawalen i Rebbi dadda
am akken nnan imezwura.
Kfi amaris-iw s wass i d yeur-n ul-iw, ass i yesnejlan
tidmi n uwezi deg alla-iw. Abrid-ne yener, cemma,
cemma, xas ezzif, a-yessawwed er yiswi-ne, er tirga
-ne, er tafat, er tlilli. Tajmilt i kra n win yefkan azal
i yedles-ne, i kra yellan d amenas ef izerfan-ne, tajmilt i wid, am ilemzi-nni deg nafag, yesnarnayen tayri d
temselta gara-ne. Afus deg fus, tikli er deffir ulac!
Ass n 5 deg magu 2005